The Ubiquitous Bird

Everybody eats chicken. It is a meat that is so common, economical and versatile that carnivores can’t help but love it. You can boil it, bake it, fry it, stew it, jerk it, broil it and barbecue it… ALWAYS to good effect.

Thinking about chicken brings to mind the first time I realized this bird did not come in prepackaged styrofoam . On a visit “down South,” I will never forget my horror at seeing “Aunt Nannie” grab a bird in her hands, fling it into the air by its feet, slap it down on a chopping block and deliver a deadly whack to its neck. She then parboiled the carcass to facilitate feather removal and ended by cooking up a delicious chicken stew.

It is unfortunate that Western civilization has become so disassociated from the raw materials that go into their meals and have no idea where it comes from. It is important to recognize that a living being sacrifices its life for “the greater good” of human nutrition. (I should note that one of my favorite TV programs was “Kill it, Cook it, Eat it” — a British show that engendered great respect for food acquisition and preparation.)

As I have traveled the world, I have collected hundreds of recipes for cooking “the ubiquitous bird.” One of my favorites, which is easy to prepare, is Senegalese style chicken in coconut sauce. The following recipe serves eight but can be modified upwards to serve a crowd.

COCO CHICKEN
(serves 8)

INGREDIENTS

8 pieces chicken (leg/thigh segments cut in 2 pieces)

SAUCE

1/4 cup oil (peanut)
2 medium onions (thin sliced)
6x plum tomato (chopped)
1 can coconut milk

SEASONING

1 tbs garlic (crushed)
1 tbs pepper (coarse black)
1 bunch cilantro (fine chopped)
1/4 cup bouillon (chicken)

DIRECTIONS

HEAT oil in frying pan
FRY chicken and set aside in baking pan
SAUTE onions, tomatoes & seasoning in “dirty” oil
ADD coconut milk
MIX well
POUR sauce over chicken
PUT chicken in baking pan
HEAT in oven @ 350 for about 15 minutes until chicken absorbs the sauce
SERVE hot with rice

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