Being in a relatively rural area of Korea, at least compared to the metropolis of Seoul, I have been able to get some of the freshest organic, free-range, what have you, poultry from a local lady that raises the chickens and ducks herself and will butcher them right then and there for you.
No, I don’t have pictures, because it’s just slightly too graphic to post…okay actually I didn’t bring my camera when I went with my aunt to pick up a chicken. Besides, it’d feel slightly out of place to be taking pictures when the bird’s guts are being pulled out. Although I did find it amusing I wasn’t put off in any way about eating the chicken even after seeing it go from clucking to gutted to on my plate. Then again, I have never really been squeemish about anything.
More importantly though, dear friends and/or strangers of the internet, is the reality of eating freshly killed, only-been-dead-for-45-minutes chicken. That is REAL chicken.
My aunt just boiled it whole in a traditional Korean chicken soup with ginseng, jujube, garlic, and salt, and I was in heaven. The meat was chewy, because these chicken was able to actually move around, but so intensely flavorful. It wasn’t because of the seasoning, but because of the chicken itself was delicious.
I know it was the chicken that was tasty because, I ate some of it raw.
GASP! Yes, I know, it goes against everything the FDA tells you to do about chickens and salmonella and all that. But breast meat has never tasted so good as when it’s raw, like sashimi. Dipped in some sesame oil and salt, it has an intense natural chicken flavor that you could never get from a supermarket.
Now for the disclaimer: DON’T go out to a supermarket and try to slice yourself some chicken sashimi. Not matter how many organic, free-range claims it makes, it is impossible to care for the chickens properly on such a large scale. The risk is too high for contracting salmonella or any other serious diseases. My aunt has been getting poultry from that lady and has known her for a good 15 years. She knows how the chickens are cared for and trusts the lady enough to be able to eat the chicken raw.
With that aside, if you ever have a (trustworthy) opportunity to try raw chicken, I suggest you do. It’s not crazy, I’ve eaten a chicken tartare at a restaurant with a different aunt. There people out there that eat raw chicken! And see, I’ve lived to write about it!