Friday, October 12, 2012

Rooster culling

I took seven of the roosters to the processor last weekend.  They were quite a bit easier to catch that I was afraid they would be.  Of course, I just sneaked into the coops at 7AM and grabbed them and stuck them in the dog crate, so maybe that was cheating.  I'll have to learn to process them myself eventually, but we had guests last weekend and there was just no way I could manage that, too.  Anyway, I got them back and parted them out (breasts, drumsticks/thighs, wings, and everything else).  The "everything else" category got tossed into the pot and I made 5 quarts of chicken stock, now in the fridge (I couldn't can it because the pressure canner wasn't cooperating - I'll use it up too fast for it to matter anyway).  So this week we had Chinese chicken wings - which were yummy, and pesto and Parmesan chicken breasts, which are a favorite of the kids.  The Pirate was rather upset about the demise of Paprikash the Rooster, and didn't want to eat any of the chicken, but did anyway and admitted it was good.  We had a  bit of a discussion about how mommy's ten years as a vegetarian are not an example she should follow.  We also had Chicken thighs cooked in the crockpot with a jar of Curried Apple Chutney that didn't seal.  That's one of my favorites.  I still have a bag of breasts and a bag of drumsticks/thighs left.  The breasts are frozen in the marinade for Honey-Pecan Chicken, which El Jefe really likes.

I admit that I miss having the roosters around.  We still have five, but they are nowhere near as noisy as twelve.  And I particularly miss Frick (-asee) and Frack, the two buff rock roosters, because they were pretty, and funny to watch, since they always hung out together.  Also, the big blue Andalusian (black color phase) was just gorgeous in the sun (all iridescent blues and purples).   He was never friendly, but he sure was beautiful.  Yes, I am apparently a complete sap.  I'm still enjoying eating them all, however.  They taste oddly like pheasant, and nothing like storebought chicken.  I don't know if that is the free-range effect, or just the fact that none of them were Frankenchicken crosses bred solely for their meat.  Or maybe it was just that they were 18 weeks old at processing instead of 8, I have no idea.  They just taste better.

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