Friday, 23 August 2013

Butchering a chicken

One thing I think I will never get used to is having to cut the head and feet off a chicken. In Singapore chicken's feet are a delicacy so the standard shopper would be most put out to find the best bit missing on buying a whole bird.

The chicken you want is, of course, a kampong chicken. Kampong is Malay for village. To buy the closest possible thing to free range, you go for Kampong ayam (chicken). Both at the wet market and in the supermarket chickens come with head and feet attached. They tuck the feet into the the chicken's bottom so before attacking you have to pull them out.

I am not averse to making a stock using the head and feet but I really dislike the way the feet curl around your hand as you chop them off, the way you have to hack a few times to get through the leg bone, the sickening thud as you chop through the neck. My days of vegetarianism are long behind me. Making casserole has become a whole new experience.

I have, unsurprisingly, been on holiday since I last wrote. Hari Raya, the end of Ramadan, was the day before National Day giving us Thursday, Friday and Saturday off. We went to a resort called Rimba on a small Malaysian island called Sibu. It was heavenly. There was very little to do except eat, drink, read and snorkel and then do them all again. With all the decisions taken away from us there was nothing to squabble about at all.

Not a great picture, but this is a baby wild boar. Fortunately the DFP wasn't fast enough to catch and eat it.