Colin, My $25 Organic Chicken

For health reasons, I need to eat meat and it needs to have as few hormones, antibiotics and other bad stuff as possible.
Working at being as smart a shopper as possible, I’ve learned that the “certified organic” label is expensive. Sometimes free range chickens, when you know the source, are just as good without paying for the certification.
Usually I get my chicken at the local co-op in pieces. I shop the local farmers market for produce often and also get packaged ground lamb which isn’t really available elsewhere. The farmers market chickens are whole chickens which bother me to handle and don’t fit in my slow cooker, which is my preferred usual method of cooking. I do not want to cut up a chicken.
So when one of the vendors I buy from sent his e-mail list a notice that there were a few cut up chickens available, I reserved one. It was over four pounds of chicken but, wow, it cost over $25. I try not to show sticker shock on my face and the booth salesperson thankfully kept her eyes averted.
This very precious, expensive chicken had been in my freezer for a few months and a few days ago I put it in the fridge to thaw. After two days it was still kind of frozen so I rinsed it off under tap water and put it in the crockpot. I was worried that there might be a neck and giblets wrapped in paper in the frozen center (there wasn’t) and let it cook for a long time so there wouldn’t be any pink surprises to gross me out.
After it cooked and cooled I carefully separated the chicken from the bone and got rid of the skin. Then I made broth from the bones, being way more careful of not wasting anything than usual. By now I had named the chicken Colin.
Colin is a chicken referred to in the pilot of the series, Portlandia which is premiering in a few days although I watched it on Hulu. It is a comedy about the 90’s culture in Portland, starring Fred Armisen. It is clever, but like with many comedies, I didn’t laugh. I laughed a lot during the wonderful King’s Speech film which I blogged about very recently which has way better humor than Portlandia.
Anyway, the main characters go to a restaurant and think about ordering the chicken and are questioning their server about it’s pedigree which she goes into in elaborate detail. They want to know more, like just how many square feet Colin had to roam freely in, etc. The server shows them a dossier with a photo paper clipped to it. (Colin looked like a hen.) Then they wanted to know why there wasn’t a picture of Colin with his wing around another chicken to show he was happy and sociable. Eventually they visit the farm where Colin was raised to check further. Maybe I don’t find the show amusing because I’ve actually met people like that, more so when I lived in Colorado.
Now I have frozen broth with pieces of chicken in it so I can savor my expensive purchase awhile longer and am keeping a closer eye on my budget.

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