I had heard about the problems sometimes associated with Cornish X chickens, mostly tied to their phenomenal growth rate and associated weight gain. So it was sad, but not shocking, when one of my 30 Cornish developed a leg problem at 7 weeks.
Now, these chickens have an appointment at Northern Quality Meats in a week and a half. But I am raising a year's worth of chicken myself for several reasons, one of which is to ensure my food is humanely raised, so I wasn't about to let this poor hen suffer. So I called Sigrid, my friend, kindred spirit and general animal management mentor, and asked her if she would teach me to clean a chicken if I brought it over. She said sure, so I brought two chickens over, so I could follow along with my own bird - we learn best by doing after all - and left her the second one for her trouble.
Unfortunately, since both of us were up to our elbows in chicken, I don't have a photo record. I will detail what I have learned another time. But what I have been leading up to - and what you tuned in to find out - is, how did the damn thing taste?
As you can see below, we rubbed the skin with seasoned salt and roasted the bird on the barbecue on a stand that is made for what we used to call "beer-butt" chicken because we stood the chicken on a beer can. The stand, however, does the beer can one better by catching all of the lovely drippings in the bottom. If you drop some cubed potato or chunks of onion in there while the chicken cooks (that's onion in the picture), you will be left with something mouthwatering indeed.
Today for lunch, there was the moistest chicken salad ever. And then tonight, best of all, fresh chicken soup. Remember those drippings that got caught in the stand on the barbecue? Into the soup they went.
Oh. My. Good. God.
Oh, and this seven week-old hen weighed 6 pounds even. That's dressed, not live weight. And there are much bigger birds to come.
For those who are interested, I will post a breakdown of final costs and yield per bird once they go to be processed.
That's it for now. I am off to write my first chicken review: http://bit.ly/9wuGDH