|The cones for containing and draining |
poultry after decapitation
Killing and dressing chooks is actually a fairly quick process. We have metal cones set up near the chopping block in which we put the birds to drain of blood once the the deed is done. This also prevents the headless chook from running around the yard and getting bruised.
|Three of the six roosters dressed |
and ready for the pot
Once bled we scald them in very hot water (about 65˚C) for a few seconds. This contracts the skin and allows the feathers to be plucked out very easily. It is then a matter of making a couple of incisions at the back end of the bird and gently pulling out the innards, removing the crop at the front then washing and refrigerating it. With Rossco plucking and me gutting, the whole process takes about 10-15 minutes per bird.
We try not to waste much. I make pate with the livers, and stock using the hearts, gizzards (when cooked the gizzard is similar to sheep's tongue in both texture and flavour) and feet. Before they can be cooked the feet must be dipped in hot water and the outer skin and nails removed. This renders them very clean.
|Crispy chicken feet|
After the last post on pigs' heads you probably think I'm on a crusade to get everyone eating all the bits of animals usually wasted. Although it would be great if we wasted less of the animals we kill this isn't my intention at all. I just thought it might be interesting for people to know that you can eat these things and that they are actually delicious when properly prepared.