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From Egg to Soup Pot

July 10, 2010
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If you hatch your own chicks rather than purchase already sexed female chicks, one of the “by-products” will be roosters.  We can’t keep roosters in the city and even if we could, we wouldn’t need more than one for our small flock.  We had always planned to process and eat our cockerels, but when they started crowing a few weeks before I anticipated they would, we had to whisk them away to a friend’s farm until we could process them.  We planned to take a whole Saturday and do the deed ourselves, but by lucky chance, we were able to slip our six cockerels into a huge batch that our friends were having professionally processed.  I anticipate we will still need to learn to do it ourselves in the future when we hatch more eggs to replace aging hens and possibly to process even the aging hens, but for now, this worked out well for us.

We have Australorp and Australorp/Easter Egger crosses, which are not meat breeds, but egg-laying breeds.  Our processed 18 weeks old cockerels came in around 2 3/4 pounds each, which is not large, but was actually larger than I was expecting.  I was expecting their meat to be stringy, and it was a bit, but not exceptionally so.  I cooked two of them into a soup and reserved some meat for a stir-fry.  The chicken soup that I made was the most delicious chicken soup that I’ve ever tasted.  I described it to my family as tasting more chicken-y than chicken soup and it’s true.  The flavor was chicken squared.  The meat required far longer cooking time than a typical broiler, but it was very worth it.  I used the necks and feet to make a fantastic stock, which gelled impressively when refrigerated.

This one with the rust-colored feathers was one of our roosters. Clearly, from his facial tufting, he was one of the Easter Egger crosses.

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One Comment leave one →
  1. Jana permalink
    July 11, 2010 9:08 am

    The chicken pot pie I made with our rooster was so amazingly flavorful. I have lots of stock left over from it and can’t wait to do something really special with it.

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