I have a confession to make: while I’m completely and utterly mad about trying new things and indulging myself in the finer treats the culinary world can offer, I can be most plebian about my comfort foods.
Case in point: KFC.
You read that right: greasy as heck, certainly bad for you, but nevertheless oh-so-good-tasting Kentucky Fried Chicken is one of the most non-negotiable comfort foods in my life. On those days when I’m dangerously close to burning out and my fatigue is beginning to get the better of me, I admit that I’ll step into the nearest KFC branch on my way home and order (shudders!) a two-piece chicken meal with coleslaw and an orange soda.
And the chicken has to be the Colonel’s Original Recipe and dark meat only; ergo, only drumsticks and thighs can help ease my pain. (Breasts and wings – “healthier” though these may be – leave me bored, dissatisfied, and cranky at the end of the meal.) In a pinch, though, I’ll have a mix and match – one Original and one Hot and Crispy – if a part of choice isn’t available with the original 11 secret herbs and spices.
And there should be gravy – spot on serious lashings of the stuff. If it weren’t an injustice to the other diners, I’d hijack a thermos of gravy from the refilling stand and keep it within close reach for the duration of the meal. But, of course, I still have better manners than that.
However, on days when I crave seriously comforting sustenance but have to dash from point A to point B, a two-piece meal – even a one-piece meal as the fowl is still on the bone – will take too long to eat. On those days, I can put a slight Oriental twist to my meal with a Chinese Imperial Supreme Bowl.
To describe this dish is to say this: it’s a deep-fried chicken thigh fillet on rice. Over it goes a spicy-sweet, rather garlicky sauce reminiscent of old-school Kung Pao [Gong Bao] chicken. There’s fried eggplant, too, which is another of my comfort foods. Finicky types will shy away from fried eggplant, but if you’re not eating that, slap it on my bowl, please. 😉
Okay, so it’s not haute cuisine; heck, it isn’t even classic Chinese food. But it’s good, filling, and reasonably priced. Not quite a two-piece meal, but it hits the spot when I need it the most.
(But all this talk of KFC chicken has, alas, awakened some serious cravings! Oh, dear…)