Alabama is the Yellowhammer State, but the state bird could unofficially be chicken. Most Americans have probably eaten chicken raised in Alabama. Only Georgia produces more broilers, and commercial poultry accounts for 65 percent of all farming revenue in Alabama.
Trip and Mendy Horne of Barbour County raise chickens and cattle. They also have four greenhouses. Mendy said chicken is the family’s go-to meat because it cooks quickly and is extremely versatile. The Hornes have two children, 15-year-old Laura Beth and 11-year-old Brody, who are involved in school and extracurricular sports.
“We are always headed to practice or a game,” Mendy said. “Plus we have all the work on the farm. It keeps us going all the time.”
Even though the Hornes stay busy, they prioritize meal times and eat together at home as much as possible. Cooking chicken on their propane grill several nights a week makes this goal attainable, Mendy said.
“Trip loves to grill, and we grill a lot of chicken,” she said. “For years he used charcoal, but we got him a propane grill a couple of Christmases ago. We love not having to wait on the grill to heat.”
One of the Hornes’ favorites is beer can chicken, which uses a half-full can of beer (or other liquid) inserted in the chicken’s cavity to yield a moist and flavorful whole chicken.