Once your chicken has been plucked, it will need to be dressed – the innards have to be removed. To do this, lay the chicken on its back and look for the point of the breastbone. Using a very sharp small knife, insert the point of the knife into the chicken and cut down towards the anus. Do not cut all the way to the anus! Stop just before you get there. Cut around the anus in a circular motion, being very careful not to cut through the intestines or any other internal organs. At this point, some people like to tie a string around the end of the intestine to keep any fecal matter from coming in contact with the meat.
Once the anus has been removed, you’ll need to reach your hand inside the abdominal cavity and pull out all the organs. You’ll need to really push your hand in all the way to get the heart and the windpipe. After all the organs have been removed, cut off the neck and the lower legs. Rinse the bird well and place it immediately in an tub or dishpan filled with cold water and ice.
Your home-grown chicken is now ready to eat! If you’ve never eaten a fresh chicken that was home-grown, you’ll be surprised at how much different it tastes than the ones you buy from the grocery store. You can find some great chicken recipes on my cooking site, Best American Food!