Menu Twelve

Hot Day, Cold Chicken

I suppose you can’t exactly call the chicken/egg thing a partnership, since it’s not exactly consensual. The particular genius of human intervention was to capture the birds in the wild and raise them for food—first harvesting the eggs while they were plentiful, then, as the flock aged, boiling the meat for soup and other dishes. If you had a few extra eggs, you made a cake, but eggs were considered a luxury.
But what began as a brilliant and perfectly eco-friendly tradition—keeping just enough chickens around the yard to supply eggs and meat for a small family—burgeoned into the big, hellacious business of factory farms, where chickens on drugs are confined in cages, lights blazing at all hours to encourage nonstop laying. This specter of avian enslavement—which produces eggs aplenty and inexpensive but bland, flavorless fryers—is enough to turn you off commercial birds (and their eggs) forever. And it should.