Did you know you can eat roosters? Chicken is one of the most consumed types of meat in the world, and over 50 billion chickens are farmed annually.
Although most of us are accustomed to buying chicken meat, some prefer to raise chickens. Therefore, a very common question that comes up when talking about raising chickens is: “Can you eat roosters, and what is their role?
The answer is yes! You can eat rooster meat, although people tend to have them for fertilizing eggs rather than for their meat! As someone who grew up on a farm and has tried the meat several times, I feel obligated to share my insight and a couple of recipes!
So, buckle up; in this article, we will go through vital information about rooster meat taste, why they are not generally consumed, and what you can do with it!
Broiler Chicken VS Rooster
As mentioned, chicken is one of the most popular meats on the market, and thanks to fast food restaurants such as KFC, we will probably never stop eating chicken. However, what about the roosters?
Why? The main reason is connected to economics, profitability, and meat production.
Broiler chickens are generally a preferred choice when it comes to raising chickens because it is much easier and financially sensible to raise and breed hens.
Even if you do not plan to raise hens, you can use them for laying eggs, making it another great source of income. In addition, having your own organic high-quality eggs is priceless!
The point of raising broiler chickens is their meat, and although they also lay eggs, they do it far less than layers or laying hens. Broiler chickens are also larger than those traditionally raised and grow very fast due to genetic selection.
Although many people ascribe their size to injecting various chemicals into them, the reason is related to genetics. In the last 50 years, broiler chickens have been bred under better and improved conditions, which allowed large-scale poultry breeders to raise bigger and healthier chickens.
If you compare the traditionally bred chickens or layers with the broiler chicken, the difference in size is more than obvious. Therefore, the broiler chickens have more meat, which the farmer can sell and make more profit.
Considering that hen meat is more profitable, most male chickens get slaughtered before they reach sexual maturity, as they pose a financial burden.
Can I Find Rooster Meat In Grocery Store?
The chances of stumbling upon rooster meat in a grocery store are very low. As mentioned, most male chickens get butchered before reaching sexual maturity, and they are mainly raised to fertilize the eggs after reaching maturity!
Also, their meat is more challenging to cook and tastes very different from broiler chicken meat. So, if you want to try rooster meat, you will have to go to a farm, backyard chicken raiser, or a specialized store.
You can also buy capon, which is rooster meat from male chickens castrated before reaching maturity. That way, due to the lack of testosterone, their meat tends to be softer, tastier, and easier to cook.
Also, there is a difference between a cockerel and a rooster; a cockerel is a younger male chicken, while a rooster is considered a male chicken older than a year! However, keep in mind that the taste of capon meat is different from regular rooster meat!
What Is the Taste of Rooster Meat?
Many people tend to ask: “How does a rooster taste like?” If you grew up on a farm, those chances are that you know why most people tend to avoid rooster meat. The main reason is the taste and the texture of the meat.
The rooster meat is much firmer or gamey than broiler chicken meat; therefore, you have to cook it or have it simmer for several hours to make it tender.
If you skip the process, you will end up with chewy chicken, and most people do not have the patience to cook it. That is how they end up with poorly cooked rooster meat that deters them from buying or making it ever again.
The taste is also different; many tend to compare it to turkey leg meat. Interestingly, tenderizing the turkey meat also takes hours in most cases. The age of the rooster also plays a vital role in the taste of their meat.
Older roosters have a stronger flavor compared to young ones. In addition, many people simply dislike the taste of rooster meat, which is one of the reasons you will not stumble upon it in regular stores. Ultimately, it comes down to your preferences and taste.
Should I Eat Rooster Meat?
If you like the taste of rooster meat, you should definitely eat it! Eating rooster meat will not make you sick or give you a negative experience if properly cooked!
The most commonly made recipe with rooster meat is bone broth, which can be used for other dishes or soups! If you have never tried it, I suggest that you do! Rooster meat with bones is known as the best broth, and some will argue that it is better than store-bought.
Furthermore, eating rooster meat has several health benefits! Some of those are, improving liver function, building muscle, and promoting heart health, among others.
Rooster Meat VS Hen Meat: Nutritional Value
One common question when debating the taste of the rooster and hen meat is which meat has more protein and nutritional value? Contrary to popular opinion, rooster meat is fattier compared to that of a hen and has high nutritional value.
The rooster meat contains many micronutrients, such as vitamin B and zinc, which boost our immune system and facilitate metabolism functions.
Furthermore, rooster meat also has more protein than hen meat, which has less protein and more fats.
On the other hand, rooster meat has a low level of amino acids and iron, unlike hen meat, which is packed with amino acids and iron.
Therefore, many consider this the reason why the consumption of rooster meat is so low, besides the taste. Interestingly, rooster meat has more calories than hen meat, which is also harder for the stomach to process!
What Can I Make With Rooster Meat or Cockerel?
You can make several recipes with rooster meat; my favorite is broth or soup! Rooster meat is a good choice for soups because of its high-fat content, giving a very rich and flavorful soup. How to make it? Well, there are several ways to make broth.
The first step is to put the rooster meat with bones (this is important) into a huge pan with water and cook it for an hour.
Then, take a different pan and sauté the onion and a bit of garlic with olive oil, and stir until they get a rich brownish color. From this point, you can add broth and other veggies, such as carrots, celery, and potatoes.
Do not forget the salt and the herbs: I like adding rosemary or thyme, but if you do not prefer their taste in your soup, feel free to skip it. Ultimately, you can add some pasta to the broth!
Another commonly used recipe with rooster meat is the famous coq au vin! If you never hear about it, coq au vin, as implied by the name, is a French dish or chicken stew made with rooster meat.
Many people claim that coq au vin is an excellent recipe if you do not know what to do with rooster meat. The two most important ingredients to make this dish are rooster meat and red wine. Why red wine?
Well, the meat is slowly cooked in red wine, which has acids that tenderize the meat, and after a couple of hours, you will have the tastiest and most wholesome meal.
Do not worry about the alcohol intake because at least 90% of it will evaporate during the cooking, making it an optimal choice for pregnant women and children.
The coq au vin is also known as the food of peasants, and there are numerous versions and variations of this recipe. Here is an excellent recipe for coq au vin that does not take that much time!
The main takeout from this article is that you can, in fact, eat roosters or rooster meat!
In this article, we have covered some of the main misconceptions regarding rooster meat, the difference between broiler chicken meat and rooster meat, their taste, where you can find it, and ultimately what you can do with it!
There are numerous recipes, but the coq au vin and rooster bone broth are the most popular! Have you tried chicken meat? If so, share your experience, and do not forget to ask if you have any questions or doubts about the rooster meat!