Kill, Pluck, Gut and Bone

I’ve been doing some very good eating of late, and I just want to write a quick post to salute Miranda and Tim who cooked an extraordinary meal last night.  It’s of interest because Tim was given an incredibly original birthday present by Miranda which was…a day out to slaughter a chicken.  Miranda is not a strange sadist, quite the opposite, a thoughtful girlfriend who understood Tim’s need to justify his eating of meat – if you can’t kill it, you shouldn’t eat it.

This romantic adventure took place at Hook Farm in Hampshire and alongside them on the course was a 10 year old boy with a keen enthusiasm for all things chicken.  I won’t go into the details of the actual chicken kill, but it was as humane as it could be.  You are then taught to pluck and gut the bird (a separate one to the bird you killed, as it needs to hang for a few days) and then to bone it – which really is a useful skill as it can absolutely help you get the most out of a chicken.

Last night, they cooked us the two chickens they had killed with their very own hands and they really were delicious, I think the overall consensus was that it was very “chickeny”, undoubtedly the freshest chicken any of us had ever eaten with a much bigger taste, almost approaching a light gamey feel – it really was incredibly good. 

I’m hugely inspired by what these two did, hence the vicarious nature of the post.  I’ve butchered a sheep, but that’s obviously not the same as actually killing it.  I’ve caught a fish, but somehow that’s easier to distance yourself from than killing something that lives above ground.  This is obviously a brilliant course for anyone who keeps chickens and I only wish my garden was a little bigger.

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