Butchering Chickens: A Guide to Humane, Small-Scale Processing by Adam Danforth

The space, setup, and equipment required to raise and process poultry are minimal when compared to other types of livestock, which is part of what makes chickens such an appealing choice for small-scale meat producers. Expert butcher and teacher Adam Danforth covers the entire slaughtering and butchering process in this photographic guide specifically geared toward backyard chicken keepers and small-farm operations invested in raising meat responsibly.

With step-by-step photos, detailed instructions, and chapters dedicated to necessary tools and equipment, essential food safety measures, how to prepare for slaughter and process the birds quickly and humanely, how to break down the carcasses into cuts, and how to package and freeze the cuts to ensure freshness, this comprehensive handbook gives poultry raisers the information they need to make the most of their meat.

Butchering Chickens: A Guide to Humane, Small-Scale ProcessingButchering Chickens: A Guide to Humane, Small-Scale Processing by Adam Danforth

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

FTC disclosure: I would like to thank Storey Publishing for providing me with an advance reader copy via access to the galley for free through the NetGalley program.

An excellent resource! Whether you’re a farmer, rancher, processor, butcher, chef, culinary student, home cook, educator, or perhaps a humanitarian navigating your way through local customs and yearning to make some yummy chicken enchiladas like myself, there is much insight to glean from this book. It contains everything you wanted to know about how to butcher a chicken in the most safe and humane way with as little waste as possible. It would make a great gift!

I appreciated that this book was well-written, well-organized, and well-researched for both presentation style and content. The step-by-step guides, balance of both technical terminology and ease of reading, as well as scientific rationales were appealing for the complete range of those who identify themselves anywhere on the spectrum from novice to expert.

Supplies, safety with emphasis on proper sanitation, alternatives to steps in the butchering process, cuts for ideal presentation and culinary purposes, different cooking methods, as well as pros and cons of each storage method were discussed in satisfying detail. The glossary and resource section was a thoughtful bonus. I really enjoyed the tips on obtaining a better flavor profile and maintaining desired textures which explored interesting aspects of the bird’s diet and product preservation.

Also the photography was outstanding and the carved whole boneless chicken was impressive!

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