Saturday, March 5, 2011

Much more than soup

Yep, I did it.  I did him in.
But it wasn’t as gratifying as I had originally though it would be.  Yes, he was a jerk.  Yes, he pecked me so hard it broke the skin.  Yes, he ran the hens ragged.  But as I hung him up to bring his little scrawny chicken life to an end, the utter contempt I felt for him earlier just wasn’t there.  I grabbed his head, pulled it down and made the cut; swift, clean and without incident.  Well, I suppose it was a pretty big incident for the rooster. 
Don’t get me wrong, I haven’t gone all soft.  I will continue growing & caring for livestock for the sole purpose of having them end up on my family’s dinner plate.  But I can also admit that I don’t necessarily enjoy taking the life of an animal, no matter how much of a jerk he was. 
Ok, enough of that.  Did I forget to mention that he made one heak of a soup?
Being a rooster, and an older one at that, he wasn’t really fit for frying or even baking so I figured I’d just skin him & throw him in the pressure cooker as that’s what usually happens to old roosters around here.  But I ended up dry picking him in order to save the skin.  Yes, I know it’s full of fat & not healthy yadda-yadda-yadda, but darn it, chickens skin is just so darned good.
It took me longer to pluck him than I would have liked as I didn’t scald him beforehand (dunking the bird in a pot of almost-boiling water makes the feather-removing go much more quickly), but I took my time & eventually got the carcass into the house.  It definitely wasn’t the nicest looking bird.  I was mulling over how I was going to prepare our dinner when Paul suggested making some chicken soup.  Now why didn’t I think of that?  Perfect day for it as the weather has taken a turn for the colder and wasn’t going to warm up for several days.  Then we could enjoy homemade soup for a few days. 

So I cut the carcass up into a few pieces, tossed it in a pot, filled it with water & some chopped onion, celery, salt and a few bay leaves.

I placed the "icky" looking pieces (backpone, neck, feet) underneath the "supermarket looking" pieces so Mom & Christine don't get grossed out when they see this picture.

And this is what we got from one (jerk of a) rooster:
Like my Hillbilly Tupperware?

Three quarts of chicken stock (to be frozen), two 6 oz. containers of chicken for cat food, 12 oz. of chicken for our lunch tomorrow (chewy, but I’ll eat anything), numerous scraps thrown to Evil Kitty, Susan, Crackers & Moonshine, and about a pound of miscellaneous veggie / chicken pieces went into the Chicken Scrap Bucket.  The only thing that went into the garbage was the bones.  I would have put them into the compost heap but the dog would immediately dig them up.
We also had chicken soup for dinner tonight:
Two bowls for dinner tonight & two more left for lunch tomorrow.

Paul also made another batch of whole wheat sourdough bread this evening.  I think he's going through a sourdough phase.

I’ve never frozen a loaf of homemade bread before, so we’ll eat the round one (already sliced off several pieces, yum!) and I’ll freeze the other.

***OK people, tomorrow is the last day to enter in the "Fun & Prizes" post to win some Goat Milk soap.  Click"Here"  to enter.***


  1. Wow! It's amazing how the chicken parts look just like the packages in the Jewel! Great Job! (and thanks for not showing the butchering phase -yak!)

    And the bread looks yummy too. What about the onion-dill bread? That was always sooooo good with butter slathered on top :-)

  2. I found this interesting. I have never dispatched one like you did....I come from the old hatchet school.

    I haven't butchered a chicken in a very long time.

    We have some old layers that have served their purpose, but we keep feeding them. It is not smart I know.

  3. I've never killed a chicken (Don't own any) but I know what you mean about being "mad enough to do it" and yet respectful enough of the animal and it's "sacrifice" to use up every little bit. Good Job!

  4. Christine, and you know what else? It tastes just like CHICKEN (like the stuff at the Jewel).

    gld, we've never done the hatchet thing, I heard they run around afterwards & I like for my dead, flapping chicken to stay just where it hangs. Although I do admit, it might be "fun" to watch.

    tami, DH & I actually say a silent "thank you to the chicken-gods" every time we butcher. Corny, I know.

  5. You crack me UP! Just had to tell ya!