I keep getting these birds; chickens from the countryside or ga ta.
The last one came from Ha Tay. This latest one got its neck wrung and feathers plucked in Ninh Binh, a province 90 kms from the capital famous for limestone karsts rising up out of the ricefields. Not a bad place for a chook to grow up, I s'pose.
Anyway, said chook made its way to my freezer stuffed in the hatch under the seat of my mate's motorbike. It did look a bit wonky when I got it out and thawed it, as if it had been folded or something. Naughty disfigured chicken wouldn't sit straight on the oven tray. Kept falling over while I was dealing to it with the aromatics.
You see I'd thought I'd do a roast this time. Let me call it risky roast because I wasn't exactly sure how a scawny long legged fowl from the provinces of Vietnam would take to being rubbed with olive oil, garlic and lemongrass and shoved in a hot box with spuds for an hour or more. Most of these birds get boiled or grilled. I wasn't sure that the meat wouldn't end up as tough as a billy-goat's knee.
I had to be vigilant and I had to use aluminium foil for part of the cooking time. The result was well worth the risk. I cleavered the bird into pieces and surrounded them on the plate with sweet and normal potatoes. Ye olde feast ensued, drumsticks were brandished, bones flung about, tankards of wine swilled and spilled and wanton wenches pleasured.
Well, almost. Kind of.