We will not teach you anything by telling you that a rooster refers to a hen’s breeding adult male. But did you know that male chicken can also be eaten? It is also a staple of French cuisine, especially the famous coq-au-vin (literally “rooster in wine”). However, it is quite unusual to find rooster meat for dinner in most American homes. However, its taste and nutritional value may deserve even more attention.
Quick Overview of the Rooster
Unlike the capon, which is castrated, the rooster has a characteristic crest and greater muscle mass due to a more significant amount of male hormones. It is a bird of the order Galliformes and the Gallus gallus domesticus subspecies. Thus, the rooster is quite simply a male chick that has reached sexual maturity (therefore more than 6 months old).
Also, since the rooster is older than the chicken, it is bigger and can grow up to 10 pounds. Its flesh is firmer but also tastier than that of chicken.
What Is the Nutritional Value of the Rooster?
Like other poultry, roosters are an excellent source of protein and contribute to the health of muscles and bones. Rooster meat, however, is fattier than that of chicken. However, most of its fat is located under the skin; therefore, it is relatively easy to remove once the poultry is cooked.
In addition, rooster meat also provides micronutrients such as zinc and B-group vitamins, especially vitamin B3.
What Does a Rooster Taste Like?
The rooster has a very fragrant and tasty flesh, but it is firmer than other poultry. Therefore, it is usually simmered for several hours in wine to tenderize it.
How To Cook a Rooster?
You can cook the rooster in a stew, like the famous coq-au-vin. It is recommended to marinate the meat beforehand to tenderize it even more. It is then cooked in the marinade with the addition of various herbs, such as thyme, rosemary, and garlic, or vegetables such as carrots, mushrooms, or others. Note that the gelatin, resulting from the cooking of its skin, binds the sauce you want to accompany your dish. Avoid braising or roasting your rooster meat, as it will become inedible.
In a slightly more exotic way, the rooster can also be cooked with curry or with other mixtures of spices. You can accompany your rooster in sauce with steamed potatoes, rice, and fresh pasta.
Rooster ridges can also be eaten. To prepare them, simply cook them in a mixture of salted water, flour, and lemon juice, before scraping and rubbing with salt (to remove the outer layer), then pan-frying in a butter base.
Where To Buy Rooster Meat
Rooster meat is very rarely present in grocery stores. You will probably have to order it from your butcher or poultry shop. Once you find your rooster, make sure to touch its flesh, which must be very firm. If the rooster is sold whole with the head, make sure the crest is soft and not dried out. In addition, its color should be bright.
Why Is Eating Rooster So Unusual in American Homes?
Most people living in American homes are not used to eating rooster simply because it is very rare to find it in the grocery store. Indeed, it is more expensive to raise roosters for their meat than to raise simple chickens. In addition, hens do not need a rooster to lay eggs for human consumption, so rarely more than one or two roosters will be found in chicken flocks.
Wrapping It Up
If you are lucky enough to find a rooster at your favorite butcher, do not hesitate to try this meat known to be firm but tasty. After marinating it in a mixture of red wine and herbs, simmer it for two or three hours in this marinade and surprise your guests during the next Thanksgiving!
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