What causes fresh chicken to be a little rubbery/chewy ?

Discussion in 'Meat Birds ETC' started by swtangel321, May 31, 2010.

  1. swtangel321

    swtangel321 ~Crazy Egg Lady~

    Jul 11, 2008
    Is it the way I raised the birds ? Or the way its cooked?

    We processed a few birds the other day and we had one for dinner tonight and tho it tasted GREAT i noticed it tasted a LITTLE rubbery/chewy (still 100% better then the store crap) Anyone know why ?

    Any info would be great since I have 75 more to do in about 5 weeks and would like to know if I should change something.

  2. scubaforlife

    scubaforlife Songster

    Jul 13, 2009
    did you rest the meat after? When you kill the bird it will have some amount of rigor happen to the meat and you have to wait for those enzymes to inactivate in the muscle tissue. 24 - 48 hrs in the fridge will do it.
  3. swtangel321

    swtangel321 ~Crazy Egg Lady~

    Jul 11, 2008
    Quote:They were done Saturday about 1pm. I just put them in the freezer tonight (around 5pm) Is that long enuf ?

    Do you think it would be because the birds were allowed to walk around in the coop/run ? They arent packed together like the do at the factory's !!

    Maybe I should of let the chicken sit longer before cutting it !!??

    Thanks for your help
    Last edited: May 31, 2010
  4. SpringChickens

    SpringChickens Songster

    Feb 1, 2009
    Lexington, KY
    The more exercise they get, they tougher they will be. How old were they when you processed them? A lot of the birds in store are processed at 5.5 or 6 weeks old - older = tougher.

    Unfortunately, the things that make them tougher are also the things that give them more flavor.
  5. BarkerChickens

    BarkerChickens Microbrewing Chickenologist

    Nov 25, 2007
    High Desert, CA
    It depends on age and how long you let it sit before freezing/cooking it. Exercise definitely does it, but was it a cornish cross or a dual-purpose breed? We process our dual-purpose birds between 16-20 weeks. That instantly makes them tougher than cornish crosses, which are only ~6 wks old at processing. We slow cook ours in either a crock pot or the beer can up the rear method in the oven.

    How did you cook it?
  6. bucketgirl

    bucketgirl Chirping

    Apr 14, 2009
    Snohomish, WA
    I find that resting for 3-4 days is helpful. Low and slow cooking is helpful. I took a cue from a local grower and always refer to it as a "firmer" meat, instead of a chewier meat.

    Remember back in the day when pork was 'the other white meat'? Well, it was selectively bred that way, in order to make a marketable product that has since gone the way of the dodo (or should I say, the way of New Coke). Now pork is back to being pink, which is in fashion.

    That's how I like to think of pastured chicken, free of that unfashionable white meat. That said, the tenderloin of the breasts in my old, active chickens (13 weeks completely free range) is among the tenderest, non-firm meat I've ever had off of a chicken.

    Changing cooking expectations will do a great deal for the firmness of the meat, similar to grass fed beef.
  7. vfem

    vfem Yoga...The Chicken Pose

    Aug 4, 2008
    Fuquay Varina, NC
    After resting for 24-48 hours I let it sit in a brine overnight with a bit of water and salt. They seems be more moist and less of a fight to eat.
  8. swtangel321

    swtangel321 ~Crazy Egg Lady~

    Jul 11, 2008
    Thanks for all the tips. Glad to know its not just me who has had this issue before.

    I noticed after the meat cooled down and sat for a while (after we were done dinner when I was putting away leftovers) that it was much firmer/less chewy.

    They were cornish X's right around 8 weeks old. I think I will try them at 7 next time. Tho the guys who processes for me (hes been doing it for 20 years) swears I should wait till they are 9-10 weeks. So confusing... LoL. I will also let them sit a little longer after next time.

    Ive also read that it can be caused from under cooking or even overcooking. And I must admit I should of weighted the bird before cooking so I had a better idea on how long I should of cooked it for. My guess it was 5-6 pounds and we cooked it for 1hr 45 mins (maybe a tad longer)

    Again thanks everyone.
  9. FuzzyLittlePeep

    FuzzyLittlePeep Hatching

    Feb 26, 2017
    Southside Virginia
    That would have been a great tidbit before cooking tonight's dinner ^boing, boing, boing^ ROFLOL

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