Thursday, October 4, 2012

Luv Dat Chicken

My grandmother kept chickens, and once a year in the spring we would butcher them. Neither of my grandparents used the axe-and-tree-stump method of killing chickens. My grandfather would take the bird by the head and spin it; the neck would break and the body would fly off to flop around on the ground. The head was given to the dog. My grandmother had a cast-iron lid about 24" in diameter; she put the chicken's head under the lid, stepped on the lid, and pulled on its feet. After the bodies stopped flopping around, they were dipped in boiling water to loosen the feathers. My job as a boy was to pluck them, which I did out behind the shed with my grandfather. Once they were plucked, they went inside to the kitchen where my grandmother and mother cut them up and put them in bags to freeze. We ate lots of chicken in the summer and fall.