Yesterday was my Balinese Christmas Day, being so close to Christmas I thought celebrations and a party would be a great way to share some of our customs from back home. I organised a small party for some of the local kids, which was a perfect excuse for some dancing and crafting. However before the kids arrived it was feast time with my new Balinese family and their neighbours.
I woke bright and early to catch the market before all the best bits had been picked over and we were left with skinny chickens and rotten cassava leaves. First stop to market to buy various vegetables and spices, all pretty normal, but then it was chicken buying time.
Little did I know I would be buying a chicken like this…
Now I am not one to be particularly disgusted at the thought of killing my own chicken to eat, in fact quite the opposite, I was excited to see it move from beginning to end, this was going to be freshest meat I had ever eaten.
When it came to killing time, even the kids got involved, no vegetarians in this neighbourhood!
There was a small moment of sadness when the chicken kept moving for a minute after its neck had been cut, but I assured myself that was just a few random muscle movements after death?! Once all was still it was plucking time, surprisingly easier than I thought. Dip the chicken in boiling water and the feathers just pull out really easily.
Now it was looking something similar to how we would buy a chicken back home.
Do not continue reading if squeamish.
Every part of the body is used for something, even the blood is drained and added to a very tasty potato dish.
One medium sized chicken fed 11 people, with five different chicken based dishes, including chicken satay (surprisingly doesn’t include peanuts), … and a chicken broth with banana stem. Everyone got involved in the cooking from kids to grandparents.
It was a delicious feast of freshly made food and was great to be involved from start to finish. All the food (chicken included) came to a total cost of 80,000RP (approx £5.70) and fed 11 people, with plenty of leftovers… Not bad.
I look forward to returning home, getting some chickens and practicing my throat cutting… I mean Balinese cooking techniques 🙂
To see what I got up to the rest of the day read my volunteer blog.