Sunday Chickens and Egg- destined for the pot, scrambled, scratching or just clucking around the yard. I admit to being a sloppy chicken wrangler, preferring to watch and guide rather than corral and manage. That means missed eggs, accidental broods, wild child chickens. The mid-morning scramble that results as I tote the kitchen scraps and corn, barley, wheat and other seeds to the yard is a 15 minute meditation. Chicken Meditation.
Surprisingly, I’ve been collecting a couple dozen eggs every week all winter. It is mild enough in Southwest France and the Muscovy ducks are also now laying full force. So the daily menus change– golden, custardy, scrambled and poached. I’ll bake a cake today. I’ll braise a chicken and some vegetables. I’ll make some crepe batter for afternoon snacks.
Some early Spring days when the wheelbarrow fills with eggs, I look South to my Catalan friends. Perfect eggs for a perfect Tortilla or Omelette Catalan.
And though I am not a bird fancier, don’t name my girls, or even like the prehistoric beak and claw, sweet omelettes have a special place in my heart- souffléd golden eggs for a light dessert. And at this time of Carnival, we whisk thick raw milk with golden eggs, sugar and flour to make classic crêpes.
It’s too early for asparagus here in Gascony. But I can’t resist the breakfast classic ham and eggs part of this recipe. I’ll substitute some broccoli or other greens (I’m sure there is something to forage out there!) to celebrate the famous chicken & pig combo.
What great return on a little investment of time, space and food. I’ve been keeping chickens for 6 years now; my compost piles are growing richer as my pantry grows fatter. Merci mes petites poulettes de Camont!
For more: #chickensofinstagram and follow along with making this One Chicken/Two Pots menu.
One Chicken/Two Pots
Pot #1: in one braising pot put butter, lard, legs, wings and breasts of chicken. Brown and add carrots, onion salt, pepper and two whole lemons (squeeze the juice over the meat); add a large glass of water. Next, layer thickly cut potatoes, salt, pepper, bay over the chicken. Cover and cook for about an hour. Eat with friends.
Pot #2: in a soup pot, place the backs, neck, feet and head (it’s France) cover with 2 liters of water. Bring to a boil, skim and then add carrots, onions, bay, thyme, and salt. Let cook long and slow. after eating lunch from pot #1, add all the leftovers to pot #2. Then eat for supper with a crusty loaf of bread.