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Henrietta, the BBQ Chicken.

posted Feb 8, 2010, 7:55 AM by Reinoud Vaandrager   [ updated Mar 13, 2010, 3:29 AM ]
Last Saturday, Andy (a Scottish volunteer from Berudep) organized a drum circle and BBQ night. For dinner he managed to get a (live) chicken (or fowl) with the charming name "Henrietta" from a neighboring village called Fundong.

However before we could enjoy our chicken dinner, we had to slaughter it, boil it, pluck it and dissect it. Louise, one of the other RUDEC volunteers took on the job of slaughtering the chicken. Luckily we had a brand new and razor sharp knife so the job could be done easily and effectively even by someone with 0 experience in slaughtering chickens (which included most of us).

headless henrietta next to Louise's feet.

Brigitte (the Berudep cook) skillfully demonstrated how the act needed to be performed:
  1. Bind the legs of the chicken,
  2. Put your foot on the chicken legs,
  3. Hold the wings of the chicken in one hand,
  4. With the other hand slice the neck of the chicken to drain it's blood (alternatively you can slice off it's entire head),
  5. Boil/scald the chicken for 1 minute so it's feathers are easy to pluck,
  6. Pull off it's nails and feathers until you have a naked headless chicken,
  7. Post processing: Cut it up in pieces (taking out it's intestines etc.)
Louise skilfully sliced off the head of the chicken in one fell swoop (although I don't think it was her intention to behead the chicken) and blood started squirting everywhere (but mostly over her feet). After a minute or so the chicken stopped moving completely so we could dip it in a bucket of boiling water to start the plucking.

My role was a plucker and I was surprised how easy it was to get the feathers off (I was also surprised at how many feathers a chicken has!). The French boys who recently arrived at Berudep to help out on their eco-tourism project had the honor of marinating and adding spice to the chicken pieces.

We built a very nice little barbecue from some chicken mesh and stones we found lying around, and withing 90 minutes Henrietta was transformed from a beautiful white fowl into the most delicious BBQ chicken I've ever eaten! Now since I've started keeping chickens myself (Peter Cock and Wendy Hen) I'm not looking forward to eating our own chickens, but hell, I love the taste of grilled chicken in the evening! :)

[sorry no pics! I made a video but don't have the bandwidth to upload it at this point..]