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The chicken story

The chicken story happened because throughout the week in getting to know everyone it came out that I like to cook. BBQ is probably my favorite thing to do, so Jennifer convinced the Costa Rican villagers to let me cook the main course for the village at our going away dinner.

The night before I prepped probably 30 half chickens to BBQ the next night. I had no idea what kind of grilling/BBQ equipment they had in the village but was excited to cook for everyone regardless. We were all lucky enough to eat in each family’s home, I figured the least we could do was cook a little for them.

When the grills showed up I was a little nervous I wasn’t going to be able to pull it off. The first BBQ was no bigger than the top of a barrel and was so heavy it had to be transported via back-hoe. The second grill was the one that scared me the most, it was an actual wheel from a car with legs and a grill top. The charcoal took a while to get started and I was very nervous we weren’t going to have anything ready for dinner. But all of a sudden the grills started – and in 10 min the flames were flying. The chickens started to blacken and I was pumped that we were going to pull it off, but then they all started to burn. With a little quick thinking and help from the rest of the group I was able to improvise with a huge soup pot. I filled the pot with the chickens, squeezed in the juice of about 10 fresh oranges and added a little lizano salsa. The chickens were somewhat burnt on the outside and all the women in the village were worried that this silly boy from New York City had ruined their dinner. But in the end they came out pretty great, there wasn’t a piece left and I think everyone was pretty excited. It was the highlight of my week to give something this close to my heart back to the people who welcomed all of us into their homes.

Nicholas Oleksak

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1 Comment
  1. Awesome stuff. I didn’t know you got to eat so well on volunteer vacation. LOL!

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