“How to cook a chicken.”
That’s the title of this piece except I have a feeling my inner muse is just messing with me because It is really not my intent to give you a recipe for cooking a recently thawed, currently sitting in my refrigerator, 3.5# chicken. Or is it?
I must have something better about which to write, don’t I?
Well, well, well, speaking of chicken reminds me of the restaurant in the countryside, just outside of Fribourg, Switzerland where I dined on the best fried chicken, frites and jug wine I’ve EVER tasted! Yup. The mere thought just got me salivating, big time. That plucked, rolled in flour and fresh herbs clucker was so darn good it nearly beat the pants off the sex I had been having with my, ten years younger than I, (call me cougar) German lover with whom I was dining…and that was fan-fucking-tastic lovemaking, which says heaps about the food. But enough of the foul mots or about the sex, lets get Back to the fowl and the amazing view.
It was late morning in the late spring of the late 1980’s, when we drove, talked non stop, laughed and fondled each others knees-(his car had a stick shift and I a free hand), from my “friend’s” fab apartment up in the hills above the town of Gruyere, past the laiterie with the truck-tire-sized wheels of …cheese, to Fribourg, then along a winding, picture postcard country road which eventually led us to Restaurant Grandfey.
There were so many cars, parked everywhere, even up to the entrance. I remarked, This is either the only place to eat for miles (which it was) or the best place to eat anywhere…it was that too.
There were tables outside and inside, you know, basic, no-frills round cafe style ones with center support and stackable chairs…as I recall, paper mats and napkins, but metal cutlery and as I recall there was little else to order other than poulet, frites et vin…perfectly fine for us since we had been working out steadily (use your imagination), thus were famished.
We sat outside drinking robust French jug wine, remarking about the perfect weather, bright blue skies and puffy white clouds. It was so much like a dream from which I prayed not to wake up. Soon giant plates teeming with aromatic, perfectly browned and crispy poulet and pommes frites were set before us. There were many other diners around us but few were speaking more than the occasional outburst of “oohs and aahs” in between munching bird and tater and sipping yet more red wine. We gazed affectionately at one another, holding hands over the table and caressing body parts under, in between bites. It was a time to cherish.
The day was perfect…both food and company were absolutely delicious. I prayed it would go on forever. Alas it would not. We were celebrating the end of our life changing romance with me flying in the morning back to LA and a husband who spent more time reading in the bathroom than working with me to resolve our differences. I held little hope for the continuation of either affair or marriage but I knew I had to try to make my marriage work, for the sake of my children.
That was nearly thirty years, and three husbands ago. In the summer of 2018 I attempted to contact my sweet younger man-friend to see if he and his wife would like to meet me for dinner when I was next in Switzerland, first by email (we had been in touch on and off over the years) and then through Facebook. His son contacted me to tell me his dad had died just months before of a heart attack.
When I am next able to travel I will head first to Fribourg for poulet y pommes frites, and drink a toast to those days. In the meantime, here’s my version of fried chicken ala Grandfey.
Whole chicken, washed, quartered and blotted dry
Mix together on plate big enough to hold 1/4 chicken
1 cup or more of all purpose flour
3 tablespoons herbes de provence
1.5 teas. Salt
In separate bowl
1 egg beaten with 1/2 cup milk
Sunflower oil to fry in
1. Dip each piece of chicken in egg milk mixture
2. Coat eggy chicken in flour mixture
3. Heat enough oil to cover chicken.
4. When oil is hot gently fry chicken pieces until golden brown
5. Place pieces on newspaper or towels to drain excess oil.
Okay that’s what I’m going to make tonight, but without the frites or red wine.
Besides I currently have no one to play footsies with.