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The first time I prepared chicken straight from our backyard, that was of non-broiler breed, I made it in one of the ways I usually do. Which means, in that case, I roasted it. But oh, was that a mistake. And because of that experience, I want to save you the trouble by sharing the best ways to cook a cockerel.
You may be asking, what is a cockerel? Well, a cockerel is basically a young rooster. The main difference between a regular rooster and a young one, being their age difference. But, for our purposes, you don’t want to cook a regular old rooster. Or even one that’s a year old. And that’s due to the inherent toughness of roosters and layers in general.
At this point you might be wondering if any of this applies to you. And if so, why would you want to slaughter any of your birds? Well, if you have layers with a mixed flock, there’s a high likelihood that you have a dual purpose breed. And supposing you have more than one rooster, or don’t want the one you have, then you have all of the elements needed to produce some of your own food.
To answer the question why though: because you would know what was going into your food, from the very beginning. There’s no doubt if the rooster was healthy, taken care of, and fed good, quality feed, that whatever meal you made of him would be healthier than the broilers from the grocery store. However you might have to get used to the flavor.
How to Cook a Cockerel
So what are the best ways to cook a young rooster? I already mentioned one way not to prepare it, and now I’ll go over the most preferable ways to prepare a cockerel.
The best ways to cook a cockerel, young rooster, or a laying hen that’s been put out to pasture, so to speak, is in a soup or stew, or prepare it in something that has a sauce or is full of flavor, like a casserole. For instance
- Chicken Soup
My first choice, for cooking your own backyard rooster, is some kind of chicken soup. The second time I prepared one of our own cockerels I made one of my mom’s chicken soup recipes. And it tasted like a typical grocery store chicken. My family and I couldn’t tell the difference at all, except we knew where the bird came from.
- King Ranch Chicken
Next, my second option is something like Southern Living’s King Ranch Chicken. It too is slow cooked and is full of flavor, which is essential to hide the gamey flavor of backyard bird.
You don’t want to try roasting your backyard birds, unless you have broilers. And that’s because they won’t taste good. You’ll definitely notice the strong taste and tough meat on the bird. Which will dissuade you from ever wanting to try it again.
Have you ever tried eating or cooking backyard chicken? If so, what did you think? Thanks for stopping by, and please don’t hesitate to leave a comment!