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22
Dec

[vimeo]http://www.vimeo.com/18063596[/vimeo]

Just back from a wonderful trip to Iran where I had been in April, also once many years ago during the time of the Shah when I worked for Sotheby’s who then had an office there. While walking through the Tajrish bazaar last April, I was struck by the abundance of seasonal produce, some of which I was seeing for the first time. This time I went up to Rasht in Gilan province where they have a fabulous, bustling bazaar with an amazing live poultry section where you can buy your chickens, roosters and/or ducks live to take home and fatten up or you can have them killed and plucked there there and then before taking them home to cook. In the clip above, you can see how meticulous the lady is about choosing her chickens. She reminded me of the Chinese housekeeper of a friend who lived in Singapore. When I went to the market with her, I watched her turn over each and every vegetable and fruit before buying it to make sure it was perfect. But whereas the Chinese housekeeper was vociferous in how she made her choice, I could hardly hear what the Iranian lady was saying. They have a wonderful gentle culture in Iran and almost everyone speaks in whispers. My kind of place!

[vimeo]http://www.vimeo.com/18064953[/vimeo]

In this second clip, you see how the vendor stuffs the poor, chosen live birds into a plastic bag and to keep them from dying an unnatural and early death, he pokes two holes in the bag for them to be able to breathe on the way home.

[vimeo]http://www.vimeo.com/18066324[/vimeo]

While in the third clip above, you can see two men busy plucking a small and a large duck which were going to be used in fesenjan (an intriguing sweet and sour stew where the poultry is cooked in a walnuts and pomegranate syrup sauce). I was so taken by these birds that I used one of the pictures as my 2010 season’s greetings card. Here it is for those of you who didn’t get it by digital post! Wishing you all very Happy Holidays.

live poultry for sale copy copy


There is 16 comments on this post


  • Warning: Undefined array key 36 in /data/40/0/131/109/783598/user/802494/htdocs/anissahelou/wp-content/themes/Anissa/functions.php on line 377

    Anissa

    Are you going to have any tours planned for Iran next year? I have been fascinated with that country and its cuisine for years (I have been conceived there as a matter of fact! 🙂 and would love to go with a guide such as yourself!
    I remember the chickens being plucked in our kitchen; can”t say I miss that time really.


  • Warning: Undefined array key 36 in /data/40/0/131/109/783598/user/802494/htdocs/anissahelou/wp-content/themes/Anissa/functions.php on line 377

    Rasht also have a lot of fresh vegetables to offer. I like that part of the bazaar in Rasht where in rainy days, they sing and sell fresh eggplants, cucumbers, eggs, fish, etc.

    I appreciate your observation as the charm of this bazaar isn’t about architecture. It’s all about life and how it’s going on in the vein of the marketplace, its narrow lanes.

    Rahman Mehraby
    Destination Iran Travel & Tours


  • Warning: Undefined array key 36 in /data/40/0/131/109/783598/user/802494/htdocs/anissahelou/wp-content/themes/Anissa/functions.php on line 377

    i do. i loved watching my aunt kill the chickens. must have been a weird child :). and yes, i will be doing tours to iran but not until 2012. will let you know when i do. happy new year.


  • Warning: Undefined array key 36 in /data/40/0/131/109/783598/user/802494/htdocs/anissahelou/wp-content/themes/Anissa/functions.php on line 377

    thanks. i loved the bazaar in rasht and i went to the vegetable and fish areas. great produce and great vendors. i don’t speak persian so didn’t understand what they were singing but loved the rythms.


  • Warning: Undefined array key 36 in /data/40/0/131/109/783598/user/802494/htdocs/anissahelou/wp-content/themes/Anissa/functions.php on line 377

    I have actually plucked a chicken before in rural Morocco and must say the experience was fun. It’s not an act I want to do daily 🙂 but it is something I’d love my daughter to experince one day.

    Happy New Year!


