Archive for the Chicken Category
No, I am not referencing Saved by the Bell, so don’t get excited, 80’s nerds. I am instead talking about a decidedly 21st century phenomenon: a fried chicken fast food restaurant that isn’t run by fundamentalists or at war with the hobos. For many states of the Confederacy are now graced by the brilliant, the beautiful, the tenderly-greasy chicken of Zaxby’s.
The chicken tastes fresh, no processed lumps or strange mush. It lives up to the word tender. And yes, the chicken is both very salty and very greasy, but in a pleasing way, since the whole thing falls apart in a rewardingly moist manner, without chewiness. The seasoning is strong, too, unlike KFC which relies on pure salt-overload and crunchiness to mask a complete lack of flavor. Alongside the chicken you’ll find hearty crinkle fries and highly-addictive Texas toast.
The best part: The Zax Sauce. This creamy, tangy orange-colored dressing, with hints of ranch and thousand island, comes in big ass tubs with everything you order. And indeed, you can dip anything in it: fries, chicken, Texas toast, even put it on your salad (excuse me, Zalad), and the results are delicious. What’s in Zax Sauce? The website says: 17g of fat and 650g of sodium for every 43g serving. But I know the only ingredient is: sexiness. That’s right, Zax Sauce is damn sexy. It kind of makes you feel guilty, how much you want it. Which is why they charge 50 cents per extra tub.
So go find one today and celebrate the fact that America still fries the best fast food chicken in the world.
[Note: We have a new category, Quality Fast Food. Send in your suggestions for reviews!]
Of course, I also saw plenty that deserved jeers: in the cramped confines of Wrigley Field’s concourses, I watched a large man, his head thrown back, guzzling spicy curly fries from a cup like they were a beverage. I ate mushy hot links, bone-dry hot dogs and hot wings with no heat. And in Baltimore, I came face to face with a crab cake sandwich that edged out guinea pig (yes, guinea pig) as the least appetizing dish I have ever tried.
My favorite stadium food? The kettle corn at Fenway.
If the 3-in-1 bird wasn’t enough for you, check out this massive Christmas roast containing the following, all stuffed inside one another:
1. Turkey, 2. Goose, 3. Barbary duck, 4. Guinea fowl, 5. Mallard, 6. Poussin, 7. Quail, 8. Partridge, 9. Pigeon squab, 10. Pheasant, 11. Chicken, 12. Aylesbury duck.
Also known as the Turgoodukfowmalsinquaparquabantenuck.
The amazing folks at cajungrocer.com were kind enough to ship me one of their massive turduckens to test for the blog. Don’t know what a turducken is? Well, if you want to be on the front lines of the meat frontier, you should. It’s a dish consisting of a partially de-boned turkey stuffed with a de-boned duck, which itself is stuffed with a small de-boned chicken, with layers of stuffing in-between. In this case, the total creature weighed 15 lbs, with 11.5 lbs being meat.
The birds come de-boned and pre-stuffed, wrapped up nicely in a cryovac package with the legs tied. They need to cook for about 5 hours at 325; it’s a pretty easy process, considering the amount of different animals you’re cooking at once.
The only cooking fiasco can be blamed entirely on me and my stupid failure to buy a roasting pan. Instead, I constructed one using a cookie sheet and a lot of aluminum foil. It held pretty well, until I removed the birds to cover them for their last hour of cooking. Some of the foil got caught on the rack, producing a hole through which a bit of grease leaked. After some dramatic sizzling, huge amounts of smoke came gushing out and I started to ponder whether I knew how to turn the fire alarm off for the building (I do). The crisis was averted through some quick cleaning, and the turducken came out with a nice brown crispy skin.
When the bird was carved, we were at first all puzzled as to which part was which; but once we got it on our plate, chunks of duck, chicken and both types of stuffing magically appeared. You can see it best in the picture below.