fried chicken

I think cold fried chicken is great.

One night quite a few years back, I was in the kitchen of the first Depot location working on a cold thai fried chicken sandwich. We didn’t have a deep fryer. We didn’t have a hood. We only had two pots, two induction burners and a quesadilla press we used for sandwiches and cooking eggs, somehow.

I spent all day working while the chicken brined in salt, sugar and fish sauce. After we closed up, I kicked up some oil and started frying the chicken to run for the next couple of days. But I guess in some hurry I mixed up too much salt and it was inedible. Rubbery and so so salty. I was mad that I ruined so much chicken but I wasn’t going to serve it.

Me and the chicken were unsalvageable.

I spent the rest of the night brining a whole new batch of chicken and frying.

I thought it was a great sandwich — I topped it with some type of slaw and some spicy mayo stuff which is always really fun. I even had a dude yell through the window, “You know what’s better than cold fried chicken?? HOT FRIED CHICKEN” which was aggravating and 100% whatever.

Fast forward like six years to yesterday where I found myself lost in a chicken filet bobbing up and down in 350 degree oil. And we make so many of these now. Like maybe too many. And maybe all we make are cheeseburgers as well. Fried chicken and cheeseburgers. They are good and maybe we’ve doomed ourselves to this fate but that’s okay.

It is a wild thing to remember how the bones and blood of a thing is made.

So many long nights, feeling incredibly stupid and lonely – wandering home to a couple of cold leftover pork chops to eat while scrolling through my phone and getting lost in the inevitable weight of all of the things I’ve lost and found.

At this point, cooking and food are sewn into everything. Anything torn and stressed in my world can generally be solved by making food for someone — including myself (which needs to happen more, I know.)

If you’ve ever loved anything well enough, you know the weight of its loss and the gift that at some point, it was so very good.

That is cooking. (Among other things.)

Loss. Rage. War.
Longing. Memory. Nostalgia.
Love. Nourishment. Light.

I don’t know.

I still think cold fried chicken is good. Hot is better.

Both led me to right here.

And here is good.

It is a wild thing to remember how the bones and blood of a thing is made.


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