So you're one of those folks who wants to get a flock of chickens for your backyard, eh? After you figure out all the logistics, the next big thing is deciding what to do when your chickens become egg-laying machines.
We figured the devil is in those details, so we asked staff writer Meg Dickinson, who writes the popular Meg Makes blog at news-gazette.com, to offer a few deviled egg recipes for dealing with the mass quantities.
The first comes from Margaret Dixon, who recently retired from The News-Gazette:
Easy Deviled Eggs
12 hard-boiled eggs, cooled
1/3 cup mayonnaise
2 tablespoons Koops' horseradish mustard
Lawry's seasoned salt, to taste
Optional: hot sauce to taste
Cut eggs in half and scoop out the yolk. Smash the yolks up and add the mayonnaise, mustard and salt and mix well. You can add more or less of either the mayonnaise or mustard to taste, or use your favorite kind of mustard. You may also add a couple of splashes of hot sauce, if you wish.
Mix well and put back into the egg whites.
The next recipe comes from Mary Dickinson of Loda:
Seasoned Deviled Eggs
12 hard-boiled eggs
1-2 tablespoons creamy horseradish
6 heaping teaspoons mayonnaise, or enough to make yolks creamy
Seasonings to taste: salt, pepper, dry mustard, dried chives (or fresh, if you have them), dried dill leaves, dried parsley (if fresh, chop finely before adding), paprika
Peel and slice the hard-boiled eggs in half. Put the yolks in a small mixing bowl and the whites on a plate.
Mash up the yolks with a fork. Add mayonnaise and horseradish, and then season to taste.
Mix until well-blended and sample to adjust seasonings. Scoop into egg whites and garnish with a sprinkle of paprika, sprig of fresh parsley or a slice of black olive.
Cover and chill before serving.
But what if the experiment goes wrong? What if you just can't stand getting pecked 15 times while you're putting out some feed? What if walking through all the excrement is driving you to drink?
Consider cutting your losses with this recipe from Meg Dickinson:
3 2- or 3-pound chickens
3 12-ounce cans beer, divided
12 ounces white wine
1 8-ounce bottle of Italian dressing (light Italian works, too)
1/4 to 1/3 cup adobo seasoning
Place each chicken in a large zip-top freezer bag. Combine wine, Italian dressing and adobo seasoning. Pour evenly over chickens. Seal bags and chill eight hours, turning occasionally.
Remove chicken from marinade, discarding marinade. Open three cans of beer. Place each chicken upright onto beer can, fitting into cavity (A can stand made for grilling helps with stability here.) Pull legs forward to form a tripod, allowing chicken to stand upright.
Prepare a hot fire by piling charcoal on one side of grill, leaving other side empty. For gas grills, light just one side. Place food grate on grill. Place chickens upright on unlit side of grill. Grill, covered with grill lid, an hour and 10 minutes or until golden and a meat thermometer inserted in thigh reaches 170 degrees. Carefully remove cans and cut chicken into quarters. Serves 12.
To make this recipe for one chicken, just divide the ingredients by three. (Or if six of your chickens are giving you the stink eye, double the recipe.)