A SPIRITUAL EXPERIENCE WITH CHICKEN & the intricacies of truly valuing chickens as equals
*complicated musings from a borderline vegetarian that I was only recently able to find words to verbalize*
- •A SHORT CONFESSIONI have detested red meat (aka LUMPS OF COW FEELINGS) for my entire life. But in my heart of hearts I have envied those who dine on red meat, what with their manifold delicacies that restaurants pander to: steak, filet mignon, London broil, quintessentially American hamburgers, tartare, etc. tbh I've felt left out in the cold as I've gone to many a place that barely even looks me in the eye as they plop a charred chewy chicken breast on my plate.
- •I FOUND GOD IN A BOURBON PECAN ENCRUSTED CHICKEN BREASTthis is how my odyssey started. July 27 2016 is a night I will never forget because, reader, I found out what true love was. It was called "bourbon pecan encrusted chicken breast" (I almost wept, it was so tender and laden with flavor and incredible texture) served with "smashed redskin potatoes" (melty and creamy and exquisitely seasoned) and a "medley of garden vegetables" (if Jesus' tears were turned into squash and then stir fried, this was it)
- •NO ONE CARES ABOUT CHICKEN EATERSI began to reflect on how no one really cares about those of us who live a humble life of eating chicken. We are treated like wayfarers from god's glorious path of red flesh. I've been sneered at for ordering a chicken sandwich at a burger joint. I've been laughed at for asking to substitute chicken for steak. I've been called unamerican. NO ONE CARES ABOUT THE CHICKEN LOVERS OF THE WORLD! Chicken is a half hearted after thought I tell you.
- •THE EXQUISITE AGONY OF DINING SOLOOkay, sidebar. This reminds me of when I go out to eat by myself and everyone like disdains me and doesn't pay attention and is overtly rude. Probably because they don't think I'll tip them. But like, yeah if you treat me that way, I certainly don't feel like tipping but I DO IT ANYWAY GODDAMNIT. In the same vein, chicken eaters are treated with the same icy hauteur and glares and disrespect. FOR SHAME!
- •SOME THOUGHTS ON THE TASTE AND TEXTURE OF CHICKENOften restaurants don't tenderize their chicken, or par cook it, or over cook the outside and it's chewy. Once I ordered a $15 dollar chicken Caesar salad and the chicken on it had clearly been refrigerated for hours and then without pomp or circumstance plopped indelicately on my salad. IT WAS COLD AND GAMEY AND I SENT IT RIGHT BACK TO THE KITCHEN.
- •MORE THOUGHTS ON THE INDUSTRIAL RED MEAT COMPLEX THAT IS AMERICAYou see, with red meat, it is essential to cook it TO ORDER, usually culminating in a fresh and delightful piece of meat (so I hear). Neither chicken or those who consume it are shown that respect. SAD, as The Donald would say. And it really is sad. Even in the paragon of chicken, Chick-Fil-A, a veritable temple to chicken lovers, no one seems concerned with making sure the proportion of breading to chicken is correct, let alone ensuring that chicken is not gamey or chock full of red tendons.
- •HOW TO PROPERLY PREPARE CHICKENSo finally, back to the point. How does one prepare a piece of chicken that ushers a diner into nirvana? Into a shangri la of bliss? THE CHICKEN LOVERS CREDO IS THIS: *before any preparation* the chicken must be fresh. It should be made to order. It should be free of fat and all tendons or veins or whatever you call them. It's just a courtesy. It should be tenderized with a jacquard. After you have done these things, prepare as you wish. Do not over cook, over look, or over anything.
- •SOME RANDOM CONCLUSIONSThank you for enduring this chicken lover's journey with me. To the Red Meat Industrial Complex that is America: these are my demands. R E S P E C T the chicken. BE ONE with the chicken. L O V E the chicken. And for the sake of everyone stop criticizing people who can't stand the taste of red meat. It's excessive and makes it seem like you are insecure in your bloodthirsty passions for our barnyard friends. Also, if you ever want to chicken heaven on earth, go to the Back Porch in Ocracoke, NC.