on why chickens make me happy


And so we’re back…

Since my last post, I have developed an even greater fondness for chickens and chicken keeping in the city. For the past few months, Zoe and I have been working for Just Food, an organization in the city that works with urban farmers and community gardens in New York, providing technical assistance, advocating for local and sustainable food systems, and getting the public involved in the process. Zoe and I are the official “city chicken interns,” so we have been working with Just Food to evaluate the chicken coops in the community gardens that the organization support as well as to digitally design the optimal chicken coop model for future keepers. This entails visiting different gardens in places like  Far Rockaway, Crown Heights, the South Bronx among others and speaking with gardeners about their experience with their coops and spending some time with the hens.

In addition to learning chickens’ personalities, and the differences in the eggs laid by Arucanas versus Rhode Island Reds, or why a chicken might rip out its own feathers, through this job I have never before felt so connected to the environment and the community in which I live and been so acutely aware of the problems in our system of food production. This week I spoke with a chicken keeper in Brooklyn, not far from where we live, and  I asked him if there is any concern among neighborhood residents about having a coop there. He said that no, not all all, the only thing is that sometimes people are skeptical when he gives out fresh eggs to community members. “The eggs are not from the store, so they are unsure if they are okay to eat,” he told me. It’s sad to think that for so many, if food does not come processed in a plastic package from thousands of miles away with a nutrition label slapped onto it, it’s value and safety is in question. While this is starting to change in a lot of places— the bustle and the crowds of the Union Square greenmarket is a perfect case in point— in places like Eastern Far Rockaway, access to produce and fresh foods (let alone pesticide-free, antibiotic-free, or local foods) necessitates a trip to Long Island or the other side of the peninsula.

So, in celebration of urban chickens, and of springtime, I am posting on deviled eggs (with a pretty big kick). Enjoy! Bok Bok!

Boil a dozen eggs. Place eggs in a pot, and fill with water about an inch above the eggs. Bring to a rolling boil, and leave them boiling for about 10 to 15 minutes. Turn the water off, drain out the water, and run them under cold water to stop them from cooking further. Let eggs cool.

Peel the shells and slice the eggs in half. (Fun fact: Eggs shells are incredibly healthy for a chicken’s diet!)

Scoop out all of the yolks into a bowl. Mash up the yolks with a fork and add the following:

2 spoonfuls of Mayo

2-3 big spoonfuls of Dijon mustard

Half of a yellow onion diced or minced

One clove of garlic finely chopped (optional)

Several pinches of salt and ground pepper

A few dashes of chili power

A few drops of Worchester sauce (this part is key)

A spoonful of white vinegar (this part is also key)

Sliced up chives

A handful of fresh parsley and a handful of fresh dill chopped up

Mix it all together and taste. Add salt as needed. You might likely also want to add more mayo, but I am just not a fan, so I try to go light on it. Carefully scoop a spoon back into the egg where the yolk used to be. Sprinkle with paprika and some chopped up chives.


One Response to “on why chickens make me happy”

  1. Sydney Says:

    Did you really just bok bok? Oy.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: