Yup, I said it...RIGOR MORTIS. Here is a few reasons why you may want to rethink that 'fresh' chicken request.
Last year, when we were solely processing on the farm, we would have people say, 'I can't wait to get home & cook this!' We would warn them not to, but they'd do it anyway in excitement & then would comment that the meat was tougher than usual.
If you are unfamiliar, rigor mortis is the process in which the joints & muscles stiffen a few hours after death & lasts for 1-4 days. While many associate this process with a human body, it actually happens in your meat sources as well.
In poultry, rigor mortis typically occurs within a few hours of slaughter & lasts 24-48 hours following. Unless you really like chewing or have the jaw of a hippo, you may want to leave your freshly processed meat in the refrigerator or freezer to rest for a few days. This will give the bird ample time to relax & make your experience a whole lot better. We don't want you thinking that we are the worst farmers on the planet producing leather like chicken over here, when you are actually consuming rigor mortis - aka the 3rd stage of death.
While farm fresh is best, you may want to hold off on throwing that bird in the roaster following a processing day & instead let it rest.
Now that we go to a processing facility instead of processing on farm, this is a whole lot less likely to be your experience with a Hidden Creek chicken. We choose to educate nonetheless so that you can make informed decisions when buying direct. If a farmer is telling you to take home that chicken and fire up the oven...you might want to find a new farmer.
Our deboned chicken breasts are highly sought after & never last long in store. Often times we have customers from out of town waiting in the driveway for Jesse as he hauls home a batch of chickens from the butcher just so that they can stock up.
It should be noted that our chickens are slaughtered first thing on a Tuesday morning & picked up by Thursday afternoon. This means, that the rigor mortis stage should be coming to an end before the chicken is hitting our shelves. However, like every human, every chicken is different as well. It's always going to be a possibility to have this experience when throwing 'fresh' chicken on for dinner the night that it comes home from the butcher.
We recommend putting those chickens in the refrigerator for at least 24 hours if purchasing within the rigor mortis time frame. Patience is a virtue & we can promise that you will have a much better experience with farm fresh chicken if you follow this method. We guarantee that Hidden Creek chicken is worth the wait with a difference that you can taste.