'chickens' on Serious Eats

Video: A San Diego Family's Backyard Chicken Story

A common critique of the locavore food movement is that it's elitist. In the case of Jason Ring, that couldn't be further from the truth. He raises chickens, goats and pigs to take some financial grocery pressure off his income. In his small backyard in San Diego, Jason provides a large portion of his family's food, as well as a fair share of their life lessons. More

Video: When Backyard Chickens Are Illegal

The backyard chicken trend has become more and more prevalent these days. But in many North American cities, keeping a flock of hens is still illegal. We met up with some unlikely outlaws who were breaking the law right in their own backyards, by producing fresh eggs. More

Serious Green: A Guide to Keeping City Chickens

[Photograph: Lisa Moussalli] This is my theory. You and all your foodie friends, the New York Times' Dining section, and the Washington Post's Home and Garden section can all call something a new food trend. Slate can even call it a bogus trend. But it's when a food trend lands on the front page of the business section that it's really gone mainstream. The chickens have landed in our backyards and they're here to stay. Everyone's got a reason for you to rush out to get some of these feathered friends for your own backyard: fresher free-range eggs, being closer to the source of your food, a sense of self-reliance, and free nitrogen-rich fertilizer. These are all legitimate answers,... More

Video: Remi Gaillard's Chicken Funeral

This video, by French prankster Remi Gaillard, was posted about a year ago but seems to be making the rounds on the web again. In it, he wears a chicken suit and stages a funeral at a rotisserie chicken joint. [Watch the video, after the jump.]... More

In Videos: Foster Farms 'Shady Surgeon' Commercial

If factory-farmed chickens could talk, what would they say? "I feel all bloaty," might just be one of many complaints. Foster Farms says no to plumping in their commercial depicting concerned Foster Farms chickens being overplumped with salt water by a shady plastic surgeon. The Washington Post's blog All We Can Eat has more information about this campaign. Watch the video after the jump.... More

Suburban KC-area Man Fights Neighbors Over Backyard Chicken Coop

Photograph from Carol Mitchell on Flickr I grew up in Kansas City, a city that some folks here in my current place of residence view as hicksville. (It's not.) So I love what Fat City blogger Owen Morris has to say about an Overland Park, Kansas, man whose neighbors are giving him (chicken)s**t about his chicken coop: "This means Kansas City is on the cutting edge, not stuck in the rural past."... More

'Los Angeles Times' Selects Best Chicken for Roasting

©iStockPhoto.com/Floortje The Los Angeles Times Food section held a blind tasting of 14 birds, ranging from the standard supermarket kind to the organic, free-range, natural, heritage, air-chilled and kosher—they even tried two from a live poultry store. No clear winners, but they picked a few winners for different reasons. They liked the organic, free-range chicken from Healthy Family Farms in Fillmore "for its flavorful meat and overall appearance," as well as Mary’s chickens from Pitman Farms near Fresno (available at Whole Foods), "for its texture, flavor and crisp skin." Most of the favorites were organic or fed special diets, and almost all were free-range. Another factor was the air-chilled processing method, versus water-chilled. Both of the air-chilled chickens they... More

Two Sides of the Same Coin

Photographs: Wikimedia Commons, Washington Post Two items out of Sustainorgania are making the rounds on the food sites today. The first, more attention-grabbing one, on The Atlantic Food Channel, has Bill and Nicolette Hahn Niman (of Niman Ranch fame) calling on the Obamas to become chicken farmers. "The idea may sound far fetched, but is it, really? At the dawn of the 20th century, chickens were literally everywhere." The Bay Area ranchers would like to see "a flock of egg-laying hens for the White House grounds." This comes, of course, on the heels of the news about the new White House vegetable garden. As Eater cleverly put it, "Give those locavores an inch and they'll take a mile.... Also... More

Urban Chickens in the Bronx

NGM Blog Central National Geographic mentions the 13 urban chickens at the Taqwa Community Farm in the Bronx, watched over by senior gardener Abu Talib, and the greater national trend: City dwellers across the U.S. are adding hens to... More

