Thursday, February 18, 2010

Extra Skin Chicken

I was at a party recently to which one of my friends had brought Pioneer Chicken. There were only eight pieces, so I just took a wing, even though about twenty people were scheduled to show up. Another friend (who will remain nameless) tried the chicken, and after asking her what she thought about it she admitted she didn't see what the big deal was about (bah!) and furthermore she had thrown away the skin (double bah!). THROWN AWAY THE SKIN?! She was quickly exiled, never to be heard from again.

If there's anything to love about Pioneer Chicken, or any fried chicken for that matter, it's the crispy skin. (SO WHY ON EARTH WOULD YOU THROW IT AWAY?!) It's the battered and fried skin that gives fried chicken its unique reputation in the culinary world. For a brief period of time, Kentucky Fried Chicken even went with a skinless fried chicken (pointless, really) and look how that turned out. Badly. People rioted. Lives were lost. KFC hasn't always been the smartest company (three breasts?), so perhaps it shouldn't have been a surprise. But, people, you just don't go and make wheels square, am I right? If anything, scientists and chefs should be striving for ways to improve chickens to meet the demands of chicken fryers the world round. My suggestion: extra skin chicken.

This can be approached from two different angles. The first approach is more practical and can be implemented immediately--use extra skins from the frou-frou health nuts' chickens, and wrap them around the bon vivants' chickens. That way a thigh or breast could have 360 degrees of skin wrapped around it's supple life-nourishing flesh. If extra care is taken, a piece could be fried once as usual with its original skin, then layered and fried again with an additional skin. It would have double the punch, and double the crunch (that could be a slogan). Additional chicken skin shouldn't be wasted in the first place, and adding skin to chicken, or any food, offers a whole new world of culinary experimentation.

The second approach to extra skin chicken is much more laborious and time consuming, as it involves genetics and breeding. Some people may be appalled at the idea of breeding chickens to have more skin, and my answer to that is to look at the Shar Pei. Nobody complained when the Chinese bred a dog with an excess of wrinkly skin. Besides, scientists have already done enough genetic juggling of food animals that one other tweak shouldn't matter. Imagine a wrinkly chicken, with all that increased surface area and all the fatty fried creases and wrinkles--it's like having an extra greasy Ruffles potato chip covering your chicken, and who doesn't like Ruffles? (They have ridges.) And to take it a step further, imagine adding extra skin to a wrinkly-skinned chicken.

Whichever way scientists and chefs choose to go, they can't go wrong. Both offerings fill a void that people don't even realize exists. And should Kentucky Fried Chicken turn out to be the one at the forefront of this venture, it would be a big step toward correcting so many of their gaffs in the pasts (three breasts, skinless fried chicken, removing Chicken Littles from the menu, removing chicken nuggets from the menu, grilled chicken).

(Ed. note: If anyone is wondering, yes, I did try to add in as many parentheticals as I could.)


  1. Makes me wonder... Would a chicken w/ extra skin have extra feathers as well?

    The Word: ingsl

  2. I left that question open, since I did not want to contemplate answering that.