Why is everything different?
I made a chicken for dinner on Christmas. Actually, the recipe called for a whole chicken cut in half, placed on a baking sheet. Taking a whole chicken and cutting it in half didn’t sound too hard. And I like baking, because after the prep … you just stick it in the oven and wait. So, off we went to the grocery store in search of a chicken.
If the fact that chicken comes from … chickens bothers you, you might want to stop reading here.
So, I’m an amateur cook. I like to cook – but I’m definitely an amateur, and I don’t cook that often. (Which explains a little bit about why Ryan was giving me such a hard time about the number of cookbooks and strange kitchen implements that I own.) I am super-beginner when it comes to cooking meat. Meat makes me nervous, if you cook it wrong, you could get sick!
Anyway, so, I haven’t dealt with a whole lot of raw chickens – but I get the concept. But here’s the thing, Italian chickens are soooo not like American chickens. There’s a lot more chicken involved. Looking through the chickens shrink wrapped in the grocery store … there were feathers still. Not a lot … but more than none. Which is too many. And chicken hairs. Do chicken have hairs? The one we bought seemed to. And feet! The feet = totally not ok. They had little chicken toes on them, and toe nails. And one of them had a broken toe, which was somehow really sad. Even though the whole chicken was now dead – I was really upset about its broken toe.
So, I spent a good 10 minutes at the grocery store staring at the chickens with a shocked look on my face, exclaiming over all of their visible body parts, and probably offending all the Italians. *sigh*
We ended up buying a chicken that was already cut into pieces, that didn’t have any toes.
We cooked it, and it was fine – but I threw in some American chicken breasts too, just in case. Unsurprisingly everyone ate the chicken breasts and left the weird Italian chicken. It didn’t even look right. It had really thick skin, and the meat was redder .. and gamier than usual. Ryan, who knows a lot more about farm animals than I do, said it seemed like rather than raising chickens specifically for eating like we do in the US, it seemed like they just found some chickens running around that had gotten kinda old … and decided to sell them for meat.
Always an adventure … even at the grocery store. Who would have thought?