Tuesday, March 9, 2010

How much is that chicken in the window?

So I finally got around to ordering some chicken today. I've thought of it a couple times while I was out, but every time the butcher shops near my apartment were closed, they seem to have a kind of odd schedule. As 5pm approached today and we were also low on most vegetables, I decided I'd give getting some chicken a try. I had no clue what to ask or if any of the butchers spoke English, but what the hell, I'm wasting away to nothing on this ridiculous vegetarian diet I'm on when I cook, so I had to try.
As the above picture shows, the chickens aren't prepared in quite the same way we are use to. They are quite dead, whole and out in the open, not cut into select meat parts and wrapped in plastic and styrofoam. The upside is that this is all mostly organic chicken with no hormones and is fairly good for you. The downside is the mental images of the flies that you know get all over the things. I just figure the flies are just on the skin, which I'm cutting off anyway.

So I get to the butcher counter and the guy kind of laughs and says "Namaste", and I return the greeting. I point to a chicken, and he makes a chopping motion toward it, and I shrug my shoulders and say "half?" I'm assuming you can order half the chicken. He says "OK" and proceeds to cut the chicken in two, weighs it and declares that it is 700 grams. I ask how much and he says 200 NRS. Now I know for this is high, I'm not sure what it should be, but I know this is more. But I'm happy enough that I am actually going to have chicken that I forget that I should barter the price down to something more reasonable and just pay the guy. I'll have to ask Pradip or the K.C. family down stairs how much chicken is per KG. The butcher offers to chop the chicken up for me, this is how most Nepali people cook their chicken just chopped up, bones and all. I decline and figure I'll de-bone it once I get home.
Lacking the fortitude to be a vegetarian
it was good to eat meat again!

Once home, I get to cleaning the chicken. It definitely has less meat on it than the ones back home, if you made chicken wings with this thing you'd be mostly gnawing on bone. Still it had a good amount of breast and thigh meat and it was easy enough to clean. Unlike the gutted chickens back home, this one still had internal organs like liver and such. I've never been one to eat chicken livers, but I might look up a recipe or something I can use them in since it looks like I'll be buying them. I cooked the chicken into an Indian based curry dish that is made with coconut milk, threw in some carrots and broccoli and made some Indian fried rice. Easily the most satisfying meal I've cooked for myself yet, and there were enough left overs for lunch tomorrow.

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