Thursday, October 25, 2012

Meat Week - Cornish Cross Meat Birds

First of all, I'd like to thank whichever blogger buddy of mine (OFG, possibly??) coined the term "Creepy Meats", as I now use it almost exclusively.

And the term is very fitting.  Those cute little white fuzzballs rapidly turn into eating, crapping, increasing-in-size-before-your-very-eyes vicious blobs of meat.  Well, maybe not exactly vicious, but definitely very food aggressive.  I hate going into the Creepy Meat's kennel.  Every morning they come at me like crazy-insane I'd-peck-your-eye-out-if-only-I-could-flap-my-feathered-mass-up-to-your-head avian monsters.  As if they haven't had food in weeks.  And they get fed mass quantities of commercial chicken feed, grain mixes, fresh vegetable scraps and even raw meat.  Two, sometimes three times a day.

And they really do grow that fast.  In just eight weeks, you can have a dressed-out chicken weighing in at four, even five pounds (a bit longer).  Oh, and a lot of smelly poop.  Which is why we put them outdoors as soon as they are feathered out and no longer require supplemental heating.  The live the rest of their existence in a large chain link dog kennel or our homemade chicken tractor.  When the area underneath their living quarters get too sloppy, the house is moved to a new spot.  This also gives them something fresh and green to eat (and crap on) and spreads the fresh fertilizer around a bit.

The first two years we got fifty chicks in the spring and butchered in early summer.  One of those first years the summer was dreadfully hot right around butchering time and we had one keel over from heat exhaustion.  And even though we butchered in the early morning, it was really still too warm to do so.

So the past three years we've raised the Creepy Meats in the fall for butchering the first week or so of November.  This timing not only makes for much cooler butchering weather, but it also provides a rare opportunity for us to get a bunch of free food for the chickens.  The volunteer fire department that Paul and I are members of have an annual Pork Roast the first week of every October.  And when it comes time to pulling all the fat and gristle off those pork butts to get ready for the hungry masses, we put the scraps in heavy duty garbage bags and take all that pork-goodness home for the meat birds (ok, some goes to the dog & cats).  They go through about fifty pounds of smoked pork scraps in a week.  And this year they also got the scraps from butchering the deer.  Got to love free chicken feed!

If you're really interested in our chicken processing efforts, click HERE for last year's batch as this year's Creepy Meats still have another week or so until it's "time".  Normally we just put the whole processed chicken in plastic wrap and stuff them into the freezer but since freezer space is at a premium this year I may end up quartering them, canning the breast meat and then freezing the legs, thighs and wings.

Oh, and does anybody have a totally foolproof recipe for fried chicken?  I tried making it last year and it was, well, edible, but not fried chicken'y like at all.  It just drives me completely bonkers that I can't make fried chicken.


  1. The last time I made fried chicken legs, everyone said they would rather have KFC, so I'm in your same boat. I hope someone has some good advise for you ☺

  2. I use Panko bread crumbs..... I dredge in seasoned flour, then egg, then into the panko.... Turns out great every time. Hope that helps.

  3. My grandmother made the best - but held onto her recipe as if it was the holy bleeding grail. So it went with her. I've tried to replicate it but have not been successful. I think it had something to do with buttermilk - she soaked the chicken in seasoned buttermilk first. I'll be interested to see what the commenters come up with, too.

  4. I don't fry my "fried" chicken. I bake it and we love it. So I do as Yart (above) does and then put in a deep pan, and bake it at 375. Anyway, it is not greasy, it is crisp and moist. Try it, much easier and you don't have to devote time standing over it cooking on the stove top.

  5. I haven't come across a good fried chicken recipe, if you do....please share. A friend of mine stated, if you place your chicken in some butter milk and leave it sit overnight, it makes for a real moist chicken when you fry it up.

    "Creepy Meats", good choice of words.

  6. I have heard that buttermilk is the secret too. I hope you cook up some good fried chicken this year!

  7. I make a wonderful southern spicy fried chicken. Here's a link, and everybody who's had it loves it :)

    Sorry some of the photos are gone, but it's easy...

  8. THAT is one of the funniest captions ever...Thanks for the laugh!

  9. I fry chicken the really old-fashioned country way. I know dipping in buttermilk is good or even soaking it overnight (especially for 'store' chicken) but I am too stingy to waste that buttermilk.

    Mom's Way Fried Chicken

    Cut up fryer. Rinse pieces and let drip dry; I want them moist so the flour will stick. Roll in flour.

    Have an inch or so of oil in skillet; I like using an electric skillet for this. Heat oil to very hot and lay in chicken pieces. Then I shake salt and black pepper over the tops. Brown that side and then turn pieces until each is salted and peppered on the back sides and they are golden brown all over.

    I cover with lid and cook until very tender, almost an hour. The last few minutes remove the lid and crisp up pieces.
    Drain on paper towels.

    Hint: you can add salt and pepper to flour but I usually don't.

    There you go.

  10. I call them creepy meet too! I think it was OFG were I got my insperation from. Lol. I have no good recipe for chicken sorry.