Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Alouette, gentil alouette, alouette, je te plumerai

     Those of you who don't know french may not know the translation of the song 'Alouette' that many of us sang when we were little. I was a little surprised to realize the song is about plucking the feathers off of a lark. (Alouette is lark in French, plumer is the verb 'to pluck', plumerai is the future tense)
     What does that have to do with this blog post? Well, it has nothing to do with larks, but it does have to do with plucking.
     Here, it is much like olden days-gifts are not always bought with money, but are sometimes produce grown in one's garden, or animals one has raised, captured, or bought. And in order to keep animals fresh until eaten, they are given while still living. I was party to such gifts at Christmas this year. I was given several papaya, plantains, and a rooster. Since roosters don't lay eggs, and I already have a functioning alarm clock, the only thing left to do with him was make a meal of him. Here's how it went down...

So excited-can't you tell?

Isn't he lovely? 
"What am I going to do with you?"

We became fast friends...I even gave him a name...Dinner. And I may have sung 'Alouette' to him before he was killed...

Papa Serge helped show me what to do.
Had chicken at Cedar Bend Farm in college, but I didn't kill it.
Just skinned and gutted it. Here he's showing me to hold it like that over
the hole so the blood can drain out after I've chopped it's head off.

So once you have the legs and wings held back, you rest it's
neck on the banana leaf, which is placed over a small log.
You use the back of the machete to rub the neck, to calm the
chicken, and stretch it's neck out so it's easier to cut.

1...2...3...and off with his head! I was afraid I wouldn't hit it hard enough
to kill it in one blow...so I did it twice.
See, I did it!!! Not too much blood either. But he did
move quite a bit after I cut his neck...

Then I put him in hot water to loosen the feathers.

Pa Serge and I worked together to pluck all the feathers off.

He's looking tastier by the minute.

Don't forget to take the innards out! Fortunately my recent surgical training helped with that...but I still didn't find the nuggets.

At last...Dinner is served.