So, remember all of our roosters? They were still in my freezer from when we had them butchered. And with all of our meat that we were processing, it was high time that I learned how to cook them.
Roosters are a very different meat from the broilers that you would get in the store. First, they have very thin breasts and lots of dark meat. Dark meat is a fast twitch tissue, so it's normally found in the wings, thighs and legs. I am personally not a huge fan of dark meat. Nor am I a big fan of eating meat off the bone or deboning chicken. I can slaughter a chicken no problem...but when it comes time to shred the meat off the bones...yuck! That's Jon's job now, he can eat as much as he wants as long as he gets all the meat off. Don't we make a good couple?
My first time cooking a rooster, I tried the crock pot. Fail....even after leaving it on all day on high. The dark meat was still very stringy and the bird did not fall apart at all. Next, I tried in my dutch oven...fail...exact same thing. So, then I got to googling. And I really couldn't find anything on how to cook this dang birds!
Finally I got a flash of genius! Pressure cooking! I had bought a pressure cooker/canner with my birthday money last year (yup...I am truly geeky, I also bought other canning supplies as well as books on canning and cheesemaking). My original intent was to pressure can black beans and pinto beans, because I never remembered to set out beans the night before and I was trying to avoid BPA in canned goods. Eden Organic foods is great company that has already taken the step of taking out BPA in all of their canned goods. I try to stock up on Eden canned goods when they are on sale because they are a little bit more expensive. So worth it though!
This was my set up. I pressured cooked 13 birds in about a day and a half. And boy was I sick of shredding chicken! Pressure cooking actually worked really well. Especially as the day went on, because I didn't drain the liquid from the canner each time so more and more good broth was helping to cook the roosters faster. I was a little nervous as this was my first time pressure cooking and I really didn't want to cause an explosion. I just carefully read the instructions and went for it! I did pressure cook them for 15 minutes instead of the recommended 10 since some of my birds were still slightly frozen. I packed the meat into quart sized freezer bags and now I have 13 bags of ready to cook chicken. Now THAT is the ultimate convenience food! Healthy and ready to go!