Monday, January 10, 2011

Chicken

When Ryan and I were first married, I was 21 and 4 months. I had gone away to a one year college program a few states away and had come back. He had moved across the country to a school a state away from my home, met me, graduated from college... and then moved to my town, lived with my brother-in-law and sister and had just graduated from police academy.

The thought of cooking was really, really overwhelming to me. My sister is an amazing cook. She is a perfectionist and puts a lot of love and detail into just about every meal she makes. I absolutely love eating at her house because it is a guarantee that I will be eating an amazing meal. (Like the massive prime rib roast cooked to perfection that she served for Thanksgiving!) She's kind of a hard act to follow. After we were married, I was chicken about meat. I had a hard time cooking meat because it grossed me out. I'd stick plastic baggies on my hands and try to limit all physical contact with it by using tongs to hold or poke it whenever possible. My face was in a permanent grimace.

Things got better and little by little I was becoming more brave. However, when we first moved to our house two years later I cooked my first turkey. I called my sister and wrote down the detailed steps on how to do it and referenced the specific cookbook she recommended. First, thaw the turkey. The only problem was... when it was out of the packaging and thawed... it looked like a naked bird. I cried. Seriously.

I don't even recognize myself.

I am so thankful that we slaughtered those three ducks last spring. Yes I cried for days afterward, but I feel like I finally understand that meat doesn't come from the poultry, beef, or pork aisle in nice plastic packages. It comes from chickens, cows, and pigs. Somebody did the dirty work; even if it wasn't me.

Right now I can't sleep. Ry came home from work at 6:30 am and this stage of pregnancy makes it hard to fall back asleep. The house is quiet. What am I looking at online? How to cut up a whole chicken. I'm tired of the big bag of boneless, skinless chicken breasts that cost so ridiculously much. Its a better value to buy a whole chicken and cut it up, I hear. This week I've declared as chicken week but I've got to figure out how to use it; no full roasted chicken (because that is too easy), and no chicken breast meals. Chicken broth, soup, fajitas, and a pot pie. Maybe even some fried chicken with crumbs from the homemade bread if there is time.

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