Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Warning post not for the squeamish or vegetarian

I am sharing this post because I want to chronicle the good the bad and the ugly as I travel on my little journey towards a more self sufficient lifestyle. Life and death are a part of life on a farm and I want to record things the way they happened.
Yesterday my grandson's chow/shepard mix puppy decided to play ( I don't think he really knew what he was doing) with one of Rhode Island Red Hens. He played with her so hard that the only humane thing to do was to kill her to end her suffering. When I picked her up and saw the damage I could not help but feel that she probably weighed 12 lbs. I knew that it would be an absolute waste to just kill her and bury her so I decided the time was now to get my hands dirty and get her from the yard to the pot. I wanted to raise my own food right? Time to put my money where my mouth is.

In the back of my head I kept thinking our grandmother's generation or at least our great-grandmother's did this probably once a week if they were lucky enough to have some land and a yard full of chickens. Since the damage to her skin was so bad I decided the easiest thing to do at 7 in the evening would be to skin her. With a decent skinning knife from my son the whole thing went pretty fast. I will spare you all the gory details but will say the directions for the whole process are easily found on the Internet and really not that bad.

Once she was cleaned up she was washed seasoned, put in the crock pot overnight with a hand full of fresh herbs from my garden Rosemary, Oregano, Basil and Thyme stuffed inside the carcass for flavor. The only mistake I made was to cook it on high all night I should have set it on low for a more tender finish. Never the less it looks and tastes just like any other chicken. I think with a slightly more gamey flavor since she was free range, but that may be my imagination. I will be taking a chicken wrap for lunch today and a sense of satisfaction knowing I did what I said I was going to do. She lived a happy life and she died quickly at my hand. ( after the unfortunate dog event), I don't enjoy anything about taking a life, I did a stint as a vegetarian because I am appalled at what goes on in the meat processing plants, but I do eat meat ,and I feel good about moving in this direction when it comes to where my meat for the table comes from.
Off I go to make the money to buy the chicken feed.

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