Monday, May 24, 2010

Real Chicken

This must be the place.
Chicken plucking is exhausting work.
Slow chickens taste the best!
Mixing the stuffing.
Heating the oven.

Click the pix for larger picture.

Chicken here is different than in the U.S. They are not those big, mutant white things that are genetically modified to grow in six weeks in a cage with the help of modern chemistry. American chickens are very tender and big. Chinese chickens run around a lot. You see them on the sidewalks in the city, and we have neighbors that keep some around. Around holidays you can hear a damn rooster or two crowing because you know how they love a big cock at the holidays.
You can buy them whole in the supermarket and they always come with head and feet attached, and with giblets. You can also get them with undeveloped eggs included, which is great in soup. You can get a live bird at the open market and do it yourself, but there are professionals who are much better at it, and the bird is still fresh.
My favorite chicken dish is a local specialty that you can get at our Forest Park. The park is on the outskirts of town and has a small amusement park and a big open dining area. The best place is further into the wilds of the park, where there is a cluster of houses where the locals serve the best chicken ever.
It's best to call ahead so your bird is ready when you get there, but if you don't mind waiting a couple of hours, they'll catch, kill and cook one for you on the spot. They stuff the birds with garlic, onion, ginger and spices, wrap it in banana leaves and foil and slow bake in little rock ovens. They serve it with sweet potatoes, corn on the cob and sweet potato greens. Oh yeah and cold beer. It is my favorite ever!