Being rather new to the homesteading culture in some aspects. I realized I have a lot to learn when it comes to cooking ornery roosters and old hens.
My first experience was so horrible and inedible I almost gave up the thought of butchering my own birds. I didn’t see the point in taking the life of an animal if it was only going to find itself tossed out the door.
Tough shoe leather is what that bird amounted to in my book. I’ll admit I had never cooked a freshly killed chicken before. After that I thought that I had best gather some good advice on the subject before I tried again.
This is what I came up with after lots of research and talking to those who do butcher their own birds.
There are many ways to cook an old hen or surly rooster. While some are pretty well known others may not be. For instance marinating a chicken overnight in Cocal-Cola. I would of never thought! My neighbor an elderly gentleman came over the other day and asked if I knew how to cook a tough bird. I let him know that no not really other than to pressure cook or can one. So he proceeded to fill me in a bit. He said he had learned three new ways to cook roosters.
•The first was to beat the meat silly with a meat tenderizer. I couldn’t help but to laugh when he said it.
•Secondly he told me that if I soaked it overnight in baking soda and water it would be tender as could be. I have seen that online here and there. This method seems to have mixed opinions, yet believe that it is worth giving it a shot.
•Lastly he said to marinade it overnight in Coca-Cola. I was a bit startled by that one. While I have heard of beef brisket marinated with cola I’ve never heard of chicken being done that way. He said that it was quite tasty, so I will be sure to give it a try. I wonder if 7up or Ginger Ale would do the same thing. Something to experiment with to be sure.
Other ways in which to cook tough chickens are to
•Soak in a brining solution of 1/2 cup Kosher salt to 1 gallon water minimum of 4 hours preferably overnight. Rinse well.
•Pressure cook 20-25 minutes before frying
•Cooking over long slow heat, for instance a crockpot the night before.
•Braising for a very long time in the oven or on stove. The other main thing when it comes to a tough bird is rigamortis.
It is best to set your bird in fridge for a couple days to go through this process after butchering. Then proceed with your chosen method.
Don’t forget another way to tackle the problem and to provide you with future meals is to can the chicken.
With all these newly learned methods. I am actually looking forward to filling the freezer this year with our own homegrown birds