Food & Drink

Bocks populi: Could you kill a chicken and eat it?

Chicken photo courtesy of Fleisher’s.

Do you look at this photo and think, man, I would seriously pay $300 to slice that bird’s carotid artery? If the answer is yes, maybe you should attend an upcoming chicken-slaughter workshop sponsored by Fleisher’s butchers. That’s the photo that accompanied an email invitation to “For Cluck’s Sake,” where:

Participants will meet at Fleisher’s in Kingston for a light breakfast, followed by a trip to Meadowview Farm in New Paltz where they will have the opportunity to slaughter and de-feather their own chicken! … Participants will learn how to quarter, spatchcock, and skin a chicken for home kitchen use. All followed by a locally sourced dinner prepared by the Fleisher’s crew … Cost is $300 and includes 3 meals, lecture with Joshua Applestone, and a chicken to slaughter and take home!

So … help me out here, foodies, back-to-the-land beardies, Kenji, anyone… does this sound fun to you? 

Let’s put aside the cost for a minute. Yeah, you could probably do the street version of this at some illegal Bushwick chicken coop and save yourself $295. But Fleisher’s is a top-quality, organic, no-hormone operation, and we’re confident they’ll teach you to do the deed as humanely as possible. But still.

I’m not a vegetarian. But I have never once had the primal urge to cut up an animal myself, let alone whack it. I know that slicing and dicing your own livestock has been a big trend in Brooklyn for a few years now, what with pig butchering classes at the Meat Hook (though we’re pretty sure the swine shows up already dead) and various other events for cleaver-loving DIYers. But I’ve always wondered: Why do people enjoy this type of thing?

Sure, some say that if you can’t bear to witness the slaughter of your innocent dinner, maybe you shouldn’t be eating it in the first place. But this event seems to take the meet your meat philosophy even farther than most; you’re not watching a trained butcher, you’re wielding the knife with your own shaking hands. And don’t think you’ll be gently taking some chicken off of life support or hypnotizing it into stopping its own heart rate. No, this YouTube video is a good indication of how you’ll spend your Saturday:

No disrespect to Fleisher’s, but again, do you want to do this? Could you kill a chicken and go home and put it in a banh mi? Could you ever even eat chicken again after watching this video? Do you believe that if you want to eat meat, you have to be prepared to slaughter it yourself? Also, does anyone know what spatchcocking is?


    • What if you can bring yourself to shoot a chicken with a poison dart but couldn’t slit its throat? Also, what if you only ate chickens that died of old age? That could be a whole marketing thing. “free range chicken died of old age”

  1. The Jaded NYer

    What are you gonna do when The Revolution begins? Depend on the kindness of others? You might want to learn to hunt, fish and gather your vittles now…I can already smell upheaval in the air. Or is that New Jersey? *rim shot* “I’M HERE ALL WEEK; TIP YOUR WAITRESS!”

  2. $300 bucks! That’s more than my godfather (a chicken farmer) could earn in a day of slaughtering chickens. For $300, I’d kick the darn chicken to death.

  3. Maggie

    Spatchcocking is basically butterflying the chicken. cutting it down the spine and flattening it out. a great way to do chicken on the grill. or make your thanksgiving 4-hour turkey roast into a 1-hour turkey BBQ!

    and yes, this is something that i would do…would LOVE to do. but there’s no way in hell i’d pay $300 for it. unless that little breakfast before the farm is complimented with copious amounts of mimosas and bloody mary’s.

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