Say this next time you’re served chicken against your will…
I grew up in the South, where chicken, in its many forms, was a staple of the diet. Fried chicken, of course. Chicken and dumplings. Chicken (kill me now) casserole. Baked chicken. Barbecue chicken. Chicken and waffles. Chicken pot pie. Chicken stew. Chicken noodle soup.
And of course, chicken necks, livers and gizzards.
Of course, it’s not just the South – chicken is a big dish everywhere. According to the USDA, Americans ate nearly 92 pounds of chicken per person in 2016. And worldwide the data indicates we eat 55 million chickens a day.
I have a confession. I don’t really like chicken all that much. Yeah, I play along because it’s allegedly healthier. But the bottom line is that I almost never eat chicken when there’s beef or pork on the menu.
Know why? Because chicken has no goddamned flavor.
When somebody samples a bite of something new – alligator, rattlesnake, coati mundi, whatever – you know how they always say “tastes like chicken”? Right. They’re saying it tastes like … well, nothing.
And when somebody takes a bite of whatever chicken dish is in front of them and says “wow, that’s good,” what they’re saying is that whatever you put on the chicken is good.
Chicken parm? The sauce and cheese is good. Fried chicken? The salt and pepper and batter is good. Chicken soup? All those seasoning and spices you put in the pot are good. Chicken burrito? Man, the salsa is hot!
There are literally no recipes on the face of the Earth where substituting cardboard for chicken would change the taste. At all.
So just say this next time you’re served chicken against your will. Look at the cook and say “wow – whatever you slathered on this tasteless slab of nondescript meat is delicious.”
And since there’s been a great deal of uproar about the chicken farming industry and how it treats the birds, maybe this is a chance to do some good. Let’s ramp up cardboard production and save 20 billion chickens a year.
PS: Not long ago I was at the British Bulldog watching a Chelsea match and I ordered the boneless wings, except instead of the Buffalo sauce I got it soaked in their Punjabi sauce.
Sweet lord, that sauce and breading was the best tasting thing I had all week.