2 CHICKENS AND 1 DUCK
we had painters in our house for three days so we decided to abandon ship and to spend some time with one of my best friends at his house in the countryside. this friend of mine is a chef and his abode is fully equipped with live hens, ducks and fresh eggs. as usual, we had some fabulous food and plenty of laughs. on the eve of our departure my friend announced that he needed some help butchering 2 chickens and 1 duck. the beasts were getting old so it was time to put an end to their misery. since it was something i had never done before i enthusiastically volunteered to help. following this experience, i can say that i think it is something all meat eaters should do at least once in their lifetime. it gives a whole new perspective to biting into a piece of meat! i am hesitant about putting all of the gory details and pictures of guts and testicles in a post, so i am publishing just a couple of the “cleaner“ images and saving the details for anyone who is curious enough to e-mail me about their queries.
it took us 3 hours to do the butchering which included the guillotine, the hot water bath, the plucking, the gutting and the cleaning. the amazing thing is that every single part of the bird is conserved and used in various traditional country recipes like: “collo ripieno” - stuffed chicken neck, “crostini” - liver pate’, “cibreo” - a famous restaurant in florence and an antique florentine dish made from giblets. following country cooking rules, the only things we threw away were the beaks and the innards. even the intestines were cleaned and kept for rustic pasta sauce (cleaning those was definitely the biggest nasal challenge i have had in a long time!).
there is a good chance that the next time we spend an evening with my friend we’ll be eatin’ those birds!