The broiler chicken raised in the Philippines is called the “45 days” chicken. I don’t know why these chickens aren’t called by some other name. I don’t even know where “45 days” came from. Perhaps it’s because they’re not a specific breed. They’re hybrids, a mixture of Cornish game hens (even though they’re roosters) and something else. They kind of look like White Leghorns but they’re obviously not the same. They mature at different speeds, so 45 days is only correct for some of them.
When my wife (Josie) wants something, it’s almost impossible to change her mind. Somewhere between 45 days and 55 days before her return to the Philippines, she had one of her sisters buy 60 chicks. I paid for the chicks, the chicken feed and the vitamins they add to the water. Although I don’t remember the exact amount, I know I spent over 13,000 pesos (over $280 USD) before what remained of the 60 were slaughtered. I think we only lost one and that was because it stuck its head out of the cage and a cat took a swipe at it. The cats in our compound are not pets. They’re scavengers.
The part that bothers me about all this is that Josie intended to share the chicken with everyone in the compound without admitting to it. $280 would have bought a lot of chicken for just the two of us (even at a restaurant) and that’s why I didn’t want any raised at all. I lost the argument before it even started – I gave up without a fight.
We’ve had chicken something almost every day since Josie returned on the 26th of August. We’ve had it fried chicken, barbecued, chicken adobo, arroz caldo, chicken tinola and other chicken dishes I can’t name. I’m waiting for hot wings to appear sooner or later.
Although I saw a lot of chicken being eaten, I didn’t eat much of it myself. I removed it from the last arroz caldo dish I had (this morning). I’m not a big fan of meat these days. I’d rather have a dish involving bitter melon or some other plant-type food than one involving chicken, beef, pork or fish. Of course, there’s always an exception when it comes to bacon.
I’m very picky when it comes to the food I’ll eat. I don’t like everything that ends up on my plate. I don’t like lobster and I don’t like crab. I like shrimp (or prawn) but only a little of it at a time. I like specific cuts of pork and only when I know where and how the pig was raised. Ham, bacon and pork chops are about all I can handle.
I like steak and I like lean ground beef and that’s about all I can handle in the beef department. I don’t like much fish at all. I prefer tuna but not very often.
I’m leaning towards vegetarianism more and more as I age and it isn’t intentional. Meat tends to make me feel heavy and bloated where fruit and vegetable-based dishes don’t. I’ll never become a vegan, though. I like eggs, milk and cheese way too much to give them up.
By: RT Cunningham
September 4, 2015
Food and Drink
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