IN A NECESSARY IF NOT RELIGIOUS FINALE, YOU ARE GOING TO PICK THROUGH EVERY LAST SNIPPETS OF OFFERINGS ADHERING TO THE REMAINING CARCASS
Hello friends. This is my favorite roast chicken.
If you were previously convinced that you know roast chicken, or how to do one right, well to that I say, I’m convinced that you don’t. This is a recipe forged through years of corrections, beginning from the inspiration of Thomas Keller’s roast chicken doused in thyme and garlic butter, and manipulated by my own techniques through experience, then re-polished through a vinegar bath anew. The chicken is not only accompanied by baby potatoes and garlics roasted inside its own grease, but – yes, I’m not done yet – but it has to, has to, be eaten with a runny sunny-side up. That’s right. Chicken and egg, I don’t know why you have to ask. This is now a roast chicken recipe, with its entirety, a simple elegant yet unbeatably tasty form of perfection, worthy of the ones who are willing to receive it justly.
Because, equally important to the recipe, there’s only a single, correct way to eat this chicken, or any roast chicken for that matter. One cannot claim to have had a proper roast chicken, if it wasn’t done this way. That is, you have to devour it with your absolute bare hands.
Assisted with a kitchen-scissor if needed, or not, I command you to tear apart this chicken from limb to limb with at least 8 of your best-able fingers. Undeterred by the occasional burns and shimmering under a coat of grease, your hands and your hands only, are the tool that’s going to snap the bones, tear through the flesh, pick up the crispy skin, pry the roasted garlics out from their husks, then sauce and mop everything up inside a puddle of thyme/garlic browned butter and runny yolks, and deliver them to the promised land. Then with ferocious enthusiasm, in a necessary if not religious finale, you’re going to pick through every last snippets of offerings adhering to the remaining carcass, the untold secrets of muscles around the neck, the films of meat in between the ribs, the skins along the back-bone and the twin crown-jewels of oysters… oh God oh God the oysters… Tell me you know where the fuck the oysters are, chicken-eaters!
Then at last, breath out, and let your rampant emotions settle. Use your remaining clean pinkies to wipe the grease off of your cheeks then lick them. Take a sip of water, then bow out.
IN THE NAME OF SPORTS, IT’S TIME TO EAT OURSELVES TO A CELLULITE-D IMMOBILE PULP
Right, let’s face it. Who are we kidding? The only thing sporty about me is that I could, maybe, jump over a puddle if my life depends on it. But that doesn’t mean you wouldn’t want someone like me at the party this sunday – while the gang rouse up above a borderline-patriotic roar towards the flatscreen, beers blazing and testosterone bursting – who sinks into the couch giggling at her phone for French bulldog puppies on youtube. Why, because my friends, I’m the one who’s gonna bring the kool-Aid.
So let’s hit it. For God and country, in the name of sports, and beefcakes clashing and tight muscles fluttering in slow motion… let’s eat ourselves to a cellulite-d immobile pulp and call it the spirit. Man… gotta love this day.
Here’s the game-plan.
INSIDE A RED PLASTIC BUCKET AND 2 GIANT ROARING WOKS BY THE HUSTLE AND BUSTLE ROADSIDE OF KUALA LUMPUR… NIRVANA
The best moment on a travel, for me at least, is when you’re already being in a place where you know you’d be drowned in delicious foods, standing at an unnamed corner in a lost moment, you still find yourself pleasantly overwhelmed. If that’s kinda your thing as well, then Malaysia is your kinda place, specifically, Kuala Lumpur and Penang.
I have been longing to return for quite some time now. But since I’m currently under some sorta physical lock-down, you can tell evidently from my effort since – a full-blown laksa, a slack-off laksa, and these bag-loads of banana donuts – that this is not my first mental prison-break. I want to remind you now that none of them were actually the climatic screaming food-gasm of that trip, but you already knew that. I mean of course, naturally, one does not jump hastily to food-gasm at hello. How rude. Because one induces foreplay first. A little bit of teaser here, and a little bit of appetizer there. In a slow and respectful courtship, 2 whole damn years after we left the streets of Kuala Lumpur, one says, OK. I think I’m ready to re-create the best damn fried chicken I’ve ever lay my tongue on in my entire life.
The yo mamak’s fried chicken.
WE, THE POT-HEADS, NOW ALL DO THIS…
THIS IS HOW, THROUGH NUMBING PAIN, THAT WE GIVE THANKS.
