Chicken Fingers: Bolivian Style

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Within a few months of moving to Bolivia, the need to buy a chicken arose. I wanted to make my grandma's chicken & dumplings recipe, so obviously I needed chicken. I regularly pass a little shop on my bus route that carries basic food items such as eggs, milk, and... chicken. So I went into the shop and told the woman behind the counter what I needed.

VĂ©ndame pollo por favor.

She asked if I wanted an entire chicken or just part of one, so I requested just the chicken breast. I watched her begin to cut it and then browsed around the store while she finished up and placed it in a black bag. I paid $2.80 and headed home.

After getting home and letting the chicken thaw a bit, I opened up the bag expecting to just see chicken breast. I literally jumped back when I saw the chicken's wide-open eye staring at me from inside the bag. It's not that I've never seen a chicken head before, I have, it's just that I wasn't expecting it. But for the sake of chicken & dumplings, I gingerly reached in to take out the chicken.

It was wet and slimy and kind of slithered out of the bag as I dumped it on the counter. As I turned the bag completely upside down, I felt what I thought was a hand with long fingernails graze along my arm and then watched as the chicken's foot fell onto the counter along with the head and chicken breast.

I have since gone back to that shop to buy chicken, but I now always request that they give me just chicken breast, without the head and feet. They just don't taste that great with dumplings.


2 comment(s):

corazon alimentado said...

Dear Laura,
I love reading your stories about Bolivia. I have never been in Bolivia and it is a way to connect with the Bolivians there. Your chicken story reminds me of when I was in the Dominican Republic and I went to buy a chicken. They told me it would be cheaper if I bought it live. Since I was raised in the big city, I would not know what to do with a live chicken, and I could see my dinner running around, so I asked them to kill it and clean it for a few dollars extra.
Blessings on your work there and thanks for the prayers.

Anonymous said...

Oh My!!
I'm not speechless too often but this has my stomach in knots (and not good kinds) :0)

Your photos are beautiful (well, those other then the chicken) LOL

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