I have never made fried chicken. Never. I have never even investigated fried chicken recipes. I live in an area with many local and truly excellent chicken joints, so I never had any reason to cook it myself. I do cook chicken in other ways: baked, stewed, grilled, paprikashed. I make chicken a la king, chicken casserole and an assortment of other chicken dishes – just no frying.
My daughter was horrified to find out that ‘chicken’ was really chicken. We eat beef or veal (we don’t call it cow), pork and ham (we don’t call it pig) – so why don’t we have an alias for chicken? Fortunately, her horror at eating chicken didn’t last long. She did want to know, though which part was the nugget. Her comment was, “It’s the butt, isn’t it?” Just thinking about the seriousness on her little face, when she asked…
Similarly, my grandma, upon hearing that we had “chicken fingers” at a fast food place, once remarked quite seriously, “I didn’t realize that chicken had fingers!”
With my sisters and parents, saying “chicken” would bring back the same memory to all of us. My sisters had a friend who was a very picky eater. Knowing this, my mother always fixed chicken when she came to visit. Every time. We found out later that this friend thought that chicken was just the only thing my mother knew how to make.