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May 2, 2008 09:49 AM

very tough chicken, now what?

roasted a chicken purchased by someone else last night and it was pretty much inedible because of the very tough meat and skin. i suspect that perhaps this was not meant to be roasted at all but meant more for stewing. i mean... it was purchased in china town and i noticed a piece of egg shell near the butt... so perhaps an old egg laying chicken?

so now the question is.... what do i do?

easy answer would be to feed it to the dog but i'm hoping i can salvage this myself. i was thinking of a chicken stock, but anything more interesting? it seems too tough to even make a decent chicken salad out of it. could i perhaps stew it to break it down even though it's already fully cooked?


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  1. Stick it in a pot with some water and aromatics and see what happens. Don't add any S & P till after you've simmered it for an hour or so and tasted the've probably already seasoned it. That's what I would do. What have you got to lose, although I'm not sure the flesh will be tender but the broth will be flavorful.

    1. Have you tried finely shredding some of it? Try some. It might be OK as shredded for tacos, enchiladas, fresh lumpia, and so on.

      1. If you cook it long enough in liquid it will get tender. The only possible problem is that the meat may dry out, but in that case you can pull it off the bone, chop it up, and mix it with mayo for sandwiches. If it's too stringy for that, the dog will still eat it happily, and you'll have a good broth to show for your efforts.

        1. Make a big pot of soup with it. The meat will tenderize in the broth. Shred the meat over the noodles and vegetables.

          You know, those old birds are just not meant to be cooked with dry heat. If you think you see an egg, or even an immature egg inside the hen, it is older than what you find in the supermarket from the big poultry houses. I remember my mother and grandmother using birds like this that were purchased in poultry markets. A pullet or yearling is a stewing chicken or soup chicken because the skin and meat are tougher. That is probably what you have.

          1 Reply
          1. re: RGC1982

            "Make a big pot of soup with it. The meat will tenderize in the broth. Shred the meat over the noodles and vegetables."

            When you shred the meat after boiling it for broth, season it to make it more palatable. For Korean style soup, season with salt, ground sesame seed, dried chile powder, garlic powder or fresh grated garlic, black pepper, tiny bit of sesame oil, bit of ginger. For a more Eastern European style soup, salt, pepper, paprika, garlic powder, spices like dill if you want. You get the picture I think, just choose the type of soup you want and choose the seasonings. They when serving the soup, throw some of the seasoned meat back into the soup. Adds a nice boost of flavour.

          2. thanks all. i'll attempt to shred the meat to see what state it is once i get home but if all else fails, stock it is! i'm pretty sure i've got some sad carrots in the fridge that will go lovely with it.