kris went out the coop at the end of the day to check on The Girls and happened to look in the nesting box and discovered they’ve started laying eggs! whooohoooo! fresh eggs!
it seems like just yesterday we were attempting to teach frida to not eat The New Girls.
when i lifted open the lesting box, The Girls were all “oh hey! we didn’t know it did that!”
i have to admit i always thought “beer can” chicken was a gimmick. i had it once years ago and it wasn’t memorable experience. recently, my sister in-law was visiting and said we had to give it another try and i was amazed at the results. crispy on the outside and juicy on the inside. we’ve made it a few more times and served it to some folks who really enjoy food, had never heard of the technique and looked on with skeptically raised eyebrows until they tasted it.
there some debate about whether or not the beer is actually doing anything but the folks america’s test kitchen give it their approval and my taste buds give it two thumbs up. do note that the beer increases the chances of undercooking the chicken so make sure to get the chicken to 165 degrees F throughout.
we haven’t used any rubs but i’m sure you could and it’d be mighty tasty.
1 (4-pound) whole chicken
2 tablespoons olive oil
3 tablespoons salt
1 teaspoon black pepper
1 can beer
– heat grill to 410 degrees F. use indirect heat ( i.e. don’t turn on burner under the chicken ).
– prepare the chicken as you normally would. rinse chicken inside and out, and pat dry. then rub chicken lightly with oil and sprinke on salt, pepper inside and outside the bird
– open the beer can and drink half of it. some recipes recommend poking several more holes in the top of the can.
– place beer can in bird’s cavity. this can be tricky and it might require two people if you’re not coordinated.
– holding the beer can with an oven mitt place the chicken on the center of the hot grill and carefully balance the bird. i rest it against the grate on the back of the grill and use the legs and the beer can like a three legged stool.
– cook for 75 minutes or so until the bird has reached 165 degrees F throughout. take several measurements.
– carefully remove from the grill ( this can also be tricky and if you’re not careful you’ll end up with greasy beer all over the place ) and let rest for 10 minutes or so.
we’ve been watching a few of the suspect roosters and it’s much more evident that probably three of our latest flock of six are probably roosters, which is a bit of drag because roosters in town are a no-no.
the prominent combs are a giveaway in addition to the fact that they are practicing cock-a-doodle-dooing.
update: a few weeks later.
we found a good home for them with someone who appreciates and can have roosters 🙂
with the early warm weather greening everything up, The Girls are out happily foraging around the yard looking for Anything That Moves. it’s really amazing to sit and watch them scratch and peck with what appears to be incredible specificity as they look for bugs and ticks and whatnot where the whatnot is most likely something creepy and crawly ( ’cause, you know, chickens are not vegetarians, right? ).
while guineafowl are often cited as the premier pest controllers, i think any poultry is going to do a great job at reducing all manner of pests in the yard and garden, including dreaded deer ticks which carry lyme disease which has a high prevelance in southwest wisconsin.
with the mild winter and and warm spring i’ve been hearing a lot of reports of people finding deer ticks in town on their animals so i like to imagine The Girls are eating every last one of them as they excitedly run here and there through the yard.
in fact, if you’re in an area with a lot of deer ticks, i think it’s your duty to keep backyard chickens. i think someone should update the uncle sam expects you to keep hens and raise chickens poster to say “two hens in the back yard for each person in the house will keep a family in fresh eggs and keep the deer ticks away!”
he loves The Girls and crocheting and he was born on the fourth of july ( and therefore enjoys red, white and blue ), so it all makes perfect sense!
and so, after moving 3 yards of dirt from one place to another i thought it’d be nice to take a rest on the lawn and say hello to The Girls who are normally a little wary of The Big Man, but are willing to abandon The Raspberry Patch to investigate when he has A Bit of Food.
being well-versed in The Way of The Chicken, i do believe they are thinking, “WHATCHADOING? WHATCHADOING? WHATCHADOING? GOTSOMEFOOD? GOTSOMEFOOD? GOTSOMEFOOD?”
and more, “WHATCHADOING? WHATCHADOING? WHATCHADOING? GOTSOMEFOOD? GOTSOMEFOOD? GOTSOMEFOOD?”
being The Great Defender of All Members of The Pack, pushkin decides it’s time to investigate The Situation.
without being too anthropomorphic, i recognize well the slight furrowing of his brow indicating Worry that Someone or Something May Be In Distress.
all is Right As Rain, though, with a good scratch behind the ears.
one of The Girls, wandering out and about in search of greener pastures, encounters the remains of The Last Snowman and gives him a long look, perhaps wondering if he’s going to put up a fight for his discarded carrot nose.
i don’t think he has any fight left in him.