"Religion is no more the parent of morality than an incubator is the mother of a chicken." ~Lemuel K. Washburn
Now most folks either just plain love or really hate fried chicken...I'm in the first group. My friend Lynda makes the most mouthwateringly delicious, spicy fried chicken I've ever had. (I wish I could eat it every day!)
Love it or hate it, fried chicken has certainly left its mark on our culinary landscape. Here is some food for thought on the oft-praised dish:
1. There's a town in Alaska called Chicken.
While pecking around for a name, the residents of a small town in Alaska almost settled on Ptarmigan. (...heh?) Problem was that nobody there could agree on how to spell it.
Seemingly determined to become the butt of jokes, they simply decided on the name "Chicken" instead. Moist, plump, juicy, and with all the delicacy and richness you'd expect, the year-round population of Chicken, Alaska usually wavers somewhere between 17 and 37 people (they have no power grid and no phones). And when visiting you'll find the usual breasts, legs and thighs as part of the poultry and the local citizenry alike.
2. Where to find the best fried chicken.
In the off chance of your being lucky enough to ever experience Lynda's amazing culinary craft, as per the 2007 Bon Appetit search for the "Best Fried Chicken in the U.S," you'll need to travel either to Blackberry Farm in Walland, TN, Price's Chicken Coup in Charlotte, NC, or to Willa Mae's Scotch House in New Orleans to find anything close.
And if you're not a gourmet, and don't mind your chicken fresh from the hopper and served up in a bucket while tailgating, there are pedestrian mainstream varieties available, too. The most famous chain is the one with the old dude with the white hair, beard and suit...you know who I'm talking about. "The Colonel" made fried chicken his finger-lickin' lifetime passion. As the company's spokesperson, he touted its eleven secret herbs and spices all day, every day.
3. The Dalai Lama hates fried chicken. Seriously, it pisses him off.
In the event that you have the great fortune to chat with the Dalai Lama, whatever you do, don't mention fried chicken -- it's a very touchy subject for His Holiness. Psssst...in case you didn't know, he's actually asked the parent company of "you-know-who" to refrain from opening their fast food outlets in his homeland of Tibet.
Apparently some other gastronomic who-dunits like "Pizza Gut" and "Taco Hell," both owned by the Colonel's parent company, are not a problem though. (How could Mr. Lama hate fried chicken but be OK with mass-produced doughy pizzas and ersatz Mexican food?) In His Holiness's letter to the folks who make that fried chicken so mmm-mmm good, the Dalai Lama stated that he has been "particularly concerned with the sufferings of chickens."
Nobel Peace Prize winner, birthday-boy, recipient of numerous human rights and humanitarian awards, the head of state and spiritual leader of the Tibetan people, not to mention the hero of hens everywhere, Tenzin Gyatso, the 14th Dalai Lama, lives in the mountain town of Dharamsala in northern India, where he maintains a government in exile. And while The Dalai Lama enjoys a reputation of sainthood that's supported by his sage words and humanistic deeds, good guess is that he won't be enjoying Fried Chicken on his birthday or at any other occasion.
4. How to put out fried chicken grease fires.
But in the event that you happen to love the Southern Fried bird, just be careful making it. The causes of grease fires are often attributed to pans of hot oil being left on a burning stove. So if by chance your range is engulfed in flames either in Chicken, Alaska, in your own hometown, or even in Dharamsala extinguish the grease fire by sprinkling baking soda all over it until the flames are out.
5. July 6th is National Fried Chicken Day.
6. Vegan "chicken" coming to KFC in Canada
You read that right. Canada's crunchy crowd, should they ever venture inside the fluorescent-lit hallows of a KFC, will soon be able to partake of (tasty???) "unchicken."
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