YOU might be one of those creatures who gets up with the chickens to make breakfast: hard boiled eggs, crispy bacon and fried rice with either coffee or hot cocoa, so that when the family wakes up at 6 a.m., the meal is ready for them to demolish.

Chickens make colorful images because of their plumes and the morning cacophony they compose. In Cartoontopia, there are memorable chickens like Lady Kluck (animated feature Robin Hood), Chicken Little (from the same titled movie), Camilla the Chicken (The Muppet Show) and Ginger (Chicken Run), among many famous cluckers.

These feather dusters dumbfound man when it comes to evolution with the question, “Which came first, the chicken or the egg?” and the eternal question, “Why did the chicken cross the road?”

Idiomatically, chickens have their share in wisdom. When you do something in the past and it creates a problem or can have bad consequences in the future, then you say “chickens come home to roost.”

I find it sad that chickens living in San Luis, Pampanga, now have to face a consequence not of their making. In fact, they are victims of the avian virus H5, which the Department of Health said is not harmful to mankind.

Thousands of chickens and their eggs in that area have to be destroyed, with the DOH or whoever will foot the bill (sorry, I’m being sloppy here on purpose) paying P80 per head for every live fowl.

As part of the chain reaction of fear, people are suddenly chicken-hearted when it comes to eating chicken. They chicken out when someone invites them to dinner in a diner or restaurant specializing in chicken meals. Suddenly pork sounds the better choice to them.

The DOH said that as long as chicken is well-done (no bloody parts), it is safe to eat the meat that might be contaminated by H5. Eggs have to be boiled hard.

At home, we still eat chicken and as part of our campaign to help the government, we are sharing some simple chicken recipes.

CHICKEN THE CAJUN. Have on hand chicken breasts. Rub with a mixture of salt, cayenne, garlic powder, paprika, pepper, onion powder, dried oregano and dried thyme. Set aside 30 minutes in the refrigerator. Bake or fry as you wish.

To serve, slice and place on top of fresh salad (arugula, butterhead or Bibb, green leaf lettuce, seeded and sliced tomatoes, sliced olives, seedless grapes halved, olive oil, cider vinegar, salt and pepper to taste).

BASIC CHICKEN. Fillet chicken breast, then slice into strips. Marinate in light soy sauce and crushed garlic, at least 30 minutes. Pan-fry and in the last minute, add the marinade. Simple but delicious.