We kept two roosters for our 20 hens. We have had this ratio many times before when the roosters have been raised together. Usually there is a dominant rooster and a secondary and they get along most of the time. Not this time. There is just too much ruckus in the chicken house so one of them had to go. We really liked both of them, so we debated for a few days who got to stay and who would turn into chicken stock.
They are both big, strong, beautiful birds. The one on the left is a little taller, but the one on the right has a bigger fuller chest, thus more meat. We went back and forth for several weeks, trying to decide, then changing our minds again. The final kicker was when the one on the left decided to fly up on the fence of the chicken yard. Not a behavior we want to get started. So this one is destined for the pot.
I gathered the tools I would need for butchering and got everything ready. The only problem was, that rooster was not the least bit interested in being caught. So on to plan B, which involved a couple of 22 shells. Even after that he refused to die, so we ended up using the ax to chop of his head.
After I got him dressed and cleaned up, I cut up the carcass and started the broth.
I added a tablespoon of salt and a splash of cider vinegar to help tenderize the meat a little. We expect the meat to be tough since this bird is seven months old.
We simmered the bird in the pot all afternoon - for about six or seven hours. Then we chilled everything, as is, overnight. The next morning, we put it back on to simmer for a while longer.
While we were out doing chores and picking more pears (I know, more pears??), we turned it off to let it cool. Then I took the bones out and semi strained it.
Now it's ready to be pressure canned. So I heated it back up, set up the canner and started heating the water in it, started heating the water for the jars, rings and lids, then got out the usual equipment needed to pack jars - funnel, magnet stick for the jar lids, jar lifter, ladle and vinegar to wipe the jars with before we put on the lids. Since there is fat in the stock, I made sure to wipe the rims of the jars with vinegar so they will seal. Since I didn't filter out all of the last bits of chicken or chill the broth to remove the
fat, I will can this stock the same way I would meat - 10 lbs. pressure
for 90 minutes.
We ended up with 8 pints of great broth from this old rooster and a bowl full of rather tough meat. We will grind it up and try out a few different meals. I'll let you know how it turns out.
Keep cluckin' along. Learn something everyday. Laugh. Love your family. Enjoy the blessings God pours out upon you each and every day, for they are many.
Until next time - Fern