Friday, June 29, 2012

Fantasy Fried Chicken, Finally

In this week’s Los Angeles Times, amongst the many things written about prolific writer Nora Ephron upon her passing, came the tidbit that she was a passionate foodie and cook in her private life. So much in fact, that she wrote a cookbook – one typed and bound in old fashioned spiral fashion which was never for sale but used as a gift for all of her cherished friends. Although she indeed spelled out many of her favorite recipes, the one for fried chicken read as follows: “Everyone loves fried chicken. Don’t ever make it. Ever. Buy it from a place that makes good fried chicken.”

I disagree with her on both points. Not everyone loves fried chicken. I didn’t for the past two decades of my life. Until recently, the last fried chicken I had eaten was a cold, drumstick in thick, buttermilk batter at a beach side picnic with my aunts and uncles as a child. It forlorned my palate due to its soggy delivery at the tail end of a day when the adults were too busy drinking to realize that the quality of the dinner wasn’t prime and I had a bad taste in my mouth ever since for the famous dish. My second try was later on at KFC and I don’t think I need to explain the gross monstrosity of gristle and fat that I received there to forlorn me even more.

But when I first met the Cute Gardener (who frequently chooses a food and proceeds to try every variation of that food he can find), he was on a fried chicken tour so I began to tepidly try a bite of each kind that would end up across the table on his dinner plate. Of the places we’ve gone so far, the honey syrup laced version I had last weekend was my favorite.

But nothing in the world compares to the fried chicken he makes at home. Part of the reason he is on a fried chicken tour is to try and find a version that bests his own. For a typically modest man, you know the chicken is THAT DAMN GOOD when he even admits to something like this. I had it a few weeks back and am still waking up in the middle of the night wishing I had it for a cold, midnight snack.

I am not allowed to say what’s in it. So here is my recipe for fried chicken a’la Ephron cookbook style:

“Find a partner who knows how to make it better than anyone else and seduce him/her so they’ll make it for you.”

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