If you are looking at the fact that home grown chicken does not seem to be as tender as store bought - For me the trick is fast and at least 24 hours cooling of the carcass before cooking. the 24 hours really seems to make a difference, 36 hours even better. Also I think most of "grandma's" chicken dishes called for long slow cooking like while at church on Sunday for a few hours. Even fried chicken was done slowly.
If your home grown, home butchered, chicken is not far better than "store bought" you are not doing something right. DW, from the city, would not think of home butchered chicken till we tried it. Now she helps butcher and has decided to double our order of chicks for next year.
We fry our young roosters. Roll parts in flour. Put in hot vegetable shortening and brown, turning to get all sides. Turn the heat down to simmer, add a little water, cover and let set for 30 minutes. Then take the lid off and let it crisp up again. Enjoy.
The simmering will help tenderize the meat.
Our homegrown chicken were free range, a lot more muscle mass than battery raised birds. A friend of dh's works in a chicken place, thousands of birds, with little or no room to move, the unsanitary conditions etc. No wonder home grown,hormone free chicken tastes different!
Homegrown is by far much tastier and more tender than store bought. As goatlady mentioned, the chicken needs to 'set' at least 24 hours after butchering before cooking or even freezing it. Also - if you want tender baked chickens, butcher them at about 5 months old. The older they get, the tougher they get. And bake them Breast side down for the majority of the time, flipping up near the end to brown the breast skin if you want it that way. That's what's always worked for us. We've only pressure cooked the ones that are 4-5 years old - those hens that have drastically cut back on laying.
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