How to Butcher and Process Chicken
I talked before about raising chickens and about harvesting chickens but now it’s time to talk to you about how to butcher and process chicken. We were recently a little overrun with roosters and it was time to get them put into the freezer and the pantry.
My husband went out (after getting a little fed up with the roosters who thought they owned the place) and harvested 41 of them. I normally join him, but I was in the process of finishing up some other canning at the time. Once he got about a dozen down and in an ice chest, he brought them in to me and it was time for me to get going…and going…and going!
Prep Work is Important
The actual butchering process is not hard at all, just a little time consuming. I have a specific process. Once I get the sinks and counters bleached, I throw several birds into a sink of cold water and start rinsing and cleaning one by one. They tend to end up with lots of little feather pieces stuck everywhere…that’s literally the worst part it–picking all of those little suckers off!
Cutting the birds up is not hard. Everyone has their own way of doing it, but I’ll show you mine. The video shows just how simple it is. I don’t really do anything with the wings, so my husband chops them off when he cleans them to assist in the skinning. I take the breasts and tenderloins as well as the legs and thighs. However, the rest doesn’t go to waste. I freeze the carcasses for later use in making chicken broth.
As I am rinsing and cutting up the birds, I separate the pieces into large bowls of cold water to be processed when I finally get through cutting! (41 is a lot to do at one time!) The breasts can be frozen now for later cooking and that’s what I did at first in order to free up some space for the rest of the processing.
After the Butcher and Process Part of the Program, it’s time to Cook and Can!
The quickest way to process the legs and thighs — and my go-to — is canning them, bone in. I always have canned chicken in my pantry for easy meal preparation. Canning meat of any kind kind of scares some people but I’m here to tell you that it is safe and simple! Check out the short video with my tips.
Along with handling the butcher and process portion of the chicken culling, I spent a solid week cooking. My freezers and pantries are now pretty full with easy to make meals. Those recipes will be upcoming shortly!
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