Famous recipes: “The Best Chicken EVER!”

Still not tired yet, though I’m hungry and considering cooking something, which made me think of some “famous” recipes of mine that I alluded to in a previous post. It’s more about the stories than the actual recipes but here goes:

“Best Chicken in the World”: the ingredients are basically one whole chicken per person, at least a 12 pack of beer per person, a hole in the ground, charcoal, and some sort of cover.

So the story behind this wonderful recipe is that and some college friends of mine and I went on a whitewater rafting trip up in TN on the Ocoee River some years ago. The rafting trip was fun, some of the people that went ended up going home, but myself and three other friends had decided in advance that we were going to camp out up there. My friend Chris, who is Mr. Prepared, had already bought a whole chicken per person for dinner..he tends to overbuy.

We weren’t originally sure where we were going to camp and noone brought a grill so he and my friend Collin had decided that they were going to dig a hole in the ground, put some charcoal in it, and cook the chickens in that. I’m not sure if this had been decided in advance or if it came up during the rounds of beers that we stopped for after the rafting excursion. Disclaimer: I was actually not drinking at all during this time in my life so I was basically the sober guy who gets to laugh at all the drunks.

Anyhow, we ended up finding out that the rafting company had some campsites on their land so we decided to stay there. The only problem was that when we got to the site, it actually had a perfectly good charcoal grill there. But by this time Chris, Collin, and probabaly Jared too, were getting pretty hammered, and they were bound and determined that they were cooking this chicken in the ground.

So they pull out a shovel, dig the hole, throw a bag or two of charcoal in it, and then I think it was Chris that actually pulled out plyers or something and took the lid off the perfectly good grill to cover the hole while the chickens were cooking.

A few hours later, the chickens were done, and by this time, the level of drunkeness had risen accordingly for everyone but me. I don’t know who first proclaimed it, but when he did, all 3 agreed that this was literally “the Best Chicken EVER”. I was sober and it wasn’t bad as far as chicken goes but I can say I’ve probably had better…but I just nodded along at the time.

And since Chris had bought 4 whole chickens for 4 people, we had way too much of this amazing chicken, so several of the guys decided that they needed to share this culinary masterpiece with people at nearby campsites: so picture drunken guys stumbling around with partially mangled chicken carcasses, scaring kids and who knows else and proclaiming to all that they must try this “Best Chicken Ever”. I’m surprised the cops didn’t get called on us really but most of the other campers were hippie types.

Needless to say, the night went downhill from there, but it was pretty damn fun even for me as the lone sober guy. So there’s the story behind the “Best Chicken EVER”. If you ever try the method and recipe and have enough beers in you, you too might realize what an amazing food this is…and every time we cook chicken now, this story gets brought up.

The next recipe is the “Better than Sex” chocolate chip cookies. Disclaimer: no woman that has been with me has said this..there’s a story behind it.

I honestly don’t really feel like typing out the whole recipe right now but maybe I will at some point. It’s not mine, I got it from a great cookbook put out by the Cooks Illustrated people. I believe it’s called “The New Best Recipe” and it’s excellent. I’m a big fan of chocolate chip cookies and I’d say their recipe makes some of the best I’ve had: nice and thick and chewy.

Anyway, I was going to a 4th of July cookout at some friends’ house and I thought it might be nice to take something so I made a batch of these cookies and brought them. Everyone seemed to like them, especially one girl that none of us seemed to know, must have been a friend of a friend of a friend. She was rather drunk, and with an almost perfect sense of timing at a lull in the general hum of conversation, she loudly proclaimed “OMG, these cookies are better than sex!!” It quieted the room and then everyone sort of laughed but also felt bad for her boyfriend, who was standing right next to her when she yelled this out. Poor guy.

So that’s the story of the “Better than Sex” cookies, even years later my friends request them and always ask for the “Better than Sex” cookies. Not quite as good a story as the “Best Chicken Ever” but still a memorable one that gets brought up in my circle of friends fairly often.


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