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Fashion-forward food may be a bit too futuristic | WHIDBEY RECIPES

As the saying goes, just when you think you’ve seen/heard it all, along comes another surprise, and this one is over the top.

Chicken diapers.

That’s right, diapers for chickens. The picture accompanying that bit of news shows a hen clucking around wearing a little pink diaper, a pink, washable, cloth diaper.

My recollections of that long-ago time when I was dealing with cloth diapers is still among the less pleasant memories of my babies, and the very notion of having to handle chicken diapers is beyond comprehension.

As I understand from what I read of this new twist in chicken care, there are apparently city dwelling people with no yard in which to keep chickens who nevertheless want to have pet chickens, which of course, must be kept indoors. These people, who must have serious problems in the “get a life” category, evidently don’t mind changing diapers on their chickens, and for reasons I’ve not yet found explained, don’t use disposable diapers.

I should note, at this point, that I’m not a chicken lover except when it’s on my plate for a meal, and I do appreciate the eggs they produce.

Other than that, however, I prefer to keep my distance from live chickens, especially roosters. I’ve had more than one highly unpleasant encounter with arrogant, aggressive roosters, and the thought of trying to diaper one leaves me dazed.

A rooster strutting around in a pink diaper? I’d think it would seriously damage his credibility with the hens.

To my further surprise, I found at least two websites that sell chicken diapers, as well as other “attire” for our feathered friends, such as Birdy Bra Chest Protectors, Chicken Saddles, and harness diapers with a metal ring you can snap a leash into so you can walk your rooster whenever the mood strikes you.

I’m struck dumb at the thought of being seen walking a rooster.

Hen Holster offers the “Original Harness Diaper” with instructions on how to diaper your rooster, as well as their specialty, a Bikini Hen Holster in small, medium and large, also with instructions for dressing your chicken in it’s little bikini.

Another site, Pampered Poultry, offers “Fashionable Underwear” for your chicken, parrot or goose; diapers are only $12.50 each, but you can also buy packages of diaper liners, which presumably extend each diaper’s daily use. Or, you can spend $21.95 and have a matching diaper and dress set, available in small, medium and large, and in a variety of colors such as Island Turquoise, Ocean Blue and Purple Meadow.

I’m trying to imagine a yard full of chickens, tastefully attired in Island Turquoise matching dresses and diapers, all scratching and pecking away, doing what chickens do. One thing I know for sure, I’ll never again be able to look at a bare-naked chicken lying in the poultry counter without mentally giving it a fashionable outfit.

Gives a whole new meaning to “dressing a chicken,” doesn’t it?

RECIPES

As I said, I prefer my chicken ready to cook, so let’s talk about fun things to do with your chicken, after you’ve removed its diaper and/or dress — as well as its head, feathers, feet and innards.

We still have plenty of summertime left, so let’s talk about some sweet, hot chicken that’s easy to have on the table in under an hour and is perfect with a cool, summery salad.

HOT CHICK ON A STICK

½ cup buttermilk

2 T. Tabasco

3 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, rinsed and patted dry

Salt and ground black pepper, to taste

½ cup flour

½ cup panko bread crumbs

Hot Seasoning (recipe follows)

2 cups peanut or vegetable oil

Hot Sauce (recipe follows)

Combine the buttermilk and Tabasco in a large bowl. Cut each chicken breast into 4 lengthwise strips then thread twelve 8-inch skewers with one strip each. Marinate the chicken skewers in the buttermilk mixture for 20 min., then put on a rack set over a baking sheet and season lightly with salt and pepper.

Combine flour, panko and Hot Seasoning mixture in a shallow dish. Dredge the chicken skewers in this mixture, shake off excess and return skewers to the rack.

Heat the oil to 360 degrees in a large preferably cast-iron skillet over med.-high heat. Add the skewers, reduce heat to medium and fry until the chicken strips brown, about 5 min., then turn the skewers over and fry again until brown, about 5 min., or until you are sure they are done. Remove and drain skewers on paper towels, frying remaining skewers in same way until all are done. Brush or drizzle skewers with Hot Sauce as they come out of the skillet and serve any remaining sauce on the side. Makes 12 skewers.

To make Hot Seasoning: Combine 1 tsp. each of paprika, chili powder, dried oregano, dried basil, onion powder, garlic powder and black pepper, with ½ t. kosher salt and ¼ t. cayenne pepper. Pulverize this mixture in a clean coffee grinder; use as specified in above recipe.

To make Hot Sauce for basting/serving: Combine ¼ cup melted unsalted butter, ¼ cup Tabasco, 1 T. honey and 1 t. garlic powder in a small bowl until well blended. Drizzle on the just-fried chicken skewers and let it soak in a bit before serving, with remaining sauce on the side.

Note: If these are too spicy for your taste, leave the cayenne out of the seasoning and adjust the Tabasco in the marinade as well as the sauce, as desired.

 

Another delicious and easy way to enjoy your undressed chicken, very popular in Italy.

CHICKEN PIZZAIOLA

4 ripe tomatoes, cored, seeds removed, quartered

1 lb. fresh mozzarella, cubed

1 t. chopped fresh oregano

Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste

6 T. extra virgin olive oil, divided

8 boneless, skinless chicken breasts

Fresh basil sprigs, for garnish

In a bowl, combine tomatoes, mozzarella and oregano. Season with salt and pepper; drizzle with 2 T. of the olive oil. Toss and set aside.

In an ovenproof skillet over med.-high heat, heat the remaining olive oil. Season the chicken with salt and pepper and place in skillet to sear, about 4 min. on each side. Remove from heat and distribute the mozzarella mixture on top of each chicken breast. Place skillet in a preheated 375 degree oven and bake chicken for 15 min., until the cheese melts and turns slightly golden. Remove chicken from the oven and serve, garnished with a sprig of basil. Serves 4-6.

Note: I really like this chicken served with a pasta salad or Greek salad.

 

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