16 February 2012

chicken butt!

ChickensWe eat lots of meat. My husband appreciates a steak as much as the next man, and well, so do I. (Jared says that was one of the things that surprised him after marrying me. He thought I would just eat rabbit food all the time, but lo, I demand chicken thighs with my lettuce.) And personally, my body seems to run better on protein and fat than on sugar.

So you'll never find us having green bean salad for dinner. As a side to chuck roast or swai fillets, absolutely. Alone? Not in this house of confirmed carnivory. While we consume more than our fair share of eggs and I enjoy legumes several times a week, the meat's the thing.

Good-quality meat is obviously more expensive than bread or rice, but thankfully we've been able to find ways to afford it about 70% of the time, and just buy conventionally raised meat when we can't. I figure that CAFO beef is better than no beef at all.

One recent cost-saving (and fun) endeavor: buy whole chickens and break them down myself. It demands knife skills and a fair investment of time. I broke down twelve chickens in 3.5 hours and froze four more whole. If you stick it out-- and aren't disgusted by raw chicken corpses, ahem, sisters-in-law-- you save lots of money and get a freezerfull of various useful chicken pieces, from boneless skinless breasts to wings. And you can also freeze those carcasses for delicious stock!

For thorough instructions on breaking down a chicken, including pictures, look here. My additional two cents: it's easier to slice away the breast when you remove the skin first. And don't be afraid to bend those legs backwards to find the joint.

If you live in the Lancaster area I recommend Eberly Poultry. Every bird they sell is freerange, grassfed, and hormone-free. They have organic products as well. Check their website for weekly specials! Several weeks ago they were offering "grade B" roasters for $1.05 per pound. Occasionally missing a drumstick or a wing, but apart from that, perfectly good. That's what I bought for my chicken-butchering fiesta.

On a completely unrelated note . . . you guys, we have seventeen different kinds of tea in our cupboard. Intervention please?

Shared at Simple Lives Thursday.

{image credit: Allie's Dad}


  1. Intervention is on the way. I'm flying out today to have 17 cups of tea with you!

  2. We eat a whole chicken every week. I don't have ANY idea how to get it as cheap as $1.05/lb organic, though, except mule it in from my dad's farm when we or they visit. It's like $4/lb here as far as I've found.

    We also have too many teas in our cupboard. I have banned myself for buying more until it's cleared out, and I've not bought tea in six months or so. Still going strong!

  3. i thought of Lori while reading about your raw chicken dicing... and laughed out loud when you gave your sil's a shout out. :)

    if you pare down your tea collection - you can drop it off here and i will use it for cg. :)

  4. I have twelve types of tea in my cupboard and I live alone; clearly you can go up to 24 types.

  5. My dad has brought up a couple times in recent days how he thinks his kids need the experience of watching a chicken beheaded and running around with it's head cut off. Really? Really?! We "need" that? I'm not convinced.
    This post reminded me of that. Thanks a lot. :p