Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Chicken Dinner

Strong Imagery Below- BE WARNED

It has been cold (for Brisbane) and our chickens had stopped laying. So I invited the 'butcher' around among other open minded friends to dinner....

The images following might not be what everyone wants to see. So please, if you're squeamish and want to remain an omnivore, stop reading!
(but consider watching Jamie Oliver this Wed 23rd July 2008 on Channel 10 at 9:30pm)

For those who wish to understand what happens before most of the world sits down to a meal of chicken keep reading.....

I have had many people squirm at the mention of killing your own food. I think many liken a chicken to their cat or dog - a pet. A chicken has and
always will be a source of food and part of a natural farming system. Most importantly, our chickens have had better lives than most and died humanely at the hands of people who truly appreciate the process.

The list of photos below is not an exercise in horror but an 'education' or '
demonstration of technique':-

Unsuspecting - we had fed them only a little grass in the morning. In hindsight, it's easier to fast them for 2 days before.

I dug quite a deep hole to bury all feather etc so no animals would ever dig them up. There is also a frame there for us to hang the chickens from to completely drain.

A sharp knife, chopping block and bowl to drain the blood into. (You of course only need the bowl if you wish to use the blood in cooking or feed to your dog etc)

It's easier with 2 people. One person holds the legs and the wings at their base. There are all sorts of techniques I've seen i.e. knocking the chicken out first, plucking feathers from the neck first, twisting & snapping the neck first.... I tried to pluck a few feathers first only to see the chicken in pain. The fastest and therefore most humane is a clean chop!

Nerves will make the chicken convulse for a good minute after death. Just hold on and drain the blood. (The plastic bag is only to protect a cast)

We tied the chicken up to drain while we moved onto the second chook.

In a large bucket of boiling water, dunk the chook for no more than 5-10 seconds (any more and it will start to cook). Plucking is easy! But as my Dad said "the smell is distinctive" not bad, just distinctive....

I only watched, but you want to cut open the cavity without cutting any organs etc. Start from the anus (on the stomach side). Cut away the skin...

Then cut in below the ribcage so you can then scoop out everything (hopefully) in one movement.


The chicken very quickly looks like what you might find in a supermarket.

We rescued a few 'golden' eggs. These are pre-laid eggs without a shell. Many consider them as a delicacy.... (I didn't taste one, can anyone describe the taste?)

The small balls on top are eggs in early formation. Looks like our chickens were ramping up production again...

The meat of two chickens.

We'll freeze these bones and use for stock and dog food later.

Dinner! I found the chicken to be very rich - almost like duck.

We used ginger and lemongrass from the garden in this dish.

Post-Chicken. With all the coffee grinds and chicken poo we might get some great corn, zucchini and beans in this patch as we come in to spring.

If you can't eat liver, neck, or chicken feet your dog will!


Anonymous said...

This guy has his technique down pat...


Kannika said...

Golden egg tasted powdery, I reckon

Cameron Murray said...

looks tasty. sorry I missed it.