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Sep 15, 2009 08:53 PM

First-time chicken cooking

I've been a vegetarian since I was a teenager, so I've never cooked any meat. I consider myself a pretty good cook when it comes to veggies, but I'm about to face my first meat dish, and I'm a little worried.

I slaughtered my first chicken last week, and I'm planning on cooking the bird. And enjoy it, dammit! He had a pretty sweet life on our little farm, so I'm determined not to feel guilty about it.

He was a rooster, not particularly young, and he's been sitting in the fridge from yesterday because my boss says that he'd be better after a couple days rest.

Since he's an older (a bit over a year), less tender specimen, I'm thinking a moist cooking application would work best. I was thinking of doing chicken fricassee, but thought I'd check for suggestions here first.

So, what would you do with a chicken a bit past its prime, but hopefully quite flavorful? And any tips for a first-time poultry cook?

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  1. A fricassee is exactly the correct preparation for an older bird--you're obviously more astute than the novice chef.

    You're quite lucky. It's very hard to find an old rooster--which is essential to doing this recipe correctly in its true fashion. The classic recipe for this is Coq au Vin. It's said the French served this to Cesar many years ago and it's stuck as a classic national dish. There are many recipes online, I'm going to direct you to one of the best I can find. I've made it many times with a young chicken which make the cooking time nearly half what you might do for an actual rooster. (Coq is the French word for rooster).
    Here's what I found:

    1 Reply
    1. re: hankstramm

      Awesome, thanks for the link! All the recipes I had found for coq au vin myself just had instructions for using hens since roosters are too hard to find. It's nice to see the real thing!

      I'm definitely going to ommit the other meat though... not quite ready for pork yet. I hope the dish won't suffer too much if I use extra butter and leave out the bacon and ham.

    2. "He was a rooster, not particularly young"

      congrats on your efforts and i'm envious as i wish to have chickens of my own. you have the perfect bird for coq au vin. the long and slow cooking time will give you a larger margin for error and there are so many recipes for this classic - you can't go wrong.

      to make sure it's not going to be raw on the inside, nuke a lesser chicken (meaning store bought) on medium for 5 minutes before doing anything with it.