Monday, February 10, 2014

Egg eating rooster

I had three young roosters that were hatched out here mid-summer.  I haven't had much luck with what hatches here, because they seem to be about seventy-five percent roosters, not good when you have chickens so that you can get eggs!

I have this problem with butchering my chickens, as in "I have never butchered one of them."  They get taken by the wild animals, a couple of them have gotten sick or died from old age, but that's it.  Kim has urged me to butcher the young roosters, although by now they are too old to use as fryers.  They have to be under three months to go in the frying pan, or so he said.

I let him take three young roosters.  One of them had been eating eggs, so he definitely had to go.  Kim was not allowed to touch Buster, Tiny or Ricky Ricardo.  They are all too, too old anyway.

Kim said the meat was very dark, and I should get chickens with white feathers, because the meat is lighter and more appealing to people.  Well, these are for me, so I didn't really care.  I put two of them in the freezer and took the other one to the house.

Contrary to what Kim said (I am pretty adventurous in the kitchen), I decided to give the whole breast a go in one of my favorite recipes.  It's based on a recipe from MOMMYTO2BOYS on with some slight modifications.  If you want to look it up, search on Chicken Breasts in Caper Cream Sauce.  Mine is adapted for one whole large bone-in breast, from an older bird.  The cooking method has to change a bit to keep the finished product tender.  So here goes.

Mix 1 tsp. each lemon pepper, salt, dried dill weed and garlic powder until well blended.  Dredge a large whole chicken breast, bone in, in the mixture and sauté in 2 tbsp. of butter.  Do not overcook.  Just cook until the last of the pink is gone.  In fact, if there is a tiny bit of pink left, that is all the better, as you are going to set the sautéed breast in a 200º oven while you finish the sauce.  It will continue to cook a bit.  In the same sauté pan, scrape up the browned bits and add a cup of heavy cream to the pan.  Over medium heat, reduce the cream by about half, stirring often.  I like to keep simmering until it forms a nice brown sauce.  Then add 2 tbsp. of capers, drained.  Remove the chicken breast from the oven and cut away from the bone.  You will have two nice pieces of breast meat.  Now slice each half across the grain into several thin slices and lay the slices back into the pan of sauce.  If you see any pink, make sure those get into the sauce first, and give them a minute or so to cook through completely.  The trick for getting juicy and tender meat, even from an older bird, is not to overcook.

Place the cooked breast slices on each of two plates and top with sauce.  I love cabbage sautéed in coconut oil for a side dish.  It is a great and tasty low carb meal.

So what did I do with the rest of the bird?  Well, those dark farm raised birds make a magnificent and tasty broth.  No need to add any canned stock.  I used the broth for vegetable soup, with a few pieces of drumstick meat floating in the broth.  Yum!  Then I took the remaining meat off the bone, chopped it fine, added finely chopped onion, dill pickle and yellow peppers, topped it all with a generous amount of real mayonnaise and served it on flax meal bread - also very low carb, and very tasty indeed!

I have enough of the chicken salad for at least two more meals.  That rooster served me well!  Let me know if you try the recipe, and how it turns out for you.  Bon appétit.

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