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.
Wednesday, April 22, 2009
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!