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Author Topic: Plucking and Dressing a Chicken for Cooking - with pictures  (Read 22658 times)

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Bodger

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I broke the neck of this Light Sussex cockerel this morning. Using baler twine I then suspended it from the beam of one of our outbuildings and commenced plucking it.



I took it nice and steady, so as not to risk ripping the skin.





It didn't take too long to make some visible signs of progress. The tail feathers were pretty easy.





Its looking a bit more like a chicken you'd buy from the supermarket now.





The last job I did outside, was to remove the head and the very ends of the wings.





Into the house now.





 I made an incision vertically up the vent so that I can get my hand into the body cavity. I then pull the intestine and body organs out. I run cold water through the chicken to clean it.





I cut the neck from the chicken and retain it along with the gizzard and heart to make the gravy.





I prepare the gizzard by cutting it open and removing the grit and food stuff. I also pull the lining away from the gizzard and discard it.





It was tricky taking the photographs because I was on my own,but I have a few more chickens to despatch. If there are any steps that you are not sure about and I should be able to go over it again.


richyrich7

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Plucking and Dressing a Chicken for Cooking - with pictures
« Reply #1 on: October 02, 2008, 20:21 »
Great Bodger, do you pluck against the direction of feather lay or with ?
He who asks is a fool for five minutes, but he who does not ask remains a fool forever.

Bodger

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Plucking and Dressing a Chicken for Cooking - with pictures
« Reply #2 on: October 02, 2008, 20:46 »
I always pluck against the grain Rich :D

richyrich7

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Plucking and Dressing a Chicken for Cooking - with pictures
« Reply #3 on: October 02, 2008, 20:49 »
Cheers planning on growing my own next year if I can squeeze them in, difficult to turn a 70' back garden into a smallholding  :lol:

Kate and her Ducks

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Plucking and Dressing a Chicken for Cooking - with pictures
« Reply #4 on: October 02, 2008, 21:43 »
Thank you for a fab thread. I feel much better prepared for the next time. :roll:  The one thing I found hard to do the first time from line drawings in cook books was the preparation in terms of gutting, separation the neck etc.

The first time I was presented with an unprepared bird (plucked at least!) Two of us spent about 5 minutes looking at this bird trying to work out where to start! To say that we butchered it would imply it didn't look like we had set a pit bull on it! :oops:   Any butcher would be ashamed.










To be fair this was some time before I ever got my birds. :oops:  :oops:  :oops:
Be like a duck. Calm on the surface but always paddling like the dickens underneath.

agapanthus

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Plucking and Dressing a Chicken for Cooking - with pictures
« Reply #5 on: October 02, 2008, 21:52 »
Do you not keep the liver Bodge?

Bodger

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Plucking and Dressing a Chicken for Cooking - with pictures
« Reply #6 on: October 02, 2008, 22:43 »
I've got someone whose asked me for some today.

SnooziSuzi

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Plucking and Dressing a Chicken for Cooking - with pictures
« Reply #7 on: October 02, 2008, 23:09 »
Thanks for posting this thread Bodger.  Can't wait to do mine for Christmas and this will really help.

Do you need any special tools to cut the neck / legs etc?

Bodger

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Plucking and Dressing a Chicken for Cooking - with pictures
« Reply #8 on: October 02, 2008, 23:16 »
I can never spell this correctly but I use garden seceteurs.

Foxy

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Plucking and Dressing a Chicken for Cooking - with pictures
« Reply #9 on: October 03, 2008, 12:22 »
Really useful as I will be doing my own birds soon -a daft question though when birds are slaughtered is it best to hang them first or can you just ,prepare and roast?

Bodger

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Plucking and Dressing a Chicken for Cooking - with pictures
« Reply #10 on: October 03, 2008, 12:45 »
Whether its tradition or whether it has any practical reasoning behind it, I don't know but you are supposed to let all meat cool down before cooking it.
Theres no need to hang chicken once you have plucked and or gutsed it. Just somewhere cool and out of the way of flies.
After killing a chicken, its best to hang it up in the manner that I've shown so that gravity takes the blood out of the body, so that it pools in the head area. This does not take very long.

Gwiz

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Plucking and Dressing a Chicken for Cooking - with pictures
« Reply #11 on: October 03, 2008, 19:23 »
great thread, Bodger. I will be helping a friend "deal" with some birds next january, I feel better prepared now! :D

agapanthus

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Plucking and Dressing a Chicken for Cooking - with pictures
« Reply #12 on: October 03, 2008, 22:38 »
Quote from: "Bodger"
I've got someone whose asked me for some today.


Ahh!!

drdave

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Plucking and Dressing a Chicken for Cooking - with pictures
« Reply #13 on: October 23, 2008, 10:54 »
thanks a lot for this. One of the nurses at work has promised me a brace each of partridge and pheasants. Is the process essentially the same with game birds? When you make an incision in the vent do you cut out the anus or just make a slit? I am not squeamish but I havent done it before. Seems a bit like a laparotomy though!

Bodger

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Plucking and Dressing a Chicken for Cooking - with pictures
« Reply #14 on: October 23, 2008, 13:16 »
Just a split Dave, you obviously wont have as much room to manouvre. I don't know whether I can say this, but its a two finger job :D

The skin on a pheasant is far more tender than on a chicken and it splits far more easily. Infact, I sometimes skin the bird entirely, especially if its been heavily damaged from being shot. This takes a matter of seconds rather than minutes as well. :D

 


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