It has been 263 days since I first stepped off the airplane in Honduras. It has been 262 days since I first set out to kill a chicken.
Being a carnivore I felt that is was necessary for me to justify my eating habits by being able to kill what I eat. That and the fact that I walk by a chicken farm 2 times a day, 5 times a week and am in Honduras, I figured the time was right. When else would I be able to go out and hunt my own meal?
For 262 days I have made my intentions known to the group but sadly they had become the brunt of a joke.
“I’m going to kill a chicken this weekend guys. Jose told me I could.”
“Ooookkkkkaaaay Josh, whatever you say.”
Admittedly, I had talked a big game but never actually came through in the end. That was until recently…
One of my students, Reina, has a number of chickens at her house that she cares for because they lay her eggs. Lately those chickens had been laying eggs elsewhere and therefore they had no more need to keep the chickens around. Reina came to school 2 weeks ago and told me that her family planned to sell the chickens, including one known as El Asesino (the assassin) for having killed one of the other chickens. Reina’s family knew my intentions and so I forbade them to sell El Asesino and told them instead, we would kill him. Well, they listened and Reina showed up to school this Monday without even saying hello. She only had one question:
“Don Josh, will you be there Saturday?”
“Saturday? What are you talking about?”
“To kill…El Asesino”
I awoke this morning because my nerves were jumpy…I was to commit murder and then celebrate the killing with a feast. Earlier in the week I contracted Norah to bare witness and prove to the group by documenting, via camera, the slaughter.
40 cents later I was at Reina’s house standing over my prey, helpless and shackled to a plastic chair.
Preparations did not take long. I reviewed the procedure with Mirian, Reina’s mom, where she walked me through every step and handed me the murder weapon – the smallest, most blunt knife you could imagine.
Removing the chicken from the chair and tightening the ropes around its “ankles,” we hung him upside down from a nail in a cement column allowing the blood to rush to his head. Brandishing my weapon, El Asesino began to shutter, making one last attempt to hold on to life and escape to the empty lot next door. His attempts were futile and he resigned to death.
Holding its head back with my thumb I slit its neck and left it for dead, watching its nerves sputter until falling into a never-ending sleep. At last the movement stopped. Hanging motionless and limp, El Asesino has gotten his just punishment. He who kills shall be killed.
All in all it was not as much blood as I had hoped for nor as emasculating as one would think. But still I killed a chicken. Now it was time to eat.
First you pour scalding hot water over it to remove the feathers. We worked rapidly as to not allow the skin to cool and make it more difficult. After all the noticeable feathers are removed, you suspend the chicken over a small fire to remove any remaining feathers or hair and to remove the skin from the feet. Next quarter the chicken and remove the stuff you can’t eat, cleaning each part as you go. Finally, throw it all in boiling water, cut up some veggies, add a little chicken consommé and let the soup run its course.
Less than 3 hours after I killed the chicken, we were all sitting around the table enjoying a nice bowl of chicken soup, rice and corn tortillas.
I can now say officially that I have killed my own food and feel satisfied that I regularly enjoy chicken sold in sealed packages.

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