This internet tutorial tells (and shows) you how to skillfully butcher a chicken in ten easy steps. Your instructor is Herrick Kimball, inventor of the world famous Whizbang Chicken Plucker.
We learned from a conservative Mennonite family who used to butcher our chickens for us, to cut a horizontal slit in that hanging flap of skin and tuck the legs inside (if we're not planning to cut them up). It makes them look nice and they fit in the bag better too.
Hi Jo,Nice tip. Thanks for posting it!
We didn't eat the organs on the first batch of meat birds we processed. Then we learned about The Weston A. Price Foundation (www.westonaprice.org), they strongly advocate the nutirion in traditional diets which includes organ meats (such as chicken livers, hearts, and gizzards).When we slaughtered some old layers recently, we saved their livers. I would never eat a store-bought chicken liver, but I gladly ate ours with super high vitamin A and D content. Last night we slaughtered 9 of our meat birds (9 more this Saturday) and our friend helped us identify the heart and gizzard to showed us how to prepare it. He said that the gizzard is where all the vitamins are absorbed into the bird from the feed. I guess that the heart would have a high volume of iron.My wife was unsure about the livers, but she's a believer now. She's unsure about the hearts and gizzards, but if I like them, she'll give them a shot. I'll have some for lunch on Saturday. Apparently, some old-timers put fried chicken hearts on their scrambled eggs and said it tasted like sausage.I was hunting for some how-to info a year ago, but I couldn't find anything online. Thank you for posting this, my friends that are getting into home grown meat because of us will be a leg up from where we were. But you can't knock the value of experience.Thanks for your writing. Keep up the good work!
Let me first say that I think what you are doing is great. Teaching your children things that most kids these days never learn is exceptional. We would all be healthier if more people raised more of their own food and stopped buying factory grown meat.However, I have to say that I think it is wasteful and frankly disrespectful to the birds that you do not eat the hearts, livers and gizzards. Clearly you are not squeamish about doing it, otherwise you wouldn't be able to slaughter the birds in the first place. I don't want to put words in your mouth, but from what you have written it seems as though you simply feel that the organ meat is somehow a lower class of meat, something to be utilized when times are hard. The truth is that the organs of home raised chickens are highly nutritious and very tasty. You are frankly throwing gold away.If you or your family don't care for the flavor of the organs, then you should invest a little time and effort into learning how to prepare them correctly. My kids literally will fight me for my breaded and pan fried chicken livers. And my wife, who never willingly ate liver as a child, is quite fond of them too. At the very least the hearts and gizzards should be added to your stock pot. (Liver will make it bitter.) Chicken liver pate is also great at parties - ask your guest to guess what it is and you might be amazed how many people love it, including those who might nt have tried it if you told them up front what it was.I think the reason that so many people today are unfamiliar with and/or uncomfortable with eating organ meat is that they are so far separated from the butchering process. You are clearly not, so you ought to more fully embrace what you are doing. Plus it's another lesson for the kids - waste not, want not.Thanks for the website, and keep up the good work.
I just finished butchering two of our chickens using the information on your website and it helped a great deal. I've never seen anyone butcher a chicken, this was my first time, it went fairly smoothly. But I do have some concerns. After I opened up the back end of the bird I was confronted with a great deal of yellow fat that wrapped the organs and filled the cavity. Looking at your pictures I don't see nearly as much in your bird. I want to make sure that the bird we hope to eat is healthy. Thanks.
How can I thank you enough for helping us get the courage up to butcher our first rooster, before the nighbors butchered us. And you were right, It wasn't as bad as we thought, either. Many thanks for the helpLinda Frost
Great website. You put a lot of work into it, and it really is well done. Your info is very helpful for people like me who don't live in the country and have no neighbors to ask questions about butchering chickens. Thanks so much for imparting us all with your knowledge and experience. Just had our first homegrown chicken dinner last night!
I worked for a leading chicken processor on one of their R&D farms. I find this website great, and I find it great your children participate. One of my jobs was to dissect chickens to weigh the fat and breast meat for figuring feed conversion (how much feed the chicken converted to meat). Personally, I don't like the taste of liver, but I do love gizzards. They are great finger foods. Same with hearts. I eat them breaded and fried. Give them a try.