Do you know that the Chinese applies an ancient wisdom originated along the Yellow River, to an age-old question that has long plagued the minds of all mankind? It’s the monthly family gathering next weekend… It’s the awkward dinner with newly-made friends/colleagues… It’s the unavoidable meal with the in-laws… Hell, It’s the freaking birthday of Confucious! No matter what the occasions really, we all found ourselves asking: What should we eat for that? True, it’s no easy question but the ancient wisdom has answers. Yes. Yes, we have an answer to that. All of that. As a matter of fact, it’s a one single answer, a last minute answer if need be, a one-pot-fix-all solution to any gatherings large or small, where no one, truly, wants to bear the responsibility of putting the foods on the table. To that we say…
Let’s do hot pot!
It’s not overstating to call it a wisdom. Hot pot is the perfect answer to any large dinner parties, especially where there’s equal importance to being well-fed, as well as simultaneously, feeling well-entertained. First of all, instead of conjuring a meal of a dozen courses, there’s only one cooking to be done. Then instead of being splattered into small groups, every guests gravitates from a feasting table with a dramatic pot of boiling stock in the center, and everyone cooks what they like -from an array of offerings such paper-thinly sliced meats, dumplings, meatballs, vegetables, even starches like noodles and fried doughs (yes!) – and how they like it, all from and in the mothership of a pot that just gets better and better throughout the meal. Perhaps there’s something to the theatrics, or to having a “center piece” so lively and fluid… but what I can tell you is this, that strangely, the conversations around a hot pot table, is never cold.
IF THERE’S ANY SHOT AT PRE-DETERMINED HAPPINESS IN LIFE,
IT WOULD BE TO ACQUIRE A TASTE FOR SPICY FOODS… EARLY IN THE WOMBS
OH relax, it’s not for me. This is for Jessica.
Some 2.5 years ago, voluntarily jobless and air-dropped to a place where I found mostly disagreements, I fled into the universe of food-blogosphere shielded behind self-loathing, desperation, and above all, in an impenetrable armour of cynicism. In the mist of not knowing what to expect, I kindly assured myself that there’d be absolutely nothing, not a cunning whiff of hope, don’t you dare, that could pull me out of the comfort of negativity. I was going to cook, record, and wither anonymously into early menopause.
Some 2.5 years later, this universe has turned out to be more unpredictable than I thought. Not fame, not money, not even a humble sense of accomplishment that came, but from this most unexpected of places, I found… a group of friends.
Friends whom I have never met, never actually talked to, whom I don’t know a lot or any personal details of, but more genuine, generous and sincere than most I’ve actually met in real life. Stranger friends, like Jessica.
Jessica is, for the lack of better words, an odd number by normal standards. Nowadays when the mere act of holding the door for the people behind you can feel troublesome, it takes more than cultivating social relationships to offer compliments or helps to total strangers. But Jessica is kind of girl who, out of the mere kindness to inform, would write you an email, a full email, to offer encouragement and support. This is for her and many other dear strangers, whom I would never have the pleasure to call friends, if I hadn’t started this url.
So when I was invited to join Jessica’s awesome cyber baby shower, it wasn’t excitement or party-fever that I felt. Instead, I felt touched. Touched, in an unconventional yet familiar kind of way, that I’m considered part of an awesome community. More than an assignment, this is the first time actually, that I wanted to contribute to a party.
But enough about me. Let’s trash up this party real good.
IF YOU CAN POUR YOURSELF A HOT SALT BATH, THEN MOVE INTO SAUNA TO SIT STILL,
YOU CAN ROAST THIS DUCK
TODAY, I’m here to answer the question that has long infected the everyday-home-kitchens, with unending fatigue and boredom. The underlining puzzle that, as a result, has put the other undeserved, pale and bland poultry, onto the seat of power in the dinner-menu arena for far too long. The question that we, if we say we love foods at all, should all ask ourselves…
Why are we so scared of ducks?
I mean yes, they are physically slightly larger than the other poultry – chickens – which has enjoyed unchallenged dominance in the everyday kitchen-politics, for reasons that are insufficient at best. For one, the only difference made by the small increase in size, is an increase in cooking-time that requires no additional effort from you. Second, that effort-that-you-didn’t-really-have-to-make, will buy you incomparable rewards in flavours, succulency, and rest assured, rock-star-level wow-factors. So despite the many… almost universal disagreement I hold with this happiness-forsaken country, I got to admit that they do, do one thing right. They know how to do their ducks.READ MOREContinue Reading