Now that we had somewhere to do some cooking, we ventured out to the poultry section at the market.
These aren’t frozen boneless, skinless chicken breasts. These are live free range organic (as far as I know) chickens, roosters, and ducks brought daily to the market to await their fate.
If you know what you’re doing, you can pick out your own chicken, feel it, pinch it, and make sure it’s healthy and the exact size you want.
If you don’t know what you’re doing, like us, you can just let the nice vendor lady select your bird for you.
After she made the choice for me, she took my chicken, hung it from a plastic string and waited until it stopped flapping wildly around. I’m not even a huge “animal lover,” but at this point, I felt a little bad for the poor chicken.
She stoked her fire until the water was boiling, and plunged my now dead chicken into the water to loosen up its feathers.
Then, she expertly finished plucking it with one hand, while taking a call with the other.
After she hung up, she dug out the entrails.
It is default that the customer takes the entrails home with them. But, I declined the “best parts,” and my gutless little chicken got plopped into a plastic bag for me to take home.
I bought this chicken with the purpose of making chicken stock. We’ve been making chicken stock for a while now but we’re having to relearn the part of acquiring the chicken.
When I make my stock, I fill the stock pot, and soak the bird with a little vinegar for about an hour. Then, I bring it to a boil and skim the scum off the top. After the scum is skimmed, I then add some vegetables and herbs and allow it all to simmer for several hours. When it’s done I strain it and let the broth cool. You can click here for more details and a video instructional on how to make stock.
It’s a little disturbing that the chicken opens its mouth and sticks its tongue out while it simmers away.
I reserved a pot full of broth and the meat (which only ended up being about a cup’s worth) to make a big batch of chicken and vegetable soup. The rest I poured into containers and froze it so that we can have a cup of broth with our lunches for it’s warming and immune boosting properties during the cold winter.
As it turns out, grandmas weren’t wrong about the benefits of chicken soup. Broth made from scratch using bones of good quality animals has huge health benefits. Broth is easy for our bodies to digest and delivers a ton of minerals in a form that is really easy for our bodies to absorb. It actually even helps strengthen the digestive and immune systems and will help in recovering from most any illness. (source)
What is your favorite kind of soup? Have you ever picked out a live animal for your dinner?