These chicken bits were headed for the compost pile. But not with SuperOffal Gal around to rescue them! Oh no, there will be no burying these treasures if I know about it.
I’d rather eat gizzards, hearts, and livers over actual chicken meat any day. Deep in flavour and so willing to adapt to a myriad of flavours and cooking styles. Yes, these are the gems hiding inside the chicken jewelry box.
And here’s what I want to say to those of you in the cities, looking for these nutrient dense foods – meet your dealer, er… farmer, your farmer-real-food-dealer. When we were raising our young kids, food was my hustle and my part time job. I met farmers through CSAs, I volunteered on their farms, I went to their farms and developed relationships. That’s how I found raw milk every time we moved (which was every two years AND I live in Canada where raw milk is completely illegal and considered a criminal offence). That’s how I got my paws on turkey/goose/duck eggs, farm slaughtered meats and poultry including tripe, roosters, and spent laying hens that should be legally mandated to be the only thing used in chicken broth (hello, flavour, you’re a revelation). It’s how I feasted on slow roasted whole pigs, learned that the great gustatory love of my life is bison hump roast. It’s how I witnessed and was mentored, was taught who we are and where I needed to be.
But I didn’t have a farm then. And I’m not suggesting everyone should. What I’m suggesting is the richness of connection to our food, regardless of where we are, is available to us all. But yes, it’s work. It’s work because it’s the last thing the monolithic food distributors want. That’s ok, that makes the effort all the more rewarding.
I spent about an hour cleaning giant buckets of organic, pastured chicken guts yesterday, saving my beloved gizzards because we can never have enough. Got my chicken feet, livers, hearts, and spleens, too. Oh, and I rendered down a bunch of fat to make schmaltz and cracklings. All of this nutrient dense food for free because I asked, “Whatcha’ doing with your gut piles?” and I was willing to invest my time to sort through it, transport it, and clean it.
So, yes, it was free monetarily, but with the investment of my time and energy. Which is the way we try to operate as much as we can. Relationships over dollars. And if you haven’t read Charles Eisentein’s “Sacred Economics”, I must really insist you do. There’s a whole other world out there where kindness, bartering, reciprocity, and relationships still buy you more than money ever can.
p.s. Hope you enjoy the ‘marvel of biology’ or the ‘miracle of creation’ (depending on how you feel about it) I documented in my pictures. It gets me every time. I hope it always does.