Mole Monday

As I’m standing in the kitchen Saturday night cutting up a whole chicken — something I never did before moving here, by the way, I mean why would I when a normal grocery store sells them in convenient little pieces already? — I’m thinking of my grandmother, and the story she told recently about butchering a turkey for Thanksgiving one year because she thought she and her daughters ought to know how to do it. My chicken arrived already dead and frozen, thankfully, but I’m picturing my grandmother in the kitchen with me anyway, offering tips as I cut through joints, separating legs from body, drumsticks from thighs, breasts from backbone. I’m making chicken stock, using a whole chicken instead of just spare parts in order to get a super-rich broth (plus shredded breast meat for enchiladas later). Two more whole chickens wait in the freezer for their turn under the knife. This stock is slated for tomorrow’s mole negro sauce, to accompany those other two chickens at a dinner party on Monday.

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