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Cooking organic free range chicken ... HELP!

Posted by Stephanie39 
Cooking organic free range chicken ... HELP!
June 19, 2019 03:45PM
I prefer to buy chicken that has been raised ethically but I am no good at cooking it! Breasts are fine, I beat them out, season and cook in a pan quite briefly. Delicious! But drumsticks, or whole legs, which need longer cooking turn out rather tough and frankly unpleasant. Please advise?
Re: Cooking organic free range chicken ... HELP!
June 19, 2019 05:59PM
I like to braise chicken legs and thighs, and I like Bostock organic chicken. Here is a very simple example:

Salt chicken and if possible leave to absorb the salt in the fridge for a few hours or overnight. Brown chicken pieces in butter or olive oil, lower heat and add chopped onions (and garlic if appropriate), stir for a few minutes until the onions soften. Add sliced mushrooms, or tomatoes or capsicums in season, deglaze with a little white wine or brandy, add chicken stock to half cover. Cover and simmer for about 45 minutes or until tender, or you can bake in the oven for about and hour. Finish with double cream or butter or top quality olive oil. Add herbs as available.
Re: Cooking organic free range chicken ... HELP!
June 19, 2019 06:42PM
I have a fairly unconventional way of doing the chicken that you have mentioned. First I will season the chicken with a rub, put oil in a pan and brown the chicken, and sometimes add garlic at this stage. I then cover it with water and cook at a very high heat until all the water has cooked away. It can take a good hour or more for the water to cook away, but the chicken is always beautiful and moist, and what is left is like a sauce.

Another idea for drumsticks - we purchased from one of the BBQ shops this stainless steel BBQ Chicken Drumstick holder if that link doesn't work, click here In the bottom we put diced carrots, garlic, diced potato and chilli sometimes. And you cook that in a covered BBQ. Have to keep a careful eye on it however that the chicken doesn't dry out, which it can do with overcooking.
Re: Cooking organic free range chicken ... HELP!
June 19, 2019 08:59PM
TPANDAV I'm interested in the first step. How much salt do you use, and what does this do to the chicken? I also cook organic chicken pieces (Bostock drumsticks - we can't get whole legs here for some reason!) by braising them, and it works well. But they will always have more texture than battery chickens (and more flavour, in my opinion)
Re: Cooking organic free range chicken ... HELP!
June 19, 2019 09:11PM
The salting changes the cellular structure of the meat so that it retains more moisture when cooked. I almost always salt meat, up to three days ahead for large cuts of beef, one or two days for lamb and small beef steaks, one day for chicken. This is all explained very well in Samin Nosrat's wonderful book "Fat, Salt, Acid, Heat".

I sprinkle generously with crushed Murray River salt, Maldon salt or other pure salts would be good as well.
Re: Cooking organic free range chicken ... HELP!
June 20, 2019 03:08PM
For those of you with Netflix and interested in Samin Nosrat's "Fat, Salt, Acid, Heat", there's a 4 part programme available there.
Re: Cooking organic free range chicken ... HELP!
June 20, 2019 05:05PM
Thank you for all the above. I thoroughly enjoyed Samin Nosrat's series and use her salting technique when I remember to, mostly on beef. Next time I buy chicken (Bostock's here too) i will salt it first. I do braise it in the oven for the time that TPANDAV mentions but probably have become lazy about browning in a pan first. I accept and enjoy the different texture of organic chicken, rather than the 'flobby' texture of unhappy chooks, but does anyone else detect a slightly metallic taste? Major surgery a few years ago left me with only half my taste buds, I like to think that they are as discerning as they always were.
Re: Cooking organic free range chicken ... HELP!
June 20, 2019 05:10PM
I've not detected any off flavours in Bostock's chicken. It does taste more chickeny than other free-range chickens (Rangiteiki, Waitoa) and that's because the chickens are really free range, not just raised in a barn with a couple of tiny exit holes. I haven't eaten battery chicken for so long I can't remember what it tasted like.
Re: Cooking organic free range chicken ... HELP!
June 22, 2019 04:14AM
I've been enjoying Bostocks chickens for the last few months too, very tasty and perfect roasted with tarragon butter under the skin.
Re: Cooking organic free range chicken ... HELP!
June 29, 2019 09:38PM
Yum tarragon butter sounds nice for a change, it's quite hard to get hold of fresh proper french tarragon, when I see it I buy and freeze it for later. It keeps pretty well and you can just crumble in the leaves. Might try it this weekend.
Re: Cooking organic free range chicken ... HELP!
June 29, 2019 10:02PM
When tarragon is in season I make up a big quantity of tarragon, garlic and Dijon mustard butter and freeze it in little bowls. It lasts for about six months in the freezer before the garlic starts to taste slightly stale.
Re: Cooking organic free range chicken ... HELP!
June 30, 2019 02:17AM
TPANDAV Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> I like to braise chicken legs and thighs, and I
> like Bostock organic chicken. Here is a very
> simple example:
>
> Salt chicken and if possible leave to absorb the
> salt in the fridge for a few hours or overnight.
> Brown chicken pieces in butter or olive oil,
> lower heat and add chopped onions (and garlic if
> appropriate), stir for a few minutes until the
> onions soften. Add sliced mushrooms, or tomatoes
> or capsicums in season, deglaze with a little
> white wine or brandy, add chicken stock to half
> cover. Cover and simmer for about 45 minutes or

