Winner, winner, chicken dinner

Ok, so. We killed some chickens about a month ago. Killed, plucked, eviscerated, grilled, and dined upon. Clearly, I’m real slow about keeping you all in the loop, but it’s weighing heavily on my mind, I guarantee. I know you want to see pictures. I want to show you.

The birds showed up the afternoon before the day of the slaughter in a cardboard box ironically emblazed with “DINNERMATE” on the side. And they were big. And scary. Frankie and Waffles looked like fancy little creampuffs next to these two.

They were real serious – clearly upset. And we felt absolutely awful about the whole thing all day long. Thankfully, we held fast to our convictions: no matter how awful it may seem to kill a real, live animal – we eat meat. And in doing so, we should be willing to expose ourselves to the not-so-comfortable-yet-unavoidable reality.

(I want to pause here for one moment to offer my most effusive thanks to Morgan Maki and Linh Phu. These are two of the most amazing and sincere human beings I’ve ever met and they are, honestly, the ones who made this night happen. I love you both.)

So the day progresses. All of the prep is done. The house is eerily quiet. People start to show up. Morgan and Linh arrive. Everyone meets the birds. We all have a drink to steel our nerves. It’s a funny time: we all know what’s going to happen, but it still feels a little unreal. The birds are trying to put themselves to bed and I start to feel guilty. Finally, I make the call.

Out comes the first bird.

Morgan and I had discussed slaughtering methods earlier, and we agreed that we’d try to minimize the gore by trussing the birds and slitting their throats.

I held the body while Morgan plunged a knife through its mouth and out of the top of its head and then slit its throat. Unfortunately, the first bird didn’t die so easily. We finally untied it and Morgan took off the head with a cleaver.

We decided to forgo the throat slitting for the second bird and just chopped off the head. What I remember most from the slaughter is the silence. No one made a sound. I think we all felt uneasy about what we were doing, and at the same time, we all understood the importance of the act.

Once the birds had been slaughtered, we submersed them in boiling water and plucked them!

Morgan was kind enough to eviscerate both chickens and to show us what to keep and what to toss.

He also gave a demo on butchering, using some prepared birds I’d gotten from the restaurant.

Linh grilled flatbread and Morgan threw together an amazing slaw and we had a truly celebratory feast.

We roasted off all of the bones and made loads of stock. Sadly, none of us humans were skilled or brave enough to properly deal with the giblets, but we seared them off for the kittens who happily devoured them.

SFIS is on hiatus for the time being. Huge thanks to all who have attended thus far and big hugs and kisses to Phu and Maki for making our last event so profoundly wonderful. (And huge thanks to Francisco and Jesse for the photos!) If you would like to participate in a future event, please contact me.

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