Gotta be honest, it’s difficult to channel the Asian spirit and write about living in GZ when I’m in the US. Never expected to feel this way but I’ll give this a shot.
Two weeks ago after a Chinese lesson I asked Ben to take me to the wet market. I was going with the intention to buy one thing and that was the most amazing asparagus I have ever eaten! We had had it for dinner the night before and it was so good I was going to pick up another bundle. Somehow along the way in the 10 minutes that it took to get there I was corralled into buying a live chicken, so off we went to buy my first live chicken. Now that’s not to say it was alive when I brought it home, but I did choose a chicken that was flapping its wings and eyeing me up when I paid for it. I think that the chicken lady was surprised that I was even there. Her helper brought one out of the coop (I could see them in their cages) and Ben gave the nod of approval. We walked around for a few minutes while I hunted down the asparagus and bought a few other things along the way. I was told to marinate it in a little Chinese cooking wine and a flavor packet that I bought and use my rice cooker (who knew?). After about 10 minutes we returned to the stall and there the chicken was all plucked but with everything else in tact. She gutted it and then asked if I wanted the feet and the head cut off. There was a tiny Chinese grandma standing next to me and nodding with approval when I gave the go-ahead to cut them off. I think she just wanted my leavings :-). $6 and a plastic bag later I had my first REALLY, REALLY fresh chicken.
Ben came into the house to explain in detail how to cook the chicken (my rice cooker didn’t come with English instructions) and he put the chicken bag on the counter. We chatted and after he left I picked up the bag to put it in the fridge. The contents were warm! That caught me off guard. Every other time I picked up chicken to put it away it was cold. This was warm!
After checking the weight (it was a whopping 1.75 pounds), I took it out of the bag to give it its recommended shower. It was the cleanest chicken I have ever bought. There was not a single “thing” that needed to be trimmed, cut out, or plucked. I marinated the chicken as directed and turned my rice cooker into a chicken cooker. When Ben picked Anders up at work he was grinning and assured Anders that he was going to have a proper Chinese chicken dinner. He’s so glad to have someone who is interested in Chinese life and I’m just as happy to be that person.
Verdict? It was delicious but next time I’ll buy two!