Being raised vegetarian, I was unsure of how to even cook chicken until recently. I bought one from a local farm today and had no idea how to identify the internal organs before reading your post. Thanks for the great descriptions and pictures!
throw the heart and gizzard into the stew pot and when the delicious broth is done to perfection you will have tender and tasty treats of heart and gizzard. i LOVE quick-frying the liver in a hot pan with just a hint of chicken fat or butter. mmm...prepping to butcher this sat.
I want to thank you as well for the wonderful instructions, and photos! We have so far slaughtered 7 of our chickens. I had to send my partner into the house to re-check the visuals on your site when I eviserated the first one, and everything has worked as you desribed. And the first one we roasted was incredible! Oh, my, compared to supermarket factory farmed chicken... shudder. I do have a question similar to another poster... the last two chickens had large amounts of solid yellow fat in the abdominal cavity... that wasn't there in the first 5. Is this normal (perhaps because the birds are a little older?). Should I be concerned. Really really appreciate your web site!
I learned the day I shot my one and only deer that liver is good the same day. I think the reason most people don't like liver is because any liver bought from a store is at least two or three days old. Butchering your own is about the only way to get a really fresh one. I'd be curious to hear if some of you try it.
To Tester. I'm thinking it is just abdominal fat. you had morbidaly fat chickens! Makes good stock. If its runny its bad. Thats what I get out of all I have read. Even the store bought chickens have abdominal fat and i cut that out.
Well, that's kinda what I thought, but my chickens have hardly any other fat on them. They make terrific gravy from the pan juices and I never have to pour off the fat. That's why I thought this was so weird... can't find anything else on the internet...
I had some people "help" me the first time I butchered my chickens, saying that they were experienced. Turned out not to be so. We had a lot of mishaps, and several times the gallbladder was broken and spilled inside the bird, dying it green. I could not afford, nor even bear to give up as many birds as were improperly butchered, so I froze them all. Since freezing, I have only noticed discoloration on one bird. I cooked it anyway, and it tasted just like all the other birds.
Hello! I just wanted to say thanks for your helpful blog! im new to cleaning chickens, first i couldnt dare and now im getting better and identifying the parts thanks to what ive seen on your tutorial!(still have a hard time looking at the eyes and head) although i buy already quite clean carcasses for the dog i clean them and chop them up even more... and the viscera always seemed something to take out before serving it even to the dog! so looking for info came across your blog and was inspired hehe anyhow just wanted to thank you and congratulate you on your website! :)
Thanks for the helpful information! You wrote "People also eat the livers and hearts. My family does not eat these organ meats." I think you are missing out on a real treat! Here's what I do, you may want give it a try sometime: Clean out the gizzard, rinse heart and liver well. Peel the tough inner skin from the gizzard and discard. Cut all into bite-sized pieces. Marinate pieces overnight in a mixture of olive oil, Worcestershire sauce, garlic, a bit of "no-salt" seasoning mix, and a little bit of freshly cracked black pepper... or whatever spices you like. Next morning, toss the pieces in a mixture of flour and corn meal and then saute them gently in a covered pan, using some of the marinade for cooking, just until the breading is browned. If cooked gently the heart and liver will be very tender, and delicious. The gizzard may be a little more chewy, but still delicious. You can also keep the different organ parts separated the first time, to see which you like best for next time.If your mom ever fed you super tough "store bought" chicken organs that gagged you as a child, you will be really surprised... there is no comparison whatsoever to these flavorful and nutritious delicacies.
Very Educational. Good Work.
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What about the kidneys? Do you leave them in? They are the hardest part for me to remove. Thanks.
Thank you for this post. I was searching the web for "how to remove giblets" and until I found your post, I read many blogs that counseled: "take out the bag inside the chicken." The step-by-step pictures here were very helpful. Thanks for helping to educate me.
My grandmother taught me how to prepare a chicken from live to dinner beginning at 5 to 18 when I went off to uni. She taught me lots of things like canning, cooking, quilting, knitting & sewing. I think the US would be a much happier place if more people were like my grandmother.
+?????? what is this???? Indeed! Happier AND healthier.
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