I’m Writing Like A Chicken With Its Head Cut Off.

“I didn’t even know what salmonella was. Until I was twenty years old I thought it was some guy who used to run around and dip his ass in mayonnaise products.”

Dom Irrera

I’ve mentioned before that my wife and I feed our dogs raw food, which is called, appropriately enough, the Bones And Raw Food or BARF diet. It’s supposed to approximate what dogs would eat in the wild, minus the hair, parasites, and fights over who gets the head, which some of my Southern family members have assured me is the tastiest part of the squirrel, but that’s another story.

Providing this diet means every few weeks I grind up a hundred and twenty pounds or so of raw chicken, usually in the form of chicken necks.

necks

It’s not as bad as it sounds.

Raw chicken necks also occasionally come with the head still attached, which is all part of the fun. I run the necks—minus the heads, which I’m pretty sure aren’t that tasty anyway—through a meat grinder. And I’m careful because raw chicken can carry salmonella.

chamber

My chicken chamber of horrors.

Accidents can still happen, though. I’ve heard cases of cooks getting sick from a little squirt of chicken liquid while they were chopping one up for the fryer. And there was a possible outbreak of salmonella over at Crankoutloud that confirmed that it’s not a lot of fun.

Because we buy chicken necks in bulk, sometimes directly from a distributor, I sometimes get them frozen in a block of ice. This means I end up with coolers full of watery chicken blood. I’ve found safe ways to dispose of this. I used to dump it in the front yard, thinking it would be good fertilizer, but I got into trouble when the photographer across the street, the one who’s been stuck at home since he broke his leg, saw me dumping blood while my wife was out of town.

I hope you don't need this to underline the punchline for you.  Source: IMDB

I hope you don’t need this to underline the punchline for you.
Source: IMDB

The last time I ground chicken necks I went out to dinner afterwards, and I imagined coming down with salmonella. This might lead to an investigation of the restaurant. I can see the headline.

headline

Then there’d be an investigation of me and they’d find the freezer full of ground up raw chicken. I can see the headline.

headline2

 

6 Comments

  1. Gina W

    OK, this was funny in a way that I never imagined raw chicken necks could be. Also, I hope when you have guests over you don’t invite them to your meat grinder room. Because honestly that photo with the bloody-ish bowl gave the shivers. When I was in Russia I used to see entire chickens for sale in the meat case with the heads still attached. They were usually skinny and looked remarkably like the fake rubber chickens that you’ve probably seen used as joke props.

    Also, I read the other article about how you’re mostly a vegetarian. I’ve been a vegetarian since I was 16. Ovo-lacto. I hate that phrase because it sound like something you’d hear in a gynocologists office. People will ask me, “What about fish? What about chicken?” I usually have to say, “I don’t eat anything that had a face” to make them understand. I do cook meat for my husband and son and absolutely LOATHE getting blood on my hands. Oh the things we do for love…

    Reply
    1. Christopher Waldrop (Post author)

      It’s a good thing I didn’t include a picture of one of the chicken necks with the head still attached. I get at least one of those in every batch. Since you’ve already seen those, though, it seems like it wouldn’t bother you that much.
      I’ve long since fallen off the vegetarian wagon, although I still avoid pork and beef. I can’t say why I find poultry okay, but fish I just couldn’t ever give up. Hey, clams don’t have faces! It’s really nice of you to cook meat for your husband and son. I wear rubber gloves when grinding the chicken necks, partly because of the risk of infection, but also just because I can’t stand touching the stuff.
      And I never thought of “ovo-lacto” as a term you’d hear in a gynecologist’s office. That’s hilarious. I also know what it’s like to be made fun of for being a vegetarian, and terms like that are good for throwing people off.

      Reply
  2. kdcol

    I fixed another chicken dish this week. Not sure what I was thinking as Gerald is still “skittish” (heehee) from last week and very reluctant to eat anything with chicken.

    (And thanks for the call out, Christopher! Such great discussion items lately!)

    Reply
    1. Christopher Waldrop (Post author)

      He doesn’t want a little hair o’ the dog? Although I guess that would really be hair o’ the chicken.

      Reply
  3. PinkNoam

    I think I’ll stick with Iams…

    Far too squeamish to be grinding my own chicken necks. Did you see my post about the Mutant Chicken?!

    Reply
    1. Christopher Waldrop (Post author)

      I can’t thank you enough for directing me to your Mutant Chicken post, and I mean that honestly. I’ve seen more disgusting things while grinding large batches of raw chicken necks. And chicken backs sometimes, which, if I remember correctly, is where I’ve seen the same thing you found in your chicken. I’m also grateful to the poster who identified it, and glad I’ve always cut it off and tossed it in the trash along with the occasional chicken head. Hey, I can say I’ve seen chickens from both sides now.
      It’s the description of your dinner that really got me though, especially the Yorkshire pudding. I’ve just eaten and that still makes me hungry.

      Reply

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