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Happy Chicken Week - Part 1

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This post stems from a few different things. First - Mandi and I have been somewhat inspired by some of our favorite chefs, especially Jamie Oliver, in their discussion of the treatment of animals and what your meat goes through on the way to your mouth. We watched Ramsay purchase baby turkeys on his show "the F word" and build a pen for them in his backyard. His children would feed and play with them. Eventually they became Christmas dinner at his restaurant. If you are interested in this topic you can read some great articles here and here

Anyways, because of all this, we decided to try and only eat what mandi calls "happy meat" for a few months (lent). This may not seem hard to most people in the US. Just go to Whole Foods, shell out a few extra bucks, and get yourself some hormone and antibiotic free beef and free range chicken. Here in Bermuda, it's a bit more of a challenge. There are only 2 stores where we can get this type of meat, and often times they don't even have it. Also the selection is at times very dismal. I have found myself grinding my own beef on more then one occasion during these months when we had wanted tacos or something like that and they did not have ground beef in the Niman ranch section of the store. Also never mind something like sausage or pepperoni.

The other reason for this post is because I have been reading The elements of cooking by Michael Ruhlman and in this book he talks about a few of the things that separate a home cook from a trained chef in their cooking styles and procedures. One of the main things that I kept coming back to was the use of homemade stock. We have always used stocks from a can or box and never thought twice about it. After reading this section I have been excited to make stock.

I thought these things could come together and I could get a bunch of great meals out of one chicken for fairly cheap so I thought I'd give it a try.

Now for Part 1

Here is the onions and poblanos I used as a base to roast the chicken on.

He looks happy, doesn't he? He was 4 pounds and only about 1.5 times the price of 1 pound of boneless skinless chicken breast here in Bermuda.

I don't think he is happy anymore.

Inside I put cilantro, jalapenos, poblanos, and limes. I was going for a southwestern flavor because of the sandwiches and salad I would be making later. I hoped this wouldn't compromise the stock.

I didn't have any twine so I shoved this stick in there. He REALLY isn't happy now.

This was a rub of cayenne, chile powder, cumin, oregano, and paprika.

I ate the drumsticks, and wings for dinner and they were awesome. Meal number 1.

This is the meat that I got out of it, I am no expert at getting all the meat out but I think I did ok.

Here are the sandwiches I was making for mandi and my lunch the next day. Just a little skin on there to get the awesome flavor.

I rinsed out this mess and saved it for the stock.

The sandwich was really tasty the next day and yet very simple. Just some lime juice mixed with a very little mayo, the chicken, lettuce, tomato, cheddar. This is meal 2 and 3

Check back tomorrow for the exciting conclusion...

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