Fifty shades of chicken: a parody in a cookbook, 160pp.
by FL Fowler
Clarkson Potter/Publishers, New York, 2012
Cooking on page 32
This amusing cookbook was written under a pseudonym by an anonymous food industry professional and inspired by the erotic Fifty shades of grey.
I haven’t read the latter, but I did have fun going through the chicken version. As FL Fowler said, ‘The recipes and headnotes follow a chef and his chicken on an emotional journey very much like the original trilogy. You start with an overbearing cook and a pigheaded chicken but by the end they’re spanking and tying each other up like soul mates.’
Fowler had fun with recipe titles such as ‘mustard-spanked chicken’, ‘dripping thighs’ and ‘bacon-bound wings’. Page 32’s title is tame by comparison.
5 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
3 pounds ground chicken, preferably a mix of dark and white meat
1 tablespoon coarse kosher salt
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
2 tablespoons tomato paste
2 onions, chopped
1 green bell pepper, seeded and diced
4 garlic cloves.chopped
1 serrano or jalapeno chile pepper, chopped
2 to 3 tablespoons chili powder, to taste
1 (28-ounce) can whole peeled tomatoes
1 bottle dark beer
3 cups cooked pinto beans or 2 (15-ounce) cans, drained and rinsed
½ cup chopped fresh cilantro
2½ tablespoons fresh lime juice, or to taste
sour cream, for serving
grated cheddar cheese, for serving
Heat 2 tablespoon of the oil in a large pot over medium–high heat. Add half of the chicken and brown it well all over, stirring, 5 to 7 minutes. Season the chicken with ¾ teaspoon salt and ½ teaspoon pepper. Transfer the chicken to a paper towel-lined platter. Repeat with the remaining chicken, 2 tablespoons of oil, another ¾ teaspoon salt, and the pepper.
Add the remaining tablespoon of oil to the pan and then stir in the tomato paste. Cook, stirring, until the paste is fragrant, 1 to 2 minutes. Stir in the onions, bell pepper, garlic, and serrano or jalapeno. Cook until the vegetables are golden, about 10 minutes. Stir in the chili powder and remaining 1½ teaspoons salt; cook 1 minute. Return the chicken to the pot. Add the tomatoes, beer, beans and 1 cup water. Reduce the heat to medium and simmer very gently until thick, about 30 minutes. Stir in the cilantro and the lime juice to taste.
Ladle the chili into bowls. Serve topped with sour cream and cheddar cheese.
How it played out
You might remember that we had a 15-year-old French vacuum cleaner…er, male exchange student…staying with us for three months before we headed out to India.
Ralph was easy to feed in that he ate most foods, but he was especially fond of chicken and even fonder of great volumes of food. With three pounds of chicken in this recipe, it seemed the perfect dish to make for dinner for four. 🙂
I made this mostly as written, except that we can’t easily get pinto beans in Australia—certainly not tinned ones—so I used kidney beans instead. Frying the chicken in batches worked well, and the cooking time of 5 to 7 minutes for each batch was about right.
Everything else came together easily and dinner was on the table in no time. Ralph made a salad to go with the dish.
Makes a thick and totally delicious chili that can be served with or without a base of rice or mashed potatoes. We served without either.
Really liked the addition of lime juice and cilantro (fresh coriander). Well worth making again. When Ralph isn’t with us, I reckon it can feed eight. 🙂
We’re currently on a road trip through India. Would love to have you join along on my travel blog. Have a look at our time last year with tigers in Pench National Park in central India.