The Magic of Urban Chickens

I am mildly obsessed with chickens–the living kind, not the cooked kind.  I find them to be magical, intriguing, and mysterious, as well as super cute.  As urban chicken zoning fights are happening all over the country I want to take a strong, pro-urban-chicken stand.  All of the anti-chicken arguments I have heard are misinformed (that is a nice way of saying stupid, fyi).  Hens are not loud–they coo, they cluck in a beguiling manner, and they occasionally break into a chicken chorus if there is neighborhood cat naively assuming that they look like nuggets.  Chickens are not dirty, nor do they spread disease–they are the best pest management money can buy.  If you are in a debate with a chicken hater, ask them if a chicken has ever kept them up all night with their barking.  Nope.  I think not.  Having lived for a few years next door to a house with “secret chickens,” I know of what I speak.

So, when I hit town I had to go visit some secret urban chickens.  I cannot reveal their owner or their location, and I tried to put little bars over the eyes of the chickens, but my Photoshop skills are not that great:

Anonymous chicken
Additional anonymous chickens (secret location)

Aren’t they cute and fluffy and non-threatening to civilization?  Yes.  Yes, they are.  I love them.

The clandestine guardian of said chickens was kind enough to give me some urban homestead eggs, which are quite lovely and so much better for you.  Would you rather eat an egg produced through the metabolization of grains, or one made by the metabolization of bugs and grubs and worms?  I thought so.  However, the bug-built eggs are actually much better for you.

Are they not lovely?

I came home with my bug-built eggs and wanted to use them in a dish that would highlight their beauty, so I decided to make a simple Piperade, which is a Spanish Basque dish based on a simple saute of peppers, onions, and tomatoes.  I gathered up some shallots, garlic, tomatoes, and peppers from my parents’ garden:

Begin by chopping the shallots (or onion) and crushing the garlic, and cook that in a good lashing of olive oil until softened.  Toss in the sliced peppers next, and cook until wilty, then the chopped tomatoes.  If the skins are thick, remove those by dipping the tomatoes in scalding water so they slip off easily.  When all of that has cooked down, add in some sea salt and a teaspoon or two of smoked paprika (pimenton):

If you like a little heat, add in a touch of ground cayenne pepper, too.  Next, make some little wells in the sauce and crack in the eggs:

Cover the dish and cook over medium heat until the eggs are done to your liking.  This is a fast, simple, healthy meal:

All due to the magic of chickens!

Final Gratuitous Shot of (Anonymous) Chickens

Thanks for reading,

-Angela

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5 Responses to The Magic of Urban Chickens

  1. Yenta Mary October 5, 2010 at 1:28 am #

    That looks gorgeous! And I just happen to have all the necessary ingredients on hand, too … hmmm, wonder what's for dinner tomorrow???

  2. Chris October 6, 2010 at 1:38 am #

    Found your blog via the Foodie Blogroll.

    Here in Knoxville the local government just approved an urban chicken ordinance this August (http://www.knoxnews.com/news/2010/aug/25/council-oks-referendum-hen-measures/). No more anonymous chickens:)

    Nice blog!

    Chris
    http://www.nibblemethis.com

  3. Angela FRS October 6, 2010 at 1:51 am #

    Longmont just passed a similar ordinance after much hoo-hah at public meetings. Hoping more areas come around to the value of a few backyard hens.

  4. Eileen October 8, 2010 at 2:52 am #

    We live in a rural setting and just got chickens to raise (for eggs only) this last spring. I love them. They are so interesting, fun (like a pet) and produce the best darn eggs you could ask for!

  5. Angela FRS October 8, 2010 at 3:13 am #

    I am jealous! I really, really want some chickens but I don't think we have secure area (raccoons). Someday…

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