Exploding Eggs Kill Hens

Photograph from Carol Mitchell on Flickr "The sky is falling!" That's what Chicken Little said and then panicked after an acorn dropped on his head. Even though he comes from a fable, it appears chickens might be terrified of things in the sky. In London, the Telegraph reported claims from a farmer that the presence of hot air balloons were causing her chickens to go into hysteria. But, in their attempt to hide, the birds bump into enough other frightened poultry, or walls, causing their unlaid eggs to explode inside their bodies, killing them. This bit of news is surprising and sad. But fortunately, the ballooning company has agreed to steer clear of the hen's fields now.... More

How Proposition 2 Will Affect California's Chicken Cages

Photograph from roboppy on Flickr Caged chickens are right up there with gay marriage and Barack Obama on California's ballot this year. If passed tomorrow, the hot button Proposition 2, or the Prevention of Farm Animal Cruelty Act, will prohibit the "cruel confinement" of California's pigs, cows, and chickens. Farmers would have until January 1, 2015, to increase space within crates and cages or go entirely cage-free. While many farmers and vets are behind the happy vision of animals being able to stretch their legs, the opposition argues that it could put local egg farmers out of business. If cage real estate gets too expensive, eggs will have to be imported from Mexico (where cage roominess standards don't exist).... More

Photo of the Day: Chicken Feet

Chicken feet are nothing surprising to the frequent dim sum-eater, but to others a bowl of this stuff might look strange and inedible. During a meal at 88 Palace in New York City's Chinatown (which you'll soon read about on Serious Eats New York), we shared an order of steamed chicken feet. One of my Chinese friends said that she's seen them referred to as "Phoenix Claws," which sounds way cooler than it actually is. What do "Phoenix Claws" taste like? In my experience, mostly bone and insubstantial bits of gooey meat matter. I can't say it's my favorite dim sum dish. But don't take my word for it—some people love chicken feet as though it's a gift from... More

Photo of the Day: Limbo!

Photograph from Another Pint Please... on Flickr When I first saw this photo, I thought it was funny because the chickens were positioned in such a way that made them look like they were casually sitting down and having a chat. "Hey, I have a can up my butt." "Yeah, me too." Then I saw the title "Limbo!" and got a different perspective. Either way, anthropomorphizing headless roast chickens is weird. Related Cola-Can Chicken Cook the Book: The Original Beer-Can Chicken... More

Cockadoodle Do! 'Techno Chicken'

All right, everybody, welcome back from the Fourth. Up and at 'em! After the jump, an amusing video called "Techno Chicken." It might be a bit jarring for some of you, but I think it's just what the doctor calls for to jolt you into action for the week.... More

The Bloody Truth About Raising City Chickens

The City Chicken Urban farming has become an urban farming movement. The New York Times ran a piece about the expanding world of urban farming, which is taking root in abandoned lots, backyards, deserted factories, and schoolyards from Detroit to West Oakland. The article focused on growing vegetables, such as young spinach and tomatoes. But many of these hip, young, smart revolutionary farmers tend not only basil and marigolds, but also our feathery friends. Slate contributor L.E. Leone shares her experiences with urban chicken farming and points to a pathological avoidance of talking about blood, even on sites like thecitychicken.com. Workshops and classes on chicken farming often omit instruction and discussion about the grand finale: the slaughter. The modern, expected... More

Who Wants to Raise City Chickens With Me?

All right, all you city slickers. It's time to stop jabbering about local and sustainable food. After reading the New York Times story about urban chicken raising (I don't think raising three chickens on a fire escape qualifies as farming), it's time for all of us to put our money where our mouths are by eating eggs and even chicken we've raised in our apartments. How do we go about this seemingly insane task? Don't worry. We're not going to go it alone like Manny Howard seemed to have done in New York magazine. Plus, he's got a backyard. I have a back window with no ledge. We're going to get help from many sources.... More

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