Thursday, October 27, 2011

improvised efficiency

I sometimes surprise myself :-D

OK fine, it's just the brain going into auto-mode from years of absorbing stuff like a leaky sponge, but still. It sure comes in handy sometimes.

My friend raised some grain-fed meat chickens this summer, had them slaughtered at 14 weeks of age about a month ago - these birds lived outside in a big aviary, were never fed any antibiotics or crap and got to eat bugs and whatnot.

I bought six thinking they'd last until spring.

Until I tasted one a couple of weeks ago.

Oh my goodness.

First, they're the size of turkeys.

The meat is darker, there is no layer of fat under the skin - and they don't "shrink" after they're cooked, either. Grocery store birds are soooo disgusting when you think of it - I can never again buy that garbage, I'd rather go without. Did you know that unless the package says "air chilled", the meat is pumped with water? And the babies are slaughtered at 39 days of age, after being crammed in a dark stinky barn full of shit during their short lives? And let's not talk about what's being fed to them to force them to grow so fast, so quickly.


Anyways, I digress.

This morning I had one of these huge, defrosted, shrink-wrapped birds in my sink and no idea what to do with it. So I started taking it apart...

Breast meat in a bowl, skin off and cubed. Ah, I'll make an indian dish with that tomorrow evening. In the fridge it goes, covered and ready to go.

Huge legs went in the crock pot with brown sugar, dijon mustard, garlic, balsamic vinegar and pepper. I'll cook those down to fall-off-the-bone goodness and that'll be good for lunches - sammiches and whatnot.

The huge carcass with plenty of meat left on it and the two giant wings are now simmering on the stove with onions and celery, we'll have chicken and veggie soup later tonight and I'll be sure to make enough for leftovers. Oh and I'll have an extra container of home-made broth ready to pop in the freezer for another day, too.

It's amazing how many meals we're getting with just one huge, ethically raised & fed bird.

I sometimes wish I wasn't such a wuss, I could raise our own meat birds and save a lot of money on grocery bills and I'd know exactly what we're eating, you know? But alas, if I've seen it alive there is just no way in hell I could ever hurt it, never mind eat it.

I even have a hard time ripping veggies from the ground, sometimes I can hear them screaming when they're being cut...

Maybe I need help.


Debby@Just Breathe said...

I wondered if you ate chicken. I knew you wouldn't eat your own. Those sound like lovely chickens.

Anke said...

You are so lucky! I've been trying to find somebody who raises, butchers and sells chickens around here and so far have been totally unsuccessful.

Roshan said...

You made me crave chicken so much now. I don't think I've eaten chicken in almost 4 weeks now.

Frank said...

When I lived in Michigan, we found a turkey farm about an hour's drive from our house that specialized in free-range turkeys. We started getting those for Thanksgiving and Christmas and boy were they fantastic.

Anonymous said... now that I am all hungry with nothing to eat - I am wondering can you freeze one and ship to me for Thanksgiving in the States? *smile* just kidding. But it sounds like a nice surpise! I love dark meat chicken! My faV!

Anonymous said...

After that I'm sure it would be hard to go back to store bought anything! It's amazing what we tolerate about how food is processed and sold in our stores. I'm guilty of it too. But where the hell am I going to get a freshly slaughtered turkey in LA? makes it hard!

Lou said...

Just slaughtered (actually I didn't do it - chickened, geddit, out) some roosters. They came back looking good. Not huge like meat birds, but big enough for coq au vin.

Happy New Year darling girl.... spring is just around the corner. I promise.