In the past, everything was taken advantage of the bird, including blood, which is a basic ingredient of a dish enjoyed by the general population: the chicken in the brown sauce. However, with the advent of political correctness and the growing remoteness of the city from nature, such a recipe has fallen into disuse – in large cities, few restaurants serve it. Parts classified as noble, and generally more expensive, such as breast, thigh and overcoxa, have gained the absolute preference of consumers.
In some places in the countryside, the habit of valuing feet, necks, heads-now used by the food factories – has been lost and the kids, like gizzards and liver, are despised, rich in iron. According to Élsio Figueiredo, a researcher at Embrapa pigs and birds, in Concordia, SC, the change in consumption pattern took place in the 1960s, “when the industry turned to the production of meat and eggs”. From then on, the chicken ceased to snoop loose and was raised in integrated farms, within enclosed spaces. She put on a lot of weight and was ready for slaughter early.
However, a resistance movement was launched last month during a gastronomic event in São Paulo.
Chefs Mara Salles, from Tordesillas restaurant, Ana Soares, from Table 3, and nutritionist Neide Rigo engaged in a endeavor to restore the importance of all parts of the chicken, caipira preferably. Together, they gave a class called shameless Kitchen – chicken from head to toe to break prejudice. “Not ashamed to suck the bones, eat the brains, chew the neck and enjoy everything, even the guts,” says the trio.
Neide explains that a lot of people are afraid to assume that they like the rabicó, to break their skull in search of their brains, or to use all the kids in a piece of cake. “Chicken is not just what you eat with a fork and a knife. To recognize this, you have to lose your shame,” he said.
For this reason, all three propose the use of the bird in its entirety.
For those who are not convinced of this possibility, they break a rosary of recipes: the foot can be marinated in soy sauce, honey in ginger before being baked; the Rabo is seasoned with wine and leaves of sage and served with pepper-biquinho. And even the crest – which, for Mara Salles, is the “crown of the chicken, a queen” – cooked in urucum, pepper and blond adorns the corn angu.
The young ladies of the brush, as they call themselves, also suggest a warm soup enriched with soups, kids, carcass, neck and macaroni with cabbage sauce. The eggs, which are the precocious and shelled eggs, still in the belly of the chicken, are tasty when seasoned. For the boldest, marinated guts, oven-dried and fried, as the Japanese appreciate.
The cooks resorted to childhood memories, passed in places of the São Paulo interior, for this movement of revalorization. Chef Ana Soares associates the henhouse with the display of affection. “Every visit that came to the site was invited to eat the chicken that would be killed there at the time,” he said. Neide Rigo loved to eat his brains and his head, just like his father. But she wouldn’t let go of the galley prepared by her mother, dona Olga, author of the recipe published in the magazine. Mara Salles recalls that she and her brothers had the function of feeding the birds early on. “And the gizzard was always a matter of dispute between us,” he said.