Sep 14, 2011 | 1 comment

finger-lickin’ tough

     Blackie-the-Beautiful-Rooster had been in our freezer a year (and could have stayed indefinitely as far as I was concerned) when Nyel decided to put his crock pot to the ultimate test.  Would an overnight slow cooking session render the bird edible?
     I had my doubts.  That rooster was more than a year old when Nyel put him out of our misery.  He was a mean cuss, not only to the hens but to the hand that fed him.  He’d drawn blood twice when Nyel said, “That’s it!” and did him in.
     We both remembered Don Anderson’s story about the chicken he and Sue killed for company dinner.  They thought it might be tough, so they stewed it.  And stewed it.  And stewed it.  Finally, in desperation, they ground it up and put it in tacos!  That story was our ‘safety net.’   Our back-up position, so to speak.
     Nyel decided to do coq au vin.  The Joy of Cooking recipe said:  To tenderize an old chicken before braising, place it in a closely lidded heavy casserole on a piece of bacon rind or a few strips of bacon.  Put the casserole in a 250º oven for about 45 minutes until the flesh of the bird becomes white and has a pleasant aroma.  The chicken is then ready to use for braising… or, in this case, ready for the crock pot.
     The next day and several taste tests later, we used the sauce (only) over pasta.  Not bad!  You can’t go wrong with pasta-au-vin.
     The bird, himself?  Chicken and bean burritos last night.  Thanks for the long-ago culinary tip, Don!  But to paraphrase pioneer James Swan’s assessment of eating crow:  “I ken eat an old rooster, but hang me if I hanker arter it.”

1 Comment

  1. Cousin Ralph

    This reminds me of the old joke about the hillbilly who shot a crow that had a legband that said “Wash. Biol. Surv.” Well he followed the instructions and was not pleased with the resulting boiled crow!


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