948 Chickens

Chickens in the fire and on the left: the chicken count

This past Wednesday was a national holiday. On a Wednesday. Thank you, Catholic Church. I wasn't entirely sure why we had a holiday but had recalled seeing something on my school calendar that said "St. Peter and St. Paul Day". I googled this and discovered that June 29th, is in fact the feast day for St. Peter and St. Paul, commemorating the day in the year 67 when they were martyred in Rome. My deeply Protestant self was unaware of this Feast day, but still thankful to be in a Catholic country.

Last week I exclaimed that we have to do something different for the holiday. I couldn't bear the thought of staying at my apartment watching more episodes of Friday Night Lights, it was time to explore. 

We settled on the idea of going to La Granja Azul with some friends of ours. This place translated as, The Blue Farm, is a huge piece of land outside of Lima that is known for serving some of the best pollo a la brasa in Peru. This dish is essentially rotisserie chicken served with fries, a salad and an array of Peruvian sauces, nothing fancy but mmm, mmm good. I've had rotisserie chicken before in the States, but this stuff I simply can't resist. The best part of La Granja Azul? It's all-you-can-eat chicken. 

We were seated at a table next to the area where the chickens underwent their final preparations. We watched as the chickens, whole and roasted to a crisp, were removed from the fire and set down on a large table. Then a man who was at least sixty years old, wielded a large chopping knife and cleanly chopped the chickens right down the center. Busy waiters collected the halves and took them to their tables. It was a seamless system and it has to be, La Granja Azul is sprawling. 

The restaurant consists of several different large rooms and tiered terraces, I would guess that the capacity is well over a few hundred people. A few hundred people times all you can eat chicken equals a whole lot of chickens. In fact, right next to the large fire is a board that is updated periodically with the number of chickens that have met their delicious fate. When we sat down at 1:15 it was 510. When this picture was taken at 1:30 it was 600. Finally, when we left around 2:45 it was 948. Nine hundred forty eight little chickens had given up their lives for our holiday feast. Where does one buy 948 chickens? What kind of refrigerators do they have for those? And most importantly, who counts all of them?

All in all, it was a successful day. We got outside of the city, spent time with friends and I contributed one chicken to the 948.