to old to eat?

Discussion in 'Meat Birds ETC' started by snowflake, Aug 4, 2013.

  1. snowflake

    snowflake Crowing

    Aug 21, 2009
    Belding Michigan
    I have some 5yr old hens and a roo, I will have to cull them this fall has anyone tried to eat hens this old?

  2. Fred's Hens

    Fred's Hens Crowing Premium Member

    Well, to be honest, the broth they make is often out of this world in flavor and richness. For that alone, the chicken stock, I'd say yes to that. The meat? That can always be pulled or strained off and fed to the cats, etc. Doesn't go to waste. Just a thought.
  3. snowflake

    snowflake Crowing

    Aug 21, 2009
    Belding Michigan
    thanks, I was going to try putting them in ther pressure cooker, but figgured the meat would still be tough. soup and cat food will do,
  4. Hummingbird Hollow

    Hummingbird Hollow Songster

    Jul 1, 2011
    Colorado mountains
    Since you are culling more than one, if it were me, I'd try one in the crock pot and see what happened. I cooked a 2 year old hen in the crock pot earlier this summer. I caught her eating eggs a few times and decided that she had to go. Safeway has this "Slow Cooker" sauce that I added to the pot, put it on low and cooked it on LOW for almost 9 hours. The resulting chicken just fell off the bones. I served it over pasta and It was one of the tastiest chicken dinners I've had in a long time. So tasty in fact, that I'm starting to eye my other laying hens and thinking about that tasty meal. Strangly enough, they seem to know it because egg production has gone from dissapointing to quite plentiful, (and I don't think it is simply because the egg eater is gone because the increase didn't happen until a few months later).

    Anyway, the secret is the low cooking temperature as well as the moisture and long cooking time. If you cook at too high a temperature, the meat gets stringy...slow and low. It can't hurt to try. If it isn't good, you can still feed it to the cat.

  5. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner Free Ranging

    Feb 2, 2009
    Southeast Louisiana
    Yeah, I’m a believer in the crock pot for older birds but I’m sure people have good recipes for a pressure cooker or maybe even just a stew pot. You might look up Coq Au Vin, or Cock in Wine. That’s the traditional French recipe for an old rooster. Just be sure you are using a traditional recipe. A lot of the recipes you find on the internet assume you are using one of those 8 week old store bought birds. Totally different than an old rooster. Like Hummingbird said, the secret is low temperature, long time, and keep it moist.

    The way I’d cook a bird that old I’d butcher it and cut it into the regular pieces; breasts, wishbone, thighs, drumsticks, and wings. I’d also save the neck, back, gizzard, and heart. I use the feet too but understand that would turn some people off. If you scald them you can twist the toenails off and peel the skin off which gets it clean enough for me but I can certainly understand the YUK! factor is hard for some people to overcome.

    In a crock pot put a bay leaf and maybe 10 to 12 peppercorns. Cut up on onion, a carrot and celery stalk. Big chunks are fine. You’re just after flavor. Then add whatever herbs you want, maybe oregano, basil, thyme, parsley, and maybe a clove or two of garlic. Add the chicken and cover that with water as full as the crock pot can handle. Depending on the size of the crock pot you might have to make two batches, especially with that big old rooster. Cook it on low overnight. Nine hours is enough, twelve hours is not too much. You can try eating the thighs, drumsticks, breasts and wishbone but the meat might fall off the bone.

    You can pick through the chicken and get the meat off all the pieces plus get all that’s just floating around. Be careful of small bones. Talk about good stuff on pasta, in a chicken salad, or on a taco. You’re not finished.

    Save the liquid and strain it through maybe 4 to 6 layers of cheesecloth, then take the fat off the top. You have the best chicken broth you have ever tasted.
  6. bluejeans

    bluejeans Songster

    Jul 25, 2012
    New Mexico
    Crock pots are great for all day but if you want a tender bird from a real tough one in about a hour

    we use a cussanart electric pressure cooker .. And i always like to cook potatoes and onions and carrots with them at the same time with a little chicken or for duck and geese beef bulleon cube .
    i think we did pay around a hundred dollars for the cussanart pressure cooker .. but it was well
    worth it . pinto beans peas soups with ham bone lintil soups squash soups it does every thing great..
    all meats fall right off the bone .. we use it all the time for skined and tougher ducks and geese.
    meat comes out tasting better than at a fine sit down city resteraunt..[​IMG]

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