|Crispy Oven Baken Chicken with Apple Cider Vinegar Glazed Collard Greens and Homemade Biscuits|
Crispy Oven Baked Chicken or Not Fried Fried Chicken
|All shook up and ready to bake|
One 4lb chicken cut into 12 pieces. Why twelve you ask? It doesn’t have to be twelve it can be as many or as few pieces as you want. Ten would work too. But the fryer I bought had big breasts- like most chickens do these days- and I don’t know about you but I feel just a teensy bit overwhelmed if I’m given a whole breast. (I could elucidate about thighs now but we are already in dangerous territory)
Fried Chicken that’s not fried? Chocolate Martinis are not really Martinis and rattlesnake does not taste like chicken and so I offer you fiction that is not fiction but more of a poem (and an old one at that.)
Inside the fence there was a pecking order:the dominant rooster,his hens—speckled browns and whiteswith red eyes, bright pink crowns—the other rooster, then me.In the mornings, I shadowed momas we raided nests,hands burrowing between feathers and hayto find eggs, still warm,stacking them in our baskets.Sometimes I dallied and foundmyself alone in the coop.The other rooster would chase me,flap his brick-red wings and crow, peckingthe backs of my bare legs.My older siblings would watchfrom outside the coop and laugh untilI cried, then they would openthe gate and let me run through.At killing time, I watchedmy brothers hold the hens and myfather hold the axe. After each head toppledoff the block, the chicken’s body,released, would run, drippingcandy kisses of blood across the ground.Bets were taken on the distance,but no chicken ever made it outof the yard, they all collapsedheadless in the dust. Mom scoopedup the corpses, carried themto the kitchen where a vat of simmeringwater waited. The swollen scentof wet feathers filled the houseas each bird was scalded and then plucked,their feet chopped off and givento me as toys. My brothers taughtme to pull the tendons, to animatethe taloned feet. I laughed as I scratchedthe air with the claws and chasedmy sisters whose memories were longer,who could still see the chickenswhole and pecking at the seedwe’d scattered in the dirt.