Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Chicken Manifesto, Chapter 1: Introduction

I'll be having an art show in Portland in early March next year. It will include mostly new work, but a couple oldies that haven't been shown before, like this one—"Minutewar 6: Easter, or, Let's Hear It For The Chickens"—will also be hanging. We'll keep you posted on the details. In the meantime, I thought this was a perfect image to start The Chicken Manifesto.

This piece was originally written for our friends Chip and Lorene, owners of Beckett’s boyfriend, Jimmy (short for Jimmichanga… yeah he’s a little fat Chihuahua that Beckett adores.) I don’t remember what the impetus was for this, but in return for taking care of Beckett one weekend, I offered to make them dinner, while showing them the possibilities of a whole chicken. I remember we made the dinner, and I showed them how to quarter the thing and make a dish with the breasts, a dish with the legs and thighs and how to make stock, but I never finished “The Chicken Manifesto” that I promised. I think I was going to make this into a zine? Maybe I still will. Because I think everyone needs to know how much easier, tastier, versatile and inexpensive a chicken is—a whole chicken.


Buy a whole young chicken from the grocery store. About 2.5-3lbs. I prefer the smaller ones, especially if it’s just for Tania and I.

I really don’t give a fuck if it’s organic or not. Frankly, I don’t really notice much difference. Except in the price. Sure, organic, free range, kosher, homosexual chickens are better quality, and I encourage you to go that route, but if you drink and smoke like we do, a fucking free range chicken isn’t going to make you feel any better about yourself. So fuck it, embrace your growth hormones and chemicals and just buy a Foster Farm chicken at your grocery store. At our Ralph’s they’re usually on sale about once a week for around $3-$4. That is cheap as cluck.

When you buy a chicken whole, it’s much, much, much cheaper than buying it in parts. When you buy a package of parts you’re paying a “butcher” to do something so simple a retard can do it. Do you pay someone to pump your gas? No. And you shouldn’t pay someone to cut up a bird for you. For one, there’s so much you can do with all the different parts of the bird. There’s a variety of meals that can be created from one chicken. Also—and I'm pretty sure Tania will disagree with me on this point—I’ve noticed that when you buy chicken parts separately, they’re tougher than the ones you get off of a whole bird. Packaging and freezing? Not sure why, but that’s my observation.

In conclusion, unless you need more than two breasts, or two thighs, etc., buy a whole chicken from the grocery store. A package of Foster Farms chicken breasts at Ralphs is usually around $10, while I can get whole chicken for under $3. You can get two, simple, quality dinners for three bucks, and have the makings of a beautiful stock. That’s clucked up. (I used that joke already didn’t I?)

Next chapter: Drawn and Quartered.

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