My oldest, Malachi, loves Thanksgiving...you'd think I never make a homemade meal the way he's so excited about the food!
Our Thanksgiving Day consisted of some chicken riddance. We had decided that our ultra-plump chickens had to go. They were getting so big they couldn't get off the ground to roost so they were losing breast feathers from all the ground contact...and looking quite nasty. I don't mind the whole process of raising your own chickens to eat, but I refuse to butcher and partake of a dirty looking fowl :) I let them out of their pens, in anticipation of their coming demise, to do a little free-ranging. We decided not to purchase a turkey for Thanksgiving what with all the poultry polluting the yard - soooooo Thanksgiving day, Darren got a fire going to boil water for feather release. He and the kids chose the biggest, most plump, cleanest chicken on the farm. I had awakened sick that morning and void my senses of smell and taste. Can you believe that??? No taste on Thanksgiving Day!!
Anyway, my Mother-in-Law and Father-in-Law showed up at the commencing of the "ceremony". Due to my illness, I didn't really get too involved. The first chicken, a rooster, was plucked, cleaned, and sent inside to begin its glorification :) Now let me just insert a little info in here...this chicken was HUGE! He weighed 12 lbs (that was after plucking and cleaning) It was like having a turkey! With him in the oven, Darren began the drill on the second chicken (another rooster)... He too, was left whole with skin intact and put in the cooler. We read online that in order to prevent the chicken from becoming tough, not to take them directly from killing to freezer. They suggested bringing the body temperature down slowly by keeping it in ice water for 24 hrs. So, in the cooler of ice water he went. They next and last chicken of the day we decided should be skinned and cut up. My MIL shared that in the beginning of her marriage, she would buy whole chickens because they were cheaper and cut them up herself. She volunteered to show me how to do it. The lesson began... Her first reaction was amazement at the size! (Yeah, baby...that's home grown...hehe) Anyway, we started with the thigh and lower leg. The leg ended up looking like a turkey drumstick...I kid you not...I didn't take pics so I can't prove it...but oh yeah...it was huge!! Next went the wings and then the breast. She told me that when she purchased one, she cut it into two pieces and just cracked the breast bone. That wasn't happening with this one....we both tried breaking that darn bone...tried sawing it....nothing...ended up cutting it into four pieces and just taking it off the bone.
By this time the roasting chicken was done. The other dishes were made to go with it. I was told the meal was tasty - I couldn't confirm due to the absence of my taste and smell... :(