"United we bargain, divided we beg."

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Second Attempt at Chicken Cooking

Last summer, we killed and cooked four chickens, all at once. There was a reason for that, but I'm not going to recap. It's on the blog. What's important now is that those chickens were terrible. I mean really inedibly bad. They were so bad it made me wonder why on earth anyone ever decided chickens were good to eat, if this is what mature, free-range birds taste like. 

The main issue was the toughness. I boiled the living hell out of those chicken, literally for HOURS, trying to get them to soften up, but they never did. In fact, I'm pretty sure they started getting tougher after a couple of hours. The meat remained stringy and rubbery. And, when we managed to force some into our mouths, tasteless, too. 

The broth was good, though. I froze the broth and gave the carcasses to the dogs. 

Today, we dispatched the egg-eating hen (what a disgusting process). She just so happens to be the mother of the chickens we killed last summer, so she is even older and, I suspect,  even tougher. But this time, I have a tool I didn't have before: a pressure cooker. 

Basically, I'm just making stock. Mexican style chicken stock: one chicken, one onion, two or three cloves of garlic, three allspice berries, three cloves, a stick of cinnamon, a teaspoon of cumin, black peppercorns, and plenty of salt. But I'm pressurizing it on 15-20 pounds for an hour.

THEN we'll see if that chicken is still tough!


Carolyn Evans-Dean said...

Good Luck and let us know how it turns out. I might need to buy a pressure cooker. (Actually, I don't NEED to buy any more appliances...but one more won't hurt, right?)

Aimee said...

Pressure cookers are great for canning and cooking beans fast.

ChristyACB said...

I do love a pressure cooker and would be surprised if even the oldest and toughest rooster didn't turn tender in one.

What is great about them is that a whole chicken cooked in one can be just smooshed up into dog food because even the bones crumble and aren't dangerous. Gives the extra minerals to the dogs too.

Seriously, old chicken is tough like tires, isn't it?

Ruth Trowbridge said...

all chickens who have lived through the winter are tough - do them in in the fall - don't use a pressure canner on a glass stove top, i did not know this before - broth is the only thing to do with an old chicken if you don't have a pressure cooker - peace for all