Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Meet Your Meat

Today, after finding excuses the last week to avoid dealing with the fact that two of my egg-raised chickens were maturing into roosters wanting to crow while making Mr. Rooster crow midday by violating his harem, this afternoon I finally took a young rooster from his overnight sleeping box that had spared neighbors from his juvenile crowing, hung him by his feet from a nylon rope affixed to my telephone pole and chopped his neck with my machete. His head did not come off but all movement stopped in half a minute. This was my sixth rooster kill, and it was still SO intense for me....I literally had to "man up" and make myself do it as an omnivore opposed to factory farming. This was my first rooster kill where all the water used,  from the scald that makes the feathers easier to pluck, to the rinsing of pin feathers from the plucked carcass, was all from a rain barrel. Once again I was amazed at the LACK of blood. And once again I literally got dry heaves when I sliced the abdomen and shoved my hand inside the body cavity to pull out the still-warm organs. I saved the gizzard and, as Julia Child would have advised, I saved the liver. I pulled up two 'American Flag' leeks, chopped off the roots and rinsed them, then folded them a few times into a fist-sized ball and stuffed that in the body cavity, sprinkled sea salt and powdered sage all over the bird then cooked it for 45 minutes at 350 in a Pyrex dish. Soon, with reverence, since I as always thanked the bird and apologized before killing it, I will eat a rooster-and-rice stir fry with fresh broccoli and kale and scallions, all from the gardens. A warm, powerful way to end a day that began with a nice rain.  John

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