Local rooster

Our rooster was the guest of honor at our small Super Bowl party last weekend.

Good for us, not so good for him.

The animal husbandry:
South Central Alaska started 2009 with a brutal cold stretch — nearly two weeks -35F to -15F — and our four chickens were literally cooped up. The low temperatures didn’t bother them all that much but they didn’t want to go outside and the close quarters became a problem: the chill didn’t cool the rooster’s desire and the leghorns, at half his size, were too small for his attentions.

As the inside of our coop began to look more and more like something off the set of “The Shining” it became clear we would have to free up some space. And since the plan from the beginning was to house three hens only it was time, finally, for the odd man out to go.

While concerned about egg production after the rooster’s disappearance, and our brahma hen did stop laying for about three weeks, we were more worried that one of the leghorns wouldn’t survive the winter.

So we packed the aptly named Lovey-Dovey off for processing at Triple D Farm and Hatchery. (Anthony, the owner, when we picked up the vac-packed carcass: “That’s a nice chicken”. He wasn’t talking about his personality).

In the kitchen:
Since there was a crowd to feed on Sunday we opted to roast the entire bird using Marcella’s recipe (as posted earlier by Audrey). The meat was tougher and darker than what I would expect from a store-bought bird, but also had a richer, more flavorful taste. The hint of lemon was a nice addition as well.

We were curious how our two girls would react to seeing our front-yard rooster on the table. Since we’re trying to keep the chickens as an exercise in eating local, not as a more exotic form of pet, we’ve been up front with the girls about where the birds are going to end up and so far they’re taking it in stride.

Though they do keep referring to the meat as turkey.