Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Bloody Chickens & First Encounters

Today, I recall my first encounter with freshly slaughtered chickens! I had always heard people say, "She can't touch raw meat, she only cooks once you clean the meat and give it to her ready to go onto the stove." I finally plucked up the courage one day and decided to ask my sister to teach me how to clean fresh slaughtered meat. 

My experience in one word: Disgusting! 
My feelings in one word: Disgusted! 
My expression in one word: Disgust!
My whatever else in one word: Disgust Disgust Disgust!

My sister began teaching me how to chop off the packet neatly, turning it out into the sink for washing, and then rinsing it thoroughly so that the blood doesn't mess up the kitchen counters. This was the most disgusting thing I had ever seen my sister do, trust me! Once she had done that, she showed me how to wash each piece of chicken individually so that there was no longer fresh blood on it. By this time I was nauseating enough to faint. Finally she instructed me how to divide the pieces according to what kind of a dish we would cook them as, this part was fine because the chicken looked clean now, the way I've always found it when I begin cooking. Next, it was my turn to finish the task and so I took over the kitchen sink and that bag full of five slaughtered chickens.

The first time I ripped open a bag and emptied the contents, probably the most foul smell I have ever smelled in my entire life hit my nose! The unwashed raw chicken smelled so awful, I could not stand it! Gradually I learnt to tolerate it as I got through with the first bag by breathing from my mouth instead of my nose, which felt damaged and hypnotized by what it had just dealt with! Chicken piece after piece, I followed exactly what my sister had just demonstrated in front of me, and as I washed each piece under the water, fresh blood spurted out from every joint. Sometimes, during these five bags even clotted blood came in between my fingers and in my palms. It was horrible, really. But after about an hour, I was done with five chickens! They looked clean, blood-less, and ready to be stored in the freezer.

The next step was sorting them into different packets according to the kind of dishes we were going to make with them; curries, rice, for stock, or for thicker gravies, and etc. This part, now, I had fun with! Yeah! I did. The chickens looked comparatively cleaner now, so they were sort of what I have already dealt with while cooking, so I was no longer having issues with them. I packed them really nicely, covered them with a plastic wrap, and labeled them so they could be retrieved easily from the freezer later on.

Chickens washed, blood somewhat gone, smell reduced, packets sorted, trash thrown away, plastic covered, labeled, frozen. Mission accomplished! This was such a huge achievement for me really, the next time someone was going to make fun of me about not being able to touch raw chicken I could stuff a piece of raw chicken in their faces and walk away happily *evil smile*!

Until my next adventure in the kitchen then ...
Happy Cooking!

- S. Ali

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