Cliff and I discovered this year that the meat from old roosters can be tough and stringy. When my cousin, Betty, visited one day, I mentioned this to her. "I'm SURE that when I was a kid, Mother and Grandma butchered old hens and roosters, and they were delicious," I whined to my cousin.
"Use a pressure cooker," Betty said.
I knew I could trust her advice because she was raised on the farm, and helped her mom butcher chickens throughout her childhood.
Unfortunately, the only pressure cooker I owned was my pressure canner, which is huge. I guess technically I could use it for that purpose, but good grief! It would hold half a dozen chickens or more. Who wants to clean up something big enough to take a bath in, just for one chicken?
I used to have a regular pressure cooker. In fact, when I first got married, the only way I could make a tender roast was with the pressure cooker. As time went by, I learned to cook meats without it and it was abandoned on a shelf for years. Finally I threw it away. And now I found myself wanting one again, so the old roosters and hens will be edible.
I found one on Amazon.com for $25, which seemed cheap enough to me, and ordered it. It arrived yesterday.
Anxious to try out my new possession, I decided to cook some black-eyed peas so we can eat them tomorrow for good luck in the coming year (no, I'm not superstitious, it's just fun to play along). Although the book says to pre-soak most beans, I saw that I wasn't supposed to soak black-eyed peas. Oh, and they cook in four minutes, once the pressure is built up. Really? That didn't seem right, but as it turns out, they were done in that length of time.
Cliff hates black-eyed peas, says they smell like dirt. But a few years ago, Ree Drummond shared a recipe for a dip made with black-eyed peas that we both liked, so I might make that again. We're back on track with our eating, but we do have half a bag of tortilla chips left from our adventures in overeating last week. The recipe doesn't make much, so that's in our favor, too.