I must try this method. Like Stephanie, I am quite good at deal ing with chicken breasts but have problems with drumsticks and legs. Does the salt need rinsing off or is the meat just lightly salted? Can this method be used for a whole chicken? I roasted a chicken (free range) last weekend and although I put a lot of butter under the breast and over the skin, it was still too tough in my opinion. I am not keen on trying again.
Re: Cooking organic free range chicken ... HELP!
June 30, 2019 02:26AM
There is a new tarragon around, it's called Texas tarragon, and although it's not quite the same as French, it's a good substitute.
Re: Cooking organic free range chicken ... HELP!
June 30, 2019 03:40AM
Does the salt
> need rinsing off or is the meat just lightly
> salted? Can this method be used for a whole
> chicken? I roasted a chicken (free range) last
> weekend and although I put a lot of butter under
> the breast and over the skin, it was still too
> tough in my opinion. I am not keen on trying
> again.

Don't rinse the salt off, it will have been absorbed into the chicken flesh. A generous sprinkle over all sides of the meat is what you need, and don't plan to add salt at the table.

To salt a whole chicken you will need to salt the exposed flesh, as the skin won't absorb the salt.

If I roast a whole chicken I almost always spatchcock it, i.e. remove the backbone, turn it over and press down to flatten it. Three wooden skewers horizontally make it easier to turn over but are not essential. I take off the wing tips as well and make a small pan of stock with the tips and backbone.
Re: Cooking organic free range chicken ... HELP!
June 30, 2019 07:05PM
TPANDAV Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> Does the salt
> > need rinsing off or is the meat just lightly
> > salted? Can this method be used for a whole
> > chicken? I roasted a chicken (free range) last
> > weekend and although I put a lot of butter
> under
> > the breast and over the skin, it was still too
> > tough in my opinion. I am not keen on trying
> > again.
>
> Don't rinse the salt off, it will have been
> absorbed into the chicken flesh. A generous
> sprinkle over all sides of the meat is what you
> need, and don't plan to add salt at the table.
>
> To salt a whole chicken you will need to salt the
> exposed flesh, as the skin won't absorb the salt.
>
> If I roast a whole chicken I almost always
> spatchcock it, i.e. remove the backbone, turn it
> over and press down to flatten it. Three wooden
> skewers horizontally make it easier to turn over
> but are not essential. I take off the wing tips
> as well and make a small pan of stock with the
> tips and backbone.

I spatchcock as well. When I checked the inqternal temperature it was nearly 90 deg C so I most likely over cooked it. I am just not good at roast chicken. The only one that turns out good is the type that you cook in the bag it comes in. I avoid it most times because I don’t like the additives that have been added. I just use butter, oil, garlic, lemon and herbs. I think I need to persevere.
Re: Cooking organic free range chicken ... HELP!
July 01, 2019 05:26AM
Chris, I also recently came to the conclusion that I needed to lift my roast chicken game. I've been using this recipe: [10play.com.au] followed to the letter it's blinking good. It's important that the chicken is the right size, and the Bostocks ones are good for this. I'm not convinced that the sherry is strictly necessary, but I always have a bottle in the cupboard so I do add it. (Yes, I am a Masterchef Australia tragic!).
Re: Cooking organic free range chicken ... HELP!
July 01, 2019 06:09AM
Thanks for the link, Griz. Unfortunately, the page doesn't display properly. All I can see is points 1 to 4. Might try on a different computer unless this is a locked page.
Re: Cooking organic free range chicken ... HELP!
July 01, 2019 05:56PM
I had success last night with whole organic chicken legs. I'm not entirely happy with the salting technique having over done it with breast meat recently so last night I wrapped the chicken legs in bacon, cut up a lemon and peeled several cloves of garlic and tucked them in, then a splash of white wine, covered tightly and cooked in oven for 50 minutes, uncovered for a further 20 minutes to brown. They were very good. No 'metallic' taste and tender. The lemon and garlic melted into the small amount of 'sauce.' I even made a cheese sauce for a medley of cauliflower, broccoli and halved Brussels sprouts. It was a very nice meal at the end of a day when i had been thinking: Can't cook - don't want to cook - what takeaways are not too foul?
.
Re: Cooking organic free range chicken ... HELP!
July 01, 2019 06:23PM
Stephanie39 Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
>It was a very nice meal
> at the end of a day when i had been thinking:
> Can't cook - don't want to cook - what
> takeaways are not too foul?
> .


Stephanie I don't know if that mention of foul was an intentional pun or not, but I had a giggle smiling smiley
Re: Cooking organic free range chicken ... HELP!
July 02, 2019 01:18AM
I don't think it's a locked page. If you google "Nigella Lawson Tarragon roast chicken masterchef" it should come up.
Re: Cooking organic free range chicken ... HELP!
July 02, 2019 06:34PM
Griz Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> I don't think it's a locked page. If you google
> "Nigella Lawson Tarragon roast chicken masterchef"
> it should come up.

Thank you, Griz.
Re: Cooking organic free range chicken ... HELP!
July 07, 2019 01:33AM
For Chris cooking your chicken to 90 degrees is seriously overcooked !

When I do see temp given for chicken it is usually stated at 71 degrees which I think is too much
Occasionally it is stated as less which is what I do and less again for breast pieces as they are dry if cooked too long, though thighs/legs can take longer cooking and still be moist
Re: Cooking organic free range chicken ... HELP!
July 07, 2019 09:45PM
I agree, Heather. I think the Tegel site says it needs to be over 70 deg. I am scared of undercooking but in future I shall test earlier
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