For longer than I care to admit, I have coveted chicken I could eat without worry or guilt. I craved chicken I could trust to be clean, healthy, and just pure chicken.Chicken without hormones or antibiotics, without feed raised under a cloud of herbicides and pesticides seemed out of reach to me. I always knew those packages of chicken at the grocery store that all looked and weighed the same just could not be ‘right’. The plastic-coated, styrofoam package did nothing to add to the appeal of the poultry, nor did the foam cushion under the chicken which attempted to soak up all the juices that should have been in the meat and not under it. Frozen chicken fared no better to me. Water, and who knows what else, had to be added to the meat. How else could zillions of packages of chicken all weigh exactly the same? My local food coop sells organic, free-range chicken, but the cost put it beyond what I was willing to pay. Our oldest son came up with the perfect solution. Since we live in the country and have the space, we would enter a joint venture to put chicken on our tables. I would buy the chicks and feed and he would do the butchering! It worked! After 6 1/2 weeks our Cornish-X chicks blossomed into healthy, content, meat birds. We knew what our birds were fed, how they were treated, and yes, who came into contact with them. Our son read and thought out the butchering process. We did four the first night and tweaked the system as we went. Everyone got involved and we all learned as we went. It wasn’t gruesome, dirty, or repulisve. It was just harvesting something we grew and were invested in.
Finally after all was said and done we have clean, beautiful poultry in the freezer. No two packages are the same, nothing was added or enhanced. It is just plain chicken. The meat looks and feels different from chicken purchased at the market. This is chicken I can trust to be what it is – chicken. This chicken we raised is so satisfying. Satisfying before it even enters our mouth! I can’t imagine wht it will be like once we finally enjoy it around the table.