WHEN YOU RELEASE THE CHICKEN-BAG WITH A SCISSOR OVER THE BED OF COCONUT RICE, ALMOST LIKE GOD-SENT, A STREAM OF PROMISED GOLDEN LIQUID WILL PERCOLATE FREELY INTO EVERY THIRSTY GRAIN OF HAPPINESS THAT YOU’LL ALMOST HEAR THEM PURR.
Hey, I own a shit load of cookbooks, I do. And I’m not saying it isn’t a problem. Especially when it’s become a very common first remark that people make when they visit our apartment, noticing from the ungoverned stacks that seem to occupy every flat surfaces of every able furnitures, evidently overrunning our shelving-space that is already working its double-layer capacity. And my worst fear is that before long, Jason has to kindly ask Thomas Keller to scooch over before he can “relieve” himself, if you see what I mean. So yeah, there is an issue there. But you know, I guess it could be reasonably understood. I mean, for someone like me and for what I sort of do, I guess, it makes sense. What doesn’t make sense, at all, is that for someone who owns this many cookbooks, I have almost never cooked a recipe from any one of them. And I mean never, except maybe once but not really, ok? Because I can’t follow instructions. Period. Now this is really bizarre. For one, I create recipes and expect people to follow them explicitly all the time. But if you didn’t, don’t fret it, because guess what? Ha! I can’t follow a recipe for a damn either! It’s really more of a severe birth-defect than anything else, like the other day when I absolutely made up my mind that for the first time ever in my cooking life, even if it kills me, I was going to execute a recipe like how the creator had intended, and yet, I still derailed.
The particular recipe that I owe my grave apology to, is the turmeric-rubbed chicken from Eat With Your Hands Cookbook. Now I have to give myself some credit here. At first try, I really did manage to change ONLY HALF of the recipe! Instead of roasting the turmeric-rubbed chicken over lemongrass and coconut milk, I decided it was in both of our best interest to do it over a bed of lemongrass and coconut rice. The urge of putting a “sponge” underneath a grease-dripping hot body overruled my determination to obey, so I’m sorry for that. But for the other half of the recipe, including rubbing the chicken with turmeric butter and letting it sit for 24hours, I followed painstakingly. But the thing is, have you ever tried rubbing butter over the skin of a chicken? Try sticking a piece of lard on a teflon surface to get a feel of it. It’s practically impossible! They just don’t bond! And even though the butter is sufficiently seasoned, the “emulsion” prevents the seasoning from seeping into the chicken, even after the whole 24 hours of it. So at the second try, it became inevitable, that in spite of my best effort, I had to sabotage the recipe completely.