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How to Cook a Free-Range Chicken

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A bird that’s run around the yard, dug for bugs, had chicken fights, and made chicken love will have a lot more texture to its flesh than a bird raised in something like a packed subway train. That factory-farmed chicken meat is so tender you can basically heat-and-serve, and cut it with a spoon. But the flesh of many a happy chicken has been far less cooperative. Rubber, climbing rope, and a variety of titanium alloys have been used to describe the texture of a truly free-range chicken.

There are ways around the toughness, and when that toughness is conquered it becomes an asset, because there is flavor in those muscles.

I like the thought of the chicken digging for bugs. :)

The following is a little too frontier for me:

"Don’t cook a freshly killed chicken on the day of death, especially if you killed it yourself. And if you are going to kill it yourself, take away its food 24 hours before slaughter, so its bowels are empty.

You want to wait this period so the meat can relax, and let the rigor mortis fade away. If you are the killer, you will want to give yourself a little time as well, to clean up the blood and feathers at the slaughter area and get the smell of chicken death out of your fingers and hair. Waiting a day allows both chicken and eater to come to the table recovered. I like to include an overnight soak in brine in that process."

I don't think I can soak that long, especially in brine.  My skin would get all pruney.

"Then drain, rinse, pat dry, and let rest in the fridge for a few hours."

Oh, the CHICKEN!

Heh. It's good advice that any butcher knows.

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