Sunday, April 27, 2008

The chickens are coming, the chickens are coming!!!!!

As I said in the last post, I went to Beau's farm last tuesday and butchered some of our milk-fed chickens. The video above is just a beginning intro. to the process. HOWEVER, THERE ARE PHOTOS OF THE ACTUAL BUTCHERING PROCESS BELOW.....THERE IS NO GRACEFUL WAY TO PRESENT THIS, BUTCHERING INVOLVES DEATH. IF YOU DONATE MONEY TO PETA OR HAVE AN AVERSION TO SEEING WHERE YOUR FOOD COMES FROM, PLEASE STOP RIGHT NOW AND GO HERE.... Also, now that you've watched the opening video, you'll see that I don't have a crack video team following me around and doing all kinds of wicked editing. I left the cell phone ringing on the end of the video so that it appears that I'm a super busy, globe trotting chef. No really, I am. That call was the restaurant in Dubai telling me that the video conference link with the London restaurant was down....

On with the story!!! First, I have to thank Beau for trying out this idea from the beginning. These chickens were the result of a conversation I had with Beau in October when we were trying to 'build the perfect chicken'. We got the first 'test birds' for our New Year's Eve dinner and within 10 minutes of delivery, I was on the phone with Beau(he's on speed dial) telling him about 'the best chicken I've ever eaten'. I asked to start a process so that we could have 'spring chickens' and sure enough, we had them last week.

This first pic is of Scott taking a chicken from Beau's movable coop that allows the birds to feed on pasture.

This next shot is of the hanging and killing process. The chickens are tied and then the throats are slit and the chickens are bled as quickly as possible. As this is happening we held the sides of the bird to reduce their stress during the process. Once the chickens are fully bled, they are scalded and the feathers are picked. From there it's on to the butcher table.

On to the table...this shot is Beau showing me the butchering process. Like I've said in earlier posts, Beau can butcher in my kitchen any day. This part of the process involves removal of the feet, neck and head, and all internal organs. Once we are through with this the chickens are plunged into ice cold water to chill them as quickly as possible.

This final photo is proof that these chickens have eaten some grass in their diet. Enough said.

So, there's the process. Please check back frequently throughout the week. The plan was that we were going to post videos showing what to do with the whole bird once you get it home. I'm a huge champion of getting rid of boneless, skinless, chicken breasts. It's kind of like caffeine free, diet coke. What's the freakin' point? Go to your local farmer, buy a whole chicken and cook along with me as I present demonstrations on what to do with the whole bird....even the cockscombs. Seriously.

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