Sunday, June 3, 2012

5 Down

So I did actually get 5 of the meat birds butchered today. I started out at 6:00 a.m. and got up and got the fire started under the pot of scalding water (yes that is the drum from a washing machine).
I then set out everything that I thought I would need. Knives, towels, pot of ice water to put the meat in, pot of water to wash my hands in, cutting board, and my coffee, of course. Before I was done I had to get another pot of ice water because they all didn't fit in that one but I had containers of ice I had frozen in bowls over night so there was still enough.
Normally I hang them from the clothesline and slit the throats but it is a hassle to get them strung up there (I SO want a killing cone!) so today I didn't bother, I just slit the throat on the ground and then held them up for the blood to drain. When they finished flapping they were scalded and then plucked.
This is just part way through the plucking but I don't completely pluck them anyway. I pluck the legs, thighs and wings good but I skin the breasts and back so no need to completely pluck them.
I then gut them and cut them up, skin the breast,


  then cut them off, the rest of the carcass is skinned and then put in the pressure cooker to cook the meat off, some of which I made chicken salad with, the rest of the carcass chicken will have to go in the freezer until I need it.
 And, of course, there is the stock. Five quarts.

The legs, thighs, wings, breast meat, hearts, gizzards and livers are all in the frig cooling until tomorrow when they will be re-bagged (probably vacuum sealed) and put in one of the freezers.

14 comments:

  1. For our kill cone we just use a normal Traffic Cone with the small end cut out a little bigger. Works like a charm.

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    1. Yup, I have heard of that before. I don't have a traffic cone either, lol.

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  2. Replies
    1. Thanks! It was a whole lot of work...

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  3. Nice job! I've never butchered a chicken before. My mother always did it and I did not watch!

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  4. Makes a lot of sense to do a few at a time doesn't it!
    I've done my own chook once and it was a lot of work. But sounds like you've got the knack of it!
    Enjoy!

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    1. Well, it is all I can fit in the frig and freezer at one time anyway.

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  5. I'm with Robin. We didn't have chickens, but we had ducks, geese and turkeys when I was growing up. My mom and dad butchered them and I never participated. Though I don't remember, I was probably pretty happy that I wasn't made to pluck them. I so hated to do any manual labor as a child. Though I did like to cook. And picking the strawberries was always fun since I could eat them as I picked.

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    1. When we were kids we always had to participate. If there was work you just did it whether you liked it or not.

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  6. Looks like a big job but well done, it must be so satisfying to have it all done now though, meat in the freezer, stock in the cans, just brilliant :)

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    1. Well, the meat is in the frig resting until tonight when I will bag it up and get it in the freezer. But the stock is on the shelves and the chicken salad tastes wonderful as always.

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  7. My dad used to kill the chickens when I was growing up. Often he would break their necks, other times he would use the ax to cut the heads off. i couldn't watch though. I'm impressed that you manage it. i did pluck them though, not the most pleasant job in the world....ah well at least they taste good.

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    1. Yeah, we never had to kill them when we were kids, just pluck them. My mother always did the gutting.

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  8. If we hung our chickens on the clothes line, it'd probably break my clothesline...LOL! We have a killing cone and even that doesn't completely restrain them. We've had roosters struggle out of them and bleed all the way down the hill until they die from blood loss. Ick.

    I'd love to get a plucking machine one of these days since I like to eat the skin. Right now, we just get our kids to do the plucking. :)

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