This post is to honor my former nemesis, Sasquatch. Sasquatch belongs to my father next door, and he is not the yeti you are thinking of, just a really big chicken.
He started life like all the other chicks, cute and fuzzy and with an 80% likelihood of being a hen, just a hen with really big feet. A Jersey Giant, he (she?) was expected to be large. Unfortunately, a few months in we heard the gravelly, tentative crowing of a rooster. Once it began, it never ended. At 5 AM he started, but it was cute and rustic. We were willing to look the other way since he was willing to protect his flock, and in a neighborhood brimming with unsavory animals like raccoons, skunks, and the occasional coyote, none of us could begrudge what safety he provided.
Until he got bigger. And bigger. And attacked my son, six at the time. My son came away physically unscathed, but more than a little traumatized. He began carrying brooms over his head on the way across the driveway to my parents' house, and I admit I made fun of him for it. "Come on, it's just a bird!"
Until Sasquatch got bolder. And bolder. And attacked me while I was trying to unload groceries from the back of my car. I did what every strong independent woman does in the face of danger and screamed for dear life. After that I too carried a push broom to go next door. I am ashamed to acknowledge that my son was sympathetic and caring like I should have been with him. He nodded with understanding. "Did he do his false peck on the cement? Yeah, that's what he does. Right before he comes for you."
Soon after I developed a fear of the driveway and even black featherdusters. That bird could move like a bat out of hell. He waited for me in the bushes. He crowed after me when I left the house. He put holes in my mother's hosiery. He kept a grown man on house arrest for a few days. This was some bird, and my father couldn't help but be proud.
The final straw was the hens. Sasquatch had his favorites, and they developed enormous featherless patches and a nervous tic. Egg production began to plummet. Dad tried to find a nice farm somewhere, but not too many people are interested in roosters this size who terrorize, rape and plunder. Sasquatch finally met his match in a nice family who will eat him for dinner. It's hard to think about his last moments.
We'll all miss him. Rest in peace, big bird.
But just in case you need it, here is a simple recipe for roast chicken.
One bird, cleaned and gutted and feathered and cut into 8 pieces, rest his soul
salt and pepper
Put the chicken pieces skin-side up in a pyrex baking dish. Brush them with melted butter and season to taste with salt and pepper. Bake in a 350 degree oven until the skin looks brown and delectable.
Save the bones, the feet, and the head for chicken stock.
I love trying new foods, cooking, and gardening. I hope to share these experiences on this site. Thanks for taking a look!