Coq au Vin, the authentic version and a vast amount of chicken stock for canning was on our minds when my friend Cassie needed to dispatch four of her roosters for various reasons. I had Henry as a captive audience in the car so was inclined and able to give my “Where do you think your food comes from?” talk and tossed in “Chickens don’t poop out breaded nuggets.” for good measure. I didn’t know how he would react to the butchering.
By the time we arrived at Garden Girl Farm Cassie had already butchered two of of the four roosters but we were up close and personal for the remaining duo. It’s not an urban or in this case farm myth that chickens run around once the beheading has happened. It’s unnerving just how long they are still active. In the moment it feels like forever. Once the birds was killed we dipped them in boiling water to ease the plucking off of their feathers. I have no plucking shots because, well I was busy with handfuls of feathers, going back in for the stubborn quills.
Once plucked Cassie butchered the chicken. Also a bit unsettling was the behavior of the remaining flock. Those hens were hanging around waiting to be tossed the bits and pieces of what was an outstanding anatomy lesson. Apparently there is nothing more tasty to a chicken then a fellow bird’s lung or liver. Moving on to the portion of the day that most of us are more familiar with we browned the now salted chicken in some olive oil.
Into a stock pot the size of which I’m envious went the browned chicken, onions, celery, carrots and various herbs from the garden. Another portion of the chicken along with the above ingredients and a couple of bottles of Merlot went into another pot for the start of Coq au Vin. Remember scratch n’ sniff stickers? I wish there was that option for the simmering stock image.
There had been a whole bunch of verbal bravado from the boy. Would Henry swear off of meat? Would there be tears? Nope, I think he’s just fine. A chicken pot pie was consumed for dinner that night.