So a mate from Ha Tay, a province adjoining Hanoi which has recently been re-zoned as an official part of the capital, brings back what is known locally as a countryside chicken or ga ta. I'm not sure if that qualifies these chooks as free-range in the western sense of the term. I mean I have seen lots of chickens wandering about in the alleys of rural villages and I suppose they are much happier than shed ones.
Anyway...whatever...the god and I got together in the kitchen to do some justice to it. We divided up the labour. The god took to the already cooked bird with his bare hands, tearing it limb from limb, wing from wing, greasing up his hands in the process. Shredded flesh and skin along with thinly sliced heart and lung were the first ingredients ready for the salad bowl. Further up the bench, I was dealing with the vegetable and liquid content. Limes were softened with a roll to loosen their juice. From the sink, the stunning spicy scent of bathing Vietnamese mint (rau ram) was rising. A red onion lay sliced on the chopping board, paper thin. Freshly ground pepper, sea salt and chopped spring onions were ready to be sprinkled.
The assembly is not dainty, human hands being the most effective implement to mix this fine marriage of ingredients. It could be served with rice crackers or pushed on top of a bowl of hot steamed rice. The god and I opted for no carbs.
Basically we each ate half a bird!