Apr 21, 2011

First Chicken Butchered

This post doesn't contain extremely gory details, but if you don't want to hear about the killing of a chicken, don't read this.

Alex and I butchered a chicken the other day. It was harder than I thought it would be, emotionally at least. I've tried to keep my distance from the meat birds. I never named them or paid more attention to them than I had to. But, it was still a sad day. I can't believe we have 13 left to do, almost makes me want to become a vegetarian. I keep reminding myself that the chicken led more of an enjoyable life than it would have if it had come from a factory.

Since it was our first time processing a bird, I figured I should go the easy route. Instead of scalding and plucking, I just skinned it. That part was easier than I thought it would be. The skin easily separates from the body with a couple of cuts and tugs. I didn't even touch the innards instead I sliced off the breast meat and took off the wings and legs. We "rested" the meat for 3 days in the fridge. If you don't do this, you're meat will be tough. The first two days I had it in some salt-water to draw the rest of the blood out. The last day I drained the water and just left it in a covered bowl. I did not brine it because that uses too much salt for my liking.

We only got about 2 lbs off of the 8 week old Cornish X. Therefore, we are going to wait a couple weeks until they fatten up a little more to do the next. They are mostly free-ranging now and in quite good health. The more free-ranging the chickens do, the tougher the meat will be because of the exercise. But, at least they'll be happy, healthy little fat chickens.

Oh my gosh - it looks like chicken from the store!