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Jan 28, 2012 09:59 PM

LOTS of older frozen chickens?

My sister let a whole lot of her hand-raised chickens sit in the freezer for nearly two years, and she was getting ready to toss them. Given that I'm POOR, and know that freezer-burn does not spell DOOM, and that she was unwilling to learn from me, my freezer runneth over with whole, frozen chickens... literally. I could feed them to the dog, thus saving much dinero, but I feel that these 30-40 chickens (or at least some of them) have a higher calling. Nothing being off-limits, and the freezer-burn not being (at least visibly) all THAT bad... what would you do with this much free food? How about the few locally-cured hams and pork shoulders mixed in? I can make lots of stocks and tacos, but I'd love to hear your thoughts.

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  1. I would try a baked chicken pieces recipe that has a good syrupy glaze on it. (thinking soy sauce kind). Good ol' chicken pot pie should work fine.

    1. Really depends on the type of chicken...if they were older layers then that meat is too tough to roast, you HAVE to simmer it for hours, then you can reuse it for stews or soups. Coq Au Vin is a classic for fowl.

      1 Reply
      1. re: solargarlic

        Agreed many of us who live in urban areas would love to get our hands on some old layers for all those stewed/braised Chicken dishes and stocks.
        In addition to Coq au vin ;
        Chicken Bot Boi (P.A. Dutch pot pie)
        Chicken and Dumplings
        Chicken Fricassée
        Waterzooi de Poulet
        Poulet a la biere

      2. If I had that many chickens, I would donate them to a soup kitchen.

        1 Reply
        1. re: GH1618

          I hear you on this, but if I donate these, I'll just have to go back and eat them there!

        2. A big pot of Brunswick stew would be good.

          1. Oh fergoshsake - don't throw them out. A little freezer burn isn't going to kill you. Use those birds to make any number of stewy, braised dishes that will still be absolutely delicious and perfectly safe to eat. Coq au vin; chicken stew or pot pie; heavily marinated teriyaki style baked chicken; chicken cacciatore; moroccan lemon chicken tagine; chicken curry; cook the chicken plain and use the meat to make tacos or salads; make a thick latin american chicken soup/stew concoction; arroz con pollo - so many possibilities. And yeah, if you want, you can cook one for the dog but the rest are for you. The trick is to make sure the flavourings are intense enough to overcome any flatness from being frozen for so long and that there's enough moisture to carry that flavour through the dish.

            6 Replies
            1. re: Nyleve

              Boy if you had a pressure canner and canning supplies, would this be an ideal time to use them! (:

              1. re: creamplease48

                That many chickens might make it worthwhile to get a pressure canner just to process them. Then it would be easier to use later.

                1. re: GH1618

                  I'm curious as to why you would can the broth when you can just freeze it...considering the extra cost of setting up for it.

                  1. re: escondido123

                    I THINK they're suggesting that I can the chicken, too - meat and all, as a means of preserving the meat longer and avoiding further freezer burn. I do have a small canner, and I prefer to can my stock, just to save room in the freezer.

                    1. re: escondido123

                      Not the broth, but the whole chicken. I think it would be easier to process a few chickens at once, then just use it as needed, especially if one would normally not use an entire chicken for one meal.