I’ll tell you right up front this story is about “preparing” chickens for the dinner table, and I’ve included a couple of pictures that are not too graphic 🙂
I’ve been reading chapters of my Gone Missing story to my writing group, and there was much discussion when my protagonist admitted to having no clue how to butcher a chicken. Turns out one of the Cindys (of the six in the group there are three Cindys/Cindies?) raises chickens. I’ve always thought this was something I should know how to do, not sure why, goes with my pioneer spirit or something. Turns out they butcher in the fall and I was invited to help. Oh boy 😉 I missed the first round but they saved three chickens for me. So it happened yesterday.
Cindy told me to dress appropriately. As a bonus, Cindy also has horses and we planned to go riding later, so I wore my grubbies. Not as grubby as I should have. I only watched the “deed,” graciously done by Cindy’s husband. Cindy has green-checked polyester pants just for the occasion (are thrift stores great or what?) and it’s a messy affair. They had a big bucket of scalding water ready and after a quick dunking the feathers came right off, more or less. That was the part I helped with. I plucked one to Cindy’s two and I was given plucking technique lessons and told family butchering stories as we focused on our birds. Her dog, Buster, helped too, standing by and ready for the heads to fall. Then at the big sink in the kitchen I was given rooster anatomy lessons, from the outside and working in. Quite interesting actually, but admit I didn’t help with that part. She expertly showed me how to cut one up for frying and made it look easy. I’ve never been good at cutting up a whole bird and still am not, made it into a real chore and Cindy had to repeat some of her instructions more than once. She was very patient. And then the chickens had to cool, so off we went riding!
Cindy and her husband have four horses and we rode the two pretty black Morgans. One rides like a couch, she said, one like a truck, she gave me the couch 🙂 Cindy likes bareback, this Cindy needs a western saddle, but it didn’t take long to get ready. She can ride out the back of her enviable property right into open forest with miles and miles of trails. We made a couple of loops, seemed like loops to me anyway, including one with a view of the big lake in the purple dusk, fresh snow-capped peaks in the distance. Lights from town sparkled in the distance as we came back into the corral. It had been a great afternoon, one that I wish to repeat if she’ll let me!!! Now I’m off to BBQ a fresh chicken leg/thigh I was lucky to bring home….