food, history, rural life, and how we connect our cultural past and future
Chicken shares at Indigo House
Here at Indigo House I’m going back to being a chicken farmer! I’m starting with a batch of 75 Jumbo Cross Rock meat bird chicks. We have had nothing but delicious success with this variety of broiler since we first raised them. They may start as tiny fuzzy chicks but soon begin getting bigger and bigger very quickly! That first time we were so amazed at the weight gain for this breed of bird we had to bring one in the house to weigh it live!! So imagine our delight when a few weeks later 10 birds dressed out at an average of 6.5 lbs each (May 10, 2013); that was butchered, plucked, chilled,, ready to go into the freezer weight. My experience with the Jumbo Crosses has been that they are a delicious eating bird with excellent white-yellowish skin, tender meat, large breasts, thighs and legs.
Just to show how big they can get; a few years ago the Thanksgiving week and some sort of family event delayed our butchering the last 5 birds till they were 9 weeks old. The biggest of them dressed out at 11 pounds!! I’m not doing that again!
But a nice medium sized bird, spatchcocked and roasted, will be big enough for a family dinner to enjoy with plenty leftover. It was usual for a single breast piece to feed my husband and myself with some left over for a nice ‘sammich.’ When I have multiple birds I usually break them down to separately package up the wings, breasts, thighs, legs, saving all the backs, feet and wing tips for canning stock.