  • Warning: Undefined array key 36 in /data/40/0/131/109/783598/user/802494/htdocs/anissahelou/wp-content/themes/Anissa/functions.php on line 377

    speaking of chickens, i am about to try your recipe for chicken livers from your book..but am a bit confused, in my family we always saute a chopped onion before adding the livers but you add a whole onion spiked with cloves , by doing it your way will that impart any flavor to the dish this way with such a short cooking time? is this your innovation too?..thank you kindly


  • Warning: Undefined array key 36 in /data/40/0/131/109/783598/user/802494/htdocs/anissahelou/wp-content/themes/Anissa/functions.php on line 377

    it would be easy in morocco. and a happy new year to you too.


  • Warning: Undefined array key 36 in /data/40/0/131/109/783598/user/802494/htdocs/anissahelou/wp-content/themes/Anissa/functions.php on line 377

    i think it is the traditional way of doing it, or at least my mother’s and it does give a nice flavour without changing the texture.


  • Warning: Undefined array key 36 in /data/40/0/131/109/783598/user/802494/htdocs/anissahelou/wp-content/themes/Anissa/functions.php on line 377

    ok thank you… I will try it..do you move the onion at all in skillet,so that the cloves are touching the oil during the cooking ?? also do you have a good recipe for the livers with dibs rumman/pomegrante molasses that you could share?


  • Warning: Undefined array key 36 in /data/40/0/131/109/783598/user/802494/htdocs/anissahelou/wp-content/themes/Anissa/functions.php on line 377

    yes, you do. and if you want to add dibs rumman, all you have to do is to dilute however much you would like to use (not too much or it’ll be too sweet) in a little water then deglaze the pan with it. it is a lovely variation on the lemon juice. enjoy 🙂


  • Warning: Undefined array key 36 in /data/40/0/131/109/783598/user/802494/htdocs/anissahelou/wp-content/themes/Anissa/functions.php on line 377

    Anissa,
    I am glad I’ve just discovered your blog. Plenty of amazing infos on this blog. I will be a loyal follower for sure. Great job!


  • Warning: Undefined array key 36 in /data/40/0/131/109/783598/user/802494/htdocs/anissahelou/wp-content/themes/Anissa/functions.php on line 377

    marhaba anissa..just made the lemon version..but i had a complication..im kinda of a novice in the kitchen..when i did the recipe the livers released lots of juices and kind of looked like sludge on the the bottom of the pan..even more so when i added the lemon juice..what did i do wrong ..was the skileet too crowded? or is this the way its supposed to look? i ended up draining out the brown juices ..please help!


  • Warning: Undefined array key 36 in /data/40/0/131/109/783598/user/802494/htdocs/anissahelou/wp-content/themes/Anissa/functions.php on line 377

    marhaba sam. it may be that the pan was not hot enough. you need to have it very hot so that the livers sear on the outside and stay soft on the inside and also the lemon juice needs to bubble up as soon as you add it so that it emulsifies with the fat in the pan. hope this helps. and it is a good idea not to crowd the skillet.


  • Warning: Undefined array key 36 in /data/40/0/131/109/783598/user/802494/htdocs/anissahelou/wp-content/themes/Anissa/functions.php on line 377

    yes I think you are right..I surely didnt let the pan get hot enough because when I put the livers in the skillet they were just out of the fridge( cold) so the whole thing just steamed and stewed and too crowded..lots of juices and sludgey..no searing going on!!!!.it was not appetizing to say the least..and yes i remember when my mom used to make them ,when the lemon hit the pan it bubbled up/sizzled and evaporated quickly leaving no liquid behind..just like rice cookery and egg cookery simple but lots of finesse needed..but I wont give up..I will try this again..thank you again..love your blog


  • Warning: Undefined array key 36 in /data/40/0/131/109/783598/user/802494/htdocs/anissahelou/wp-content/themes/Anissa/functions.php on line 377

    thanks sam. let me know how the next lot works out.

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