Yesterday Vince butchered the last of the extra roosters. I know to some it sounds cruel but you just can’t have more than one rooster per about 14 hens. They’re rough on the hens and the roosters will fight each other, often til one of them is injured beyond saving. It’s constant chaos when there are too many roosters.
When you buy the baby chicks, they either come designated “Pullets”, meaning all hens (supposedly), or “Straight Run”, which means basically . . luck of the draw. When we hatch our own or buy straight run, we seem to consistently end up with about 60/40 roosters to hens. There are several ways that you’re supposed to be able to tell which are girls and which are boys. My favorite (other than checking the vent and you don’t even want to hear about that method . . besides, I don’t know how it works, nor do I want to know) method is to put their feet between my fingers, and hold them upside down (kinda like a wine glass rack where you slide the base through the slot). If they fight and try to right themselves, it’s a rooster. If they’re docile and don’t fight, it’s a girl (or a lazy rooster).
When we bought the Wyandottes, we got 10 and used the upside down method. We ended up with 7 hen and 3 roosters, which isn’t bad for us. One of the hens died so that left us with 6 hens and 3 roosters . . horrible ratio. Two of the roosters had to go. If you try to find a home for the roosters, it’s obvious that just about everyone who calls is going to butcher the so . . we bought them, we fed them . . we’ll eat them!
That means that yesterday I had two roosters too cook. They’re young and not tough but also not the best meat. It can be a little stringy so I try to cook it in ways where it won’t be so noticeable that it’s stringy. I thought about making chicken spaghetti but I’m not real crazy about that. Then I thought . . it’s getting cool enough for gumbo! Not really . . but close.
I’m not going to be home a few days this week and Vince needs lunch so I thought gumbo would be perfect. He thought that was a great idea — lunch today could be gumbo and then he’d have enough for at least one meal during the week and I’d have some to put in the freezer. I cooked the roosters in the pressure cooker last night, pulled the meat off the bone and chopped it.
Typically, gumbo is better served the next day but . . today was going to have to be the same day. I got up very early, made a roux, chopped the vegetables and made gumbo and macaroni salad. Having gumbo ready to serve at 11:00 isn’t an easy task but I knew if I worked really hard and stayed on task, I could do it.
Just as I got it all in the pot to sit and simmer for an hour or so, Vince called. “I forgot that I have a meeting at lunch and won’t be home!” Hmmm . . I guess it’s a good thing I didn’t know earlier because I wouldn’t have made the gumbo and it’s good that it’s made.
I had gumbo and macaroni salad for lunch . . by myself. I didn’t even make rice. I’ll make rice this evening and we’ll have it again. And I won’t say a word about how the heck he could forget he wasn’t coming home for lunch today, and I spent my whole morning making lunch! Men! Can’t live with ’em and can’t live without ’em.