Wednesday, September 6, 2017

The Level of Nope on Chicken Sashimi is Difficult to Quantify

"Chicken sashimi." Now there's two words I never thought I'd say in the same sentence. Unless of course that sentence was "Chicken and sashimi are two words that do not belong in the same sentence."

First let me say that I love chicken, but I'll fully admit that chicken is gross.

The animal itself is filthy, stupid, and eats its own shit. And that's under the best of circumstances--the Whole Foods/PETA best-practices circumstances. Under the worst, it's so full of hormones your kids will go through puberty before dessert arrives.

But chicken fat runs in my veins. It was the bread and butter of my people! Literally. Peasant Russian Jews and all their descendants used to put schmaltz on bread. That's Yiddish for rendered chicken fat whipped up into a Kosher butter substitute.

My great-grandmother, who spoke only Yiddish, bought a live chicken every week at a market in the Bronx where she watched the butcher cut its neck and bleed it out. Then she'd take it home, pluck its feathers, and turn every last bit of it into kreplach, which is a kind of dumpling. 

What peasant culture doesn't have a scary-looking dumpling?

All this to say, I can't escape my love of chicken. I love it in Caesar salads, I love it as Buffalo wings. I love it in General Tso's, I I love it in tacos and fajitas. I'm basically to chicken what Forrest Gump was to shrimp. It's like Green Eggs & Ham, all the ways and places in which I would eat chicken.

But one way in which I would NOT eat chicken is raw.

Raw chicken is like KRYPTONITE to Jewish mothers. If so much as one drop of raw chicken juice falls in a Jewish mother's kitchen, the whole place goes on lockdown like it was the CDC during Ebola.

So I really don't need Food & Wine magazine to tell me whether chicken sashimi is safe or unsafe. A hundred generations of overbearing, kerchief-wearing bubbies would rather handle battery acid than raw chicken, and really that's all I need to know. 

This whole thing sounds like something two macho foodies came up with on a dare and tried to pass of as a trendy fusion delicacy while they secretly laugh at everyone who orders it for $100 a plate.

FOH chicken sashimi.

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