I have been dealing with respiratory/allergy issues caused by someone at work going nuclear with Lysol. Lysol irritates my throat and causes breathing issues. It pretty much messed up my holiday time off as I spent most of the time off not feeling well. We headed back to work this week but still were dealing with severe coughing fits. When you have a job that puts you on a phone all day talking to people, it causes more stress to the throat and I spent way too much time coughing and sucking on cough drops just trying to get through the day. So today we called in sick.
After a bit of sleeping in we got up and around and got the dog out and the chickens fed. Now I am going to thaw out one of the roosters we put in the freezer on this post and make up some lunches for work. The first rooster I cooked we made Chicken Spaghetti and I found the chicken pieces a bit tough and chewy. Since I am respectful of the life I took, I want to make sure the roosters are not wasted. I like the idea of eating a bird I have raised because I know what they have been fed and the life they have lived. But I have held off eating the other two we processed that day because I was a bit put off by the tough texture of the meat. I have since learned that I put the roosters in the freezer when they were going through rigor mortis, and that is what has caused the toughness. Going forward I now know to do some things different, but what to do about the two I have left.
On my birthday I spent the day with my mother at a craft show. It is something we love to do together and it was a perfect day. I like vendors that have the packaged dip and desserts where you just add a few things and something delicious to eat. At the show we attended was Mad Dash Mixes. I tried many things that day and really enjoyed their Chicken Chile Verde. Preparation was super simple.. add water, chicken and a potato with the mix and in no time at all you had a delicious soup that had just enough spice to be really interesting. I bought several packages as I thought this would be a good way to use my two remaining roosters.
I am thawing out the last rooster today as I have already made this up with one of my roosters and it came out incredible. Knowing I was starting with a tougher than normal bird, I put the thawed rooster in a pot of water and added about a 1/4 cup of vinegar. Why add vinegar .. Because many of the recipes I have for dehydrating jerky call for marinades using vinegar. I was hoping the vinegar would soften up the muscle fiber enough to be tender rather than tough and stringy in the soup.
I brought the chicken to a boil and simmered until the meat was tender enough to fall of the bone. I then removed the bird and pulled off the meat. The skin went out to the feral cats and the bones and carcass went into the chicken pen. They make quick work of getting the last little bit of meat off the bones and in time, the bones will compost down into the soil.
I tasted the meat and was thrilled to find it was not tough but indeed more tender. Time now to make the soup. I used a large sauce pan and added 5 cups of the chicken broth from cooking the chicken to the pot. Instead of using a diced medium potato I used 1 cup of my dehydrated potatoes. I put them in a bowl and added more of the chicken broth to re-hydrate them a bit before adding to the soup. Once they had absorbed enough water, they were added to the pot as well as the chicken I pulled off the cooked rooster and shredded. I then added the soup mix and brought it to a boil. Once boiling I reduced the heat and simmered for 20 minutes.
Because I used the dehydrated potatoes I found the soup a bit thicker than I sampled at the show. So I ended up adding a bit more chicken broth towards the end to get more of a soup consistency. When it was done, I gave my visiting son a taste and he absolutely loved it. He loved it so much I had to send a big container of it home with him. That left me with enough to put into three containers for lunches the next week at work.
I have really enjoyed this soup mix and will be a repeat customer. Made as directed it is quick and easy and it tastes like you have been cooking all day. For me, making the soup did take some time. But the soup allowed me to use my home processed chickens and potatoes I have dehydrated and stored. The way I did it does take some time, but not time you are standing there over the stove. Being able to use my too tough roosters and enjoy the end result gives me peace I did not take their lives in vain. The end result is delicious and I highly recommend others checking this mix out as well as the others on the web site.