Using the whole bird

First and second set of meat birds.
First and second set of meat birds.

When we considered raising and killing our own meat chickens we planned carefully for how many birds we could eat and how we would process them. When I say we it’s the “royal we” as I had no sweet clue what I was getting into.

First girl to try the roost.
First meat girl to try the very lowest roosting bar.

I knew I wanted layers for eggs and W’s family had been “doing up” their own chicken when he was young, so the small thought quickly became a much larger project, as it does with us.

Nothing compares with the taste of home grown meat. The appreciation you have for it is vastly increased as well.

Rendered Chicken fat
Rendered Chicken fat

From our chicken we get the meat, of course, as well as the livers, fat, gizzards, and hearts. The gizzards and hearts we clean and give to an Aunt who loves them, she makes a pie or stew. The fat is rendered, bottled and kept in the fridge. While the liver is frozen until I want chopped liver, which is now.

Chopped liver and 3 to freeze
Chopped liver and 3 to freeze

Chopped liver is a favorite of mine, I could skip meals and graze the day away sometimes. It’s also good in a sandwich with sliced beef and mustard. It’s easy to make and can be frozen in small portions. I am the only one eating this here as it’s girl food apparently.

Start off by cooking the liver. I heat them in a little bit of chicken stock and a good glob of chicken fat in a pan.

Once cooked through, remove the livers from the pan to cool. Pour off some of the fat, leaving enough to caramelize about 3-4 chopped onions.

Add the cooled liver to a food processor and blend, adding the melted chicken fat to smooth the mixture.

Add the caramelized onions to the processor. Use enough liquid fat to make a thick paste. Adjust with salt to taste.

Nothing fancy but it does the job. Now for some crackers or bread, it’s snack time.


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