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Is there a good reason why the butchers include the head and neck with a roasting chicken? I only ask because it scared my wife when she saw it for the first time - I normally buy them and prepare Sunday roasts.

Just curious
 

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Never really understood the thing about including the head, but the neck is for making broth or gravy/sauce - or for giving to the cats or dogs. Weird thing is that if you want the giblets for making gravy, you usually have to buy them separately.
 

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It is to make it last longer .The head is included complete with the eyes to see you through the week:D
 

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When I was young, poultry was always sold in butchers shops in my part of England plucked to a couple of inches below the head, which was not removed. The entrails were removed, but the rest of the innards were left for the customer to remove.

I understood it was so that the buyer could see it was fresh, a hen not a cock, and what colour it was - people used to care what breed the chickens they ate were.

Heads were left on rabbits to show they weren't cats:)

I worked in a large poultry processing factory near Bishop's Stortford during Christmas holiday when I was about 16, where I quickly learnt to clean and truss turkeys and smaller birds. They reached my work area plucked, and just had the heads cut off. We removed the neck to put in a small bag with the heart, liver, and gizzard. after we had cleaned it out. Opening and emptying the gizzard was one of the more difficult bits to learn to deal with, as was finding the empty crop and completely removing it. I suppose the birds were starved before being killed.

I hate the French way of leaving the sinews in the legs, which makes them tough and unpleasant to eat-
We had a simple hand operated device clamped on each work station to pull them out after scoring the scaly part of the leg just below the joint and breaking the bone. This leaves a stub of leg below the joint, which prevents the skin shrinking back when roasting.

My father used to do this, after breaking the bone as above, by jamming the foot in a door and pulling it off, while holding the leg and body carefully so as not to damage the skin, and I still do this when we get a bird with the legs still on or I kill one myself.
 

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Had an American friend here several years ago who for some reason decided to cook and serve a rabbit head. (Maybe it came with the rest of the rabbit?) The butcher gave her very specific and elaborate instructions for cooking the head, which she followed very carefully.

Whole thing was done in a frying pan and at one point, the eyes popped out of the thing and shot across the kitchen. I can't remember at this point whether she and her daughter managed to consume the head after that. (Or maybe I just stopped listening to her story.)
 

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When travelling through Turkey and Iran I managed to resist the temptation to buy a boiled sheep's head from one of the many roadside barrows, which had them enclosed in glass cases.



I did once eat a sheep's eye in a soup, in Greece, as it seemed impolite not to.

It popped when I bit it, was like eating a slightly runny egg, and tasted salty.
 

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Is there a good reason why the butchers include the head and neck with a roasting chicken? I only ask because it scared my wife when she saw it for the first time - I normally buy them and prepare Sunday roasts.

Just curious
As other people have noted, aren't high quality chickens in butcher shops in France left with head and feet intact to give assurance to the purchaser as to the pedigree/origin of the bird? I.E. A poulet de Bresse? Complete with metal tags/labels/stickers etc..
 
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