Tuesday, April 19, 2011

wah, wah, bok....

Mistakes happen, and they happen all the time. Today I went to pick up the chickens I drove over to Ben Shaw's farm ( named Garden of Spices) yesterday, and what came out of the back room was a pile of cornish game hens! Under all those feathers my meat birds only topped out at three pounds. Oh lord, I was so embaressed. I had simply thought they were larger, a lot larger. Under all that fluff and feathers they had not filled out to market weight. I had been tricked by post-winter bliss and excitement to think that they were ready before they really were. They are half to two-thirds the size of what you would get in the store. I simply messed up.

Well, all I can do is offer to trade them for half of what I already asked of possible buyers and let them know they don't have to take the little guys if it's not the product they want. I'll put most in the freezer and same them for bbqs and weeknight roasts for this single gal in Jackson. And hey, they might be small, but they should still taste pretty good. I'll roast one of them tonight and find out before I offer any to my coworkers. They won't have the flavor of an older bird but I have some butter, herbs, and hard cider that might have my back on that. I'll just revert to my meat bible—The River Cottage Meat Book—and hope Hugh has some advice...

P.S. Banjo players, how do you feel about sharing Sugar Hill soon?

23 Comments:

Blogger mdoe37 said...

They'll eat just fine. And then I'd head my trusty truck down the road to the local Tractor Supply and buy a few more (mine had tons a couple of days ago).

April 19, 2011 at 6:01 PM  
Blogger Kimberlie Ott said...

Hey girl, cornish hens are wonderful, you did fine. They are going to taste great! And like mdoe37 said, you've got lots of time for more!

April 19, 2011 at 6:27 PM  
Blogger Kitchen Mama said...

Hmm, share "Sugar Hill" soon? I have been practicing and then thought I should go look at some YouTube videos of more experienced players doing the same song. I did not recognize my plunky, plodding little "Sugar Hill" in the lightening-quick renditions on-line. Cue heavy sigh. So, maybe by this weekend?

April 19, 2011 at 6:36 PM  
Blogger Rachael said...

It might not be fast or perfect, but I could probably plunk something out that at least resembles Sugar Hill. Perhaps after Easter? I am going home to see my family for the first time since Christmas over the weekend.

April 19, 2011 at 7:02 PM  
Blogger Flartus said...

Young birds like that, you can split 'em open, butterfly them and broil or grill 'em--fast and delicious!

Chalk up another lesson learned...still, any lesson that ends in a yummy dinner can't be all bad.

April 19, 2011 at 7:08 PM  
Blogger Odd Ducks Farm said...

Bring it on!

April 19, 2011 at 7:18 PM  
Blogger Coley said...

At least they are going to be bigger than my Jumbo quail will weigh out to be! I have 2 more weeks until they are 8 weeks old

I have Sugar Hill memorized, still working on speed.

April 19, 2011 at 7:49 PM  
Blogger Margaret said...

I love the small chickens. They feed the 3 of us for 2 meals and I don't have to fuss about using up leftovers.

April 19, 2011 at 7:52 PM  
Blogger Jenna said...

I feel pretty good after having just roasted a 1.75lb bird. I used one breast over mixed greens with some cheese and honey mustard dressing and had a big side of roasted carrots and potatoes....

so. good.

they might be small, but they are mighty!

April 19, 2011 at 8:58 PM  
Blogger Jenna said...

and p.s. the river cottage meat book suggests smaller chickens! 3-4 pounds!

April 19, 2011 at 8:59 PM  
Blogger Diane said...

I love smaller birds. I butterfly them and roast them with East African spices. If you have any left over, I'll happily buy them from you. I'm planning to go on the Washington County Fiber Tour this weekend, and could come over with money in hand.

April 19, 2011 at 9:03 PM  
Blogger Jenna said...

Diane, tell me about this tour? any farms near me?

April 19, 2011 at 9:16 PM  
Blogger SWEETHEARTS MOM said...

lol that is too funny. I did it too but it was for me not others.

Next time figure 56% of live weight and weigh them prior to making the appointment at the butcher.

Cornish hens are good though. Single serving

April 19, 2011 at 9:39 PM  
Blogger Amber said...

As if it could be any consolation -- I actually prefer young, small birds and am lucky enough to have "chicken people" at the market who always have plenty in stock...

As far as Sugar Hill goes, I'd be willing to record any time now. I don't have it down yet by any stretch of the word, but I'll happily plunk along whenever!

April 19, 2011 at 9:49 PM  
Blogger Maggie said...

Myself, I only buy 3 pounders. They have better flavor and cook more evenly. Seriously. There is a market!

April 19, 2011 at 11:40 PM  
Blogger Paula said...

Hey three pounds is just right for frying! Bigger birds don't cook properly when fried, but smaller ones do. I hate when I want to fry chicken that I have to finish it in the oven, so don't worry about little birds. In fact, the ten I'll pick up this fall I asked to be on the smaller side. They just fry up better.

April 20, 2011 at 1:03 AM  
Blogger Peter said...

So you have broilers instead of roasters. Broilers are good!

April 20, 2011 at 5:54 AM  
Blogger MilkMaid09 said...

Yup, done that myself. And actually, I prefer the younger ones because they're not as tough.

April 20, 2011 at 7:37 AM  
Blogger Sonja said...

I'm glad they tasted good Jenna! I did the same thing last year with my Brahma roos. A few years ago I had some accidental Brahma roos that processed at b/n 7-8lbs. Last year I tried to raise them again since the first batch turned out so well. I did everything the same, but these guys only came out at around 4lbs. The bad thing was I was giving some to a friend and the birds didn't turn out the way either of us had hope. LOL

April 20, 2011 at 11:18 AM  
Blogger Tara said...

I do all of mine between 3 and 5 pounds (dressed weight). That's how we like 'em. Small enough for frying or broiling, but still plenty big enough to roast. I always end up with one runty one in each batch - this time I have one that's barely 2 lbs. I think it will be split and grilled. Mmmm!

April 20, 2011 at 12:04 PM  
Blogger Mary said...

Yes, they will be great just not the size expected. We raiswed the same ones from McMurries. We let them go to 10 lbs for butchering. Dressed out average 6 lbs. took 12 weeks to raise.

April 20, 2011 at 3:08 PM  
Blogger Diane said...

The Washington County Fiber Tour tends to be heavy on alpaca farms, but there are a couple of places with Angora rabbits and sheep. One of the better sheep farm tours with demonstrations is only open on Saturday. Here's the information: www.washingtoncountyfibertour.org

April 20, 2011 at 3:19 PM  
Blogger Crystal said...

so far we've only been getting about 3lb birds even my Red broiler meat birds past 12 weeks was only 3lbs, a 5 month americauna was only 3.5lbs. Maybe this is the year for small birds.

April 20, 2011 at 4:06 PM  

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