In this article, you will be given a step by step guide on how to dress your chicken at home, it may seem difficult at first, but with continued practice, you will be on your way to perfection.
Homegrown chickens taste much better than the additive-packed, cage-reared, factory birds sold in the supermarkets. And that’s one reason so many people start growing their own backyard flock of eggs and poultry meat.
This is one of the reasons you are faced with the unfamiliar and somewhat frightening task of dressing up some of these backyard birds for the first time.
You have to remember that if you took up raising your own chickens to free yourself from weak, additive-laden, preservative-packed and water-injected meat found in the supermarket, then sooner or later you will have to take on the task of choosing your own poultry birds, plucking it and learning how to dress your chicken, and finally cooking it by yourself.
How to dress your chicken; the basics
- Your first task is to inspect your flock and pick out the bird you want to butcher.
- Inspect the chickens which you catch carefully, and so make sure the young birds you butcher, and dress is well feathered out, otherwise, they could be difficult to pick.
- When every bird or group of birds is selected for the table, you can either cage them for later slaughter or kill them there. There are many ways to do this but in this post we will major on the “axis and chopping block” method
- This is very simple and straightforward, and the block can be any chunk of firewood, as long as it is solid, and squared off at both ends so it won’t tip over and cause you to hurt yourself or mutilate a chicken the moment you wield your axis or hatchet.
- Hold the tips of the wings of each bird in order to give you more control, right along with their feet in one hand as you position the head of the chicken, and ensure that its neck is well stretched out on the block.
- With a sharp axis or hatchet, all you should have to do is cut the head of the bird.
- Continue holding down the chicken with its back, so it can bleed well. If you have any fruit trees around, the blood can fall around the bases of trees so that it will both serve as a good fertilizer.
- If you need to, during this bleeding cycle, catch both the bird’s wings and feet to prevent it from flopping around and spraying blood around or on you.
- Once the chicken is bleeding, carry it directly to a waiting pile of old newspapers, a sharp paring knife, a boiling water bucket, and a pan of cold water, before it has a chance to stiffen, in order to prepare it for scalding, to pick, and to wash.
- Although experts recommend that young birds be scalded in 150 to 160 degrees Fahrenheit water for only a few seconds and that older birds be dipped in water heated to 180 degrees or 190 degrees slightly longer.
- Experience will soon teach you that temperature and dipping times are not as critical as these experts would have you believe. Also, you will begin to notice with time that, if your water is too cold and/or you don’t drop a chicken into it long enough, the bird’s going to be hard to pick.
- So if the water is too hot and/or the poultry is too long in it, the feathers may almost fall away on their own, but each plucked of the bird’s skin may get discolored and may even split in many places.
- But, no matter how badly you scald your first few chickens and pick them, they will still be edible. Keep doing them and you will perfect the act with time.
- You don’t really need to use a thermometer, either. All you have to do is to just remove the boiling water from the fire, quickly dip a chicken in; if it’s young and a little slower, and if it’s older, re-dip the really tough birds as needed, then place each scalded bird on the pile of newspapers and allow it steam for a couple of seconds or minutes.
- Then, as soon as the wing feathers easily pull out, know that it’s time to go to work.
- Catch a scalded and steamed bird’s body in one hand, and one of its legs in the top of the thigh in the other, then pull down the second hand towards the foot of the leg.
- And, in one operation, most of the feathers will slip straight off the leg. Repeat this on the other leg, both of the wings and the neck too. If the chicken was properly scalded and had not too many pinfeathers, the handful can then pull out most of the body feathers.
- Work faster and you’ll soon have the knack of stripping the feathers so quickly and easily from a chicken that people will begin to think the fowl has picked itself.
- Now that all the pinfeathers are out, you will be able to strip away the fine hairs on the chicken that is still on.
- If you have a wood-burning cookstove, you can remove one of the lids of the oven, fire a wadded part of the newspaper down the head, and light the paper, and sing out the rest of the feathers on the chicken over the flame.
- Remove the chicken feet by bending back each foot, and cutting through the joint. Some people like to skin the feet for soup or add flavor to the broth. Others simply throw their unskinned feet at the dogs, you can choose to do any.
- However, if the chicken is to be cut up, you might find it easier to cut off the legs at this point.
- Pull each apart from the body and cut with a sharp knife between the body and the leg, right down to the joint. The joint should separate as you then bend the drumstick and thigh further out of the body, and you should be able to cut the leg completely away.
- Wings may be extracted in the same way, either now or after the bird has been destemmed. Rinse off each piece of meat that has been cut and dump it into your cold water tub.
- Slit the skin from the end of the breastbone all the way to the vent, to avoid the entrails of the chicken.
- You can insert your fingers into the opening behind the knife blade to help prevent accidental puncturing of the bird’s intestines as you make this cut if you like.
- You may also want to make a second incision across the belly of the chicken just below the breastbone to simplify the removal of the entrails, and this cut can be made right down to the backbone. Also, make sure your first cut continues around the ventilation as well.
- Now insert a hand into your opening and work your fingers around the intestines so that you loosen them out of the cavity. Now is also the time to find the tube that leads up to the neck, in order to cut off as close to its upper end as possible.
- And, yes, that’s the messiest part of the entire work, but it’ll be over soon.)
- If the neck loop is cut all the innards of the bird will slip right out of the cavity of the body. Do not forget to locate the greenish gall sac in the liver, and cut it off without spilling its bitter substance on any of the meat you’d like to save.
- Then, cut off the heart, liver, and gizzard at this point. Cut into the gizzard before you enter its lining and remove the lining from the contents of the heart. Put the clean gizzard, and liver, in your cold water bath.
- Now make an incision in the neck just above the breastbone and find that two tubes that lead to the crop and the lungs. Run your fingers around the craw and cut the crop carefully, without damaging it.
- When the bird’s body is cut apart, the lungs may be taken out. Or, if the body is left entire, you can reach into the body’s lower opening and run your fingers under the lungs to remove it.
- Ultimately remove the oil sac above the tail by cutting it down, and around. Clean away all the meat that you saved. If you want to bake the chicken or roast it, you can put it in the whole oven.
- If it is to be fried or prepared in a different way that requires individual pieces, cut what remains … And now, you’re done.
When the bird is brought to the table in the form of a tasty sauce, the stressing aspect of preparing the chicken is usually quickly forgotten. The steps and guidelines illustrated here on how to properly dress your chicken is a cool way to getting you started on dressing your first chicken.
Where to buy Chickens in Akwa Ibom State
Since chicken is the only meat that has no negative health conditions, you can always use it to prepare any local and continental dishes of your choice. In Akwa Ibom State of Nigeria, you can buy chickens from sofreshchikens.
Uyo, The Akwa Ibom State capital:
Number 215 Udo Umana Street opposite Akpan Andem Market, Uyo
Oron, Akwa Ibom State:
Number 27 Market Square by Aba Street, Oron, Akwa Ibom State
Eket, Akwa Ibom State:
3 park road, opposite Chinese market, Eket.