Monday, December 05, 2005

Blood Lust

My Grandpa Tom, who unfortunately left this world this year, was a hunter and farmer at heart. During my teen years, I had to clean and dress field rabbits for him periodically. When I was a small child, he bought some live chickens (how often he did this, I don't remember but I witnessed it at least once). I witnessed him grab by the fowl by the throat and break its neck. He would bring the many lifeless creatures up the back stairs to the kitchen. My Grandma Hilda was there with boiling water to aid in the de-feathering process.

I tell you this because I want you to know that while I am not a cold heartless carnivore, I am a well aware of how fried chicken gets to my plate.

In October, I wandered into Chicago Live Poultry to purchase a rabbit. I wasn't looking to destroy life or anger PETA activists. I really just wanted to have a unique experience. Little did I know that two months later, I would have visited the store twice more.

Chicago Live, originally uploaded by mylilpip.

Just last week, a rooster was sacrificed and fried for my pleasure. He was a tough little rooster so I ended up smothering him and gravy. The time spent braising made him juicy and delicious.
I wanted to buy a goose when Steve and I bought the rabbit. I guess it was the novelty of the experience or the overwhelming smell of chicken shit and blood that made me pass on the idea.

As we got knee deep into the holiday season, I knew that I really wanted a goose for Christmas Eve. The closest place to get a fresh goose would be Chicago Live Poultry.

Yesterday, I called Chicago Live Poultry looking for a goose (it is going to be very nappy Dickens' Christmas in this house this year). The host told me they had them but when I got there, they didn't. I didn't want to waste a trip so I picked out a chicken. They left him whole for me. A whole chicken included the feet. It was actually very comical. I hope people start doing rubber chicken bits again.

When I got home, I brined the cluckless bird, herbed her up (this is not a drug reference), and roasted her real good. I removed her from the oven when she reached 160 degrees Fahrenheit. I proceeded to make a gravy from the pan drippings and then I herbalized myself (this is a drug reference.

The chicken that had been alive just eight and a half hours ago was served with a roasted sweet potato and enjoyed while Steve and I watched Desperate Housewives.

I don't why I feel the need to tell you all this. I guess I just want to some validation for my actions. I feel bad that I personally chose a living creature to die for my gastronomic pleasure. However, I feel a respect towards food that I didn't have before. I realize that you have to cherish meat because an animal gave his life to give life to you.

Tonight, I am cooking a buttercup squash soup with broccoli pesto sauce and Greek yogurt. No animals will die in the making of this meal.

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