or Connect
ChefTalk.com › ChefTalk Cooking Forums › Cooking Discussions › Food & Cooking › Chicken was frozen right after death. Does it need a "relaxing" time after thawing?
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:

Chicken was frozen right after death. Does it need a "relaxing" time after thawing?

post #1 of 14
Thread Starter 

I was given a chicken that was frozen shorltly after its death (maybe half a day or a day, not sure). It's my understanding that what should have been done is a rest period in the fridge before freezing, so that rigor mortis had the time to fade away? 

 

Knowing that, would the chicken benefit from a resting period after thawing? One day? Two days? 

 

Note that this is an older, tougher chicken, so I was considering marinating it in wine anyway (coq au vin). 

post #2 of 14

I always give my chickens a cigarette and a beer before I cut their necks off. Wait! It's me that gets the beer and cigarette......We kill ours that morning and have two on the rotisserie that afternoon. No problem for us doing it that way. You could also brine the chic over night.

post #3 of 14
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by ChefBillyB View Post
 

We kill ours that morning and have two on the rotisserie that afternoon. No problem for us doing it that way.


Cool... thanks for sharing your experience! I can keep the beer and cigarette to myself after all. 

post #4 of 14

Hi, French Fries.

 

My grandmother raised her own chickens here in the States and in Italy where she grew up.  When I was old enough, she taught me how to raise and butcher chickens. 

 

The first rule is a chicken is what it eats.  A corn fed chicken tends to be fat while a "gamma di pollo" (range chicken) tends to be more lean.  However, what mostly determines the tenderness of the chicken is the age and to a much lesser degree, when it it is used after butchering.

 

However, letting the chicken "rest" after death in cool place like a cooler or fridge, causes "cold shortening" which is basically rigor mortis.  But, it only lasts for a few hours depending on the bird (turkey lasts longer than chicken etc).

 

So, you can let it rest in a cool place and let it do its thing or you can freeze it soon after death and let it do its thing after it thaws.

 

The tenderness of the meat is essentially unchanged once the rigor process has completely ended.  For fresh chicken, the rigor process lasts only a few hours from when it starts.

 

For me personally, I prefer to freeze fresh, slaughtered chicken immediately after death to avoid any possibility of bacterial growth.  When I know its going to be used, I let it thaw slowly in a cooler over a  few days so the thaw rigor process can be completely over by the time I go to use it.

 

I hope this helps.

 

-V

"Wine is sunlight held together by water." - Galileo
Reply
"Wine is sunlight held together by water." - Galileo
Reply
post #5 of 14
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Virgil View Post
 

For me personally, I prefer to freeze fresh, slaughtered chicken immediately after death to avoid any possibility of bacterial growth.  When I know its going to be used, I let it thaw slowly in a cooler over a  few days so the thaw rigor process can be completely over by the time I go to use it.

 

I hope this helps.

 

-V


Great, thanks for adding all that information Virgil. Much appreciated! :)

post #6 of 14

You're very welcome. I hope its useful.  :-)

 

-V

"Wine is sunlight held together by water." - Galileo
Reply
"Wine is sunlight held together by water." - Galileo
Reply
post #7 of 14
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Virgil View Post
 

You're very welcome. I hope its useful.  :-)


Very useful. I was dreading cooking that chicken because of the issue, fearing it would be tough. Now I'm thinking that between a day or two of defrosting and a day or two of marinating in red wine, the bird should be fine. 

post #8 of 14

I would not recommend more than a few hours in the marinade.  The acidity of the wine can literally "cook" the meat if it is left in the marinade for too long.  Unlike red meat, foul tends to break down rather quickly when exposed to acids such as wine. The red wine will also dry out the chicken, especially the white meat.  Not to mention the red wine will oxidize rather quickly and could make the chicken take on a bitter taste. 

 

I would only recommend marinading the chicken for no more than a few hours in the fridge with red wine for best results.  You can get away with marinading it longer with a low acidity white wine like a Pinot Gris. 

 

Enjoy!

 

-V

"Wine is sunlight held together by water." - Galileo
Reply
"Wine is sunlight held together by water." - Galileo
Reply
post #9 of 14

I'd love to hear your coq au vin recipe 

@French Fries

"You are what you eat, so don't be fast, cheap, easy, or fake."

Reply

"You are what you eat, so don't be fast, cheap, easy, or fake."

Reply
post #10 of 14
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Koukouvagia View Post
 

I'd love to hear your coq au vin recipe 

@French Fries

 

1) [optional*] The day before: cut your chicken in pieces and marinate in (1 bottle red wine - burgundy or pinot noir if possible, carrots, onions, shallots, garlic, thyme, bay leave, black pepper and a sip of cognac).

2) Day of: Discard herbs and spices, drain the chicken, drain the veggies and reserve the liquid. 

3) Brown the chicken in oil or oil+butter. 

4) Reserve chicken and sweat the veggies. 

5) Add the chicken to the veggies and 2 Tbsp flour, cook for a few mn to cook the flour.

6) Add thyme (I just love thyme), and the marinade (or a bottle of red wine if not marinating), and an equivalent amount of brown chicken stock, simmer slowly for 1/2 Hr to 2 Hr 1/2 depending on the age of the bird: 1/2 Hr for your supermarket chicken, 2 Hr 1/2 for a cheap old tough rooster. 

7) Place chicken pieces in a serving platter and strain the sauce. 

 

Meanwhile on the side, prepare: 

1) Some sautéed bacon bits. 

2) Sautéed mushrooms (you can sauté them in the bacon fat!!). 

3) Pearl onions glacés à blanc. 

4) Toasts. 

 

Dip one end of the toasts in the sauce, then in a bowl of finely minced parsley. 

 

I generally add the onions, mushrooms and bacon back to the sauce and serve over either steamed new potatoes or fresh pasta. 

 

[*] If you marinate the chicken, it will taste more of the wine. Its flesh will have the color of the wine, which makes it really a completely different dish. If you don't, then the chicken will taste and look like ordinary chicken, but the sauce will still be wonderful. 


Edited by French Fries - 2/3/16 at 9:23pm
post #11 of 14
@French Fries thanks for sharing, I've made coq au vin before but I've never marinaded the chicken, I will have to try that the next time I do this, sometimes I can find a hen at the market.

I don't understand the toast. What role does this play in the dish?

"You are what you eat, so don't be fast, cheap, easy, or fake."

Reply

"You are what you eat, so don't be fast, cheap, easy, or fake."

Reply
post #12 of 14

Coc au vin is a good way to cook a raised bird.  They are not at all like store bought they have more "working meat" on them.  I dressed one of ours that a hawk killed a couple of weeks ago and sous vide it before frying.  It is delicious meat, but the legs can be tough hence the slow cook.  Sounds like you will enjoy it the way you intend. 

post #13 of 14
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Koukouvagia View Post
I don't understand the toast. What role does this play in the dish?


It's to mop up all the delicious wine sauce!! It's a classic way to present the dish: a piece of toast divided in two in diagonal so you have triangle pieces of toast, dip a tip in the sauce and then parsley. You can totally skip it if you don't feel like bread. 

post #14 of 14
Ah ok, I thought it was an ingredient that went in the sauce. Sounds good.

"You are what you eat, so don't be fast, cheap, easy, or fake."

Reply

"You are what you eat, so don't be fast, cheap, easy, or fake."

Reply
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:
  Return Home
  Back to Forum: Food & Cooking
ChefTalk.com › ChefTalk Cooking Forums › Cooking Discussions › Food & Cooking › Chicken was frozen right after death. Does it need a "relaxing" time after thawing?