“You have the most beautiful skin, pale and not one feather. I want to crisp every single inch of it.”
“You can crisp me any time,” I purr.
“How about a little honey and spice?” he asks suggestively.
I fell pretty deep into Fifty Shades of Chicken, a sexful novelty cookbook, last night. For the uninitiated, it’s the debut offering from author F.L. Fowler (get it? Fowl-er?) that mimics the lurid-yet-childlike syntax of E.L. James’ Fifty Shades of Grey while providing simple poultry recipes through the lens of a protagonist who is, apparently, sexually attracted to sentient dead chickens.
Why wait more than three years after the publishing date finally cook from it? Because the Golden Globes are going down this Sunday, duh. The film adaptation of James’ novel is up for Best Original Song thanks to Ellie Goulding’s “Love Me Like You Do,” so this seemed an appropriate celebration.
But if we’re being honest, I was looking for an excuse to make an erotica-based recipe, because that’s not a thing I get to do often. All in all, Fowler did an incredible job replicating Fifty Shades‘ cringe-worthiness, and FSOC is the parody cookbook from which all other parody cookbooks should be measured.
That said, my dinner was barely edible.
Before I opened the book—it was the Kindle version, so I opened nothing, really—I decided that I was going to cook the recipe with the grossest pun title (when in Sodom), as opposed to the recipe I actually wanted to eat. Which is how I landed at Cream-Slicked Chick. Once you read that title, there’s no going back. And that’s a shame, because I would have rather gotten down with some Chile-Lashed Fricassee—with its sexy, sexy, prosciutto addition—or Chicken With a Lardon, which far and away gets the highest aggregate score for successful word play and potential deliciousness.
There are a few problems I had with the recipe for Cream-Slicked Chick, nomenclature aside: 1) Adding a bunch of lime juice to heavy cream makes it curdle almost immediately, making you feel even grosser than you normally would while handling raw meat and reading erotica. 2) Baking heavy cream and honey mustard at 400 degrees, then later at 500 degrees, makes it burn early on in the process. 3) Garlic, lime, dairy, honey mustard, and chicken is a generally unappealing combination of foods. Here’s the thing. If I really wanted to crisp every single inch of the lady chicken’s skin, I wouldn’t have drowned her in heavy cream and cooked her at such a high temperature that literally none—NONE—of the fat rendered.
Would this win the Golden Globe for Best Original Recipe (lol, that doesn’t really exist)? Probably not. Should you try the recipe out for yourself? Again, probably not. Here it is below, just in case.
2 tablespoons cream
2 tablespoons honey mustard
1 garlic clove, minced
1 lime, zested and juiced
1/2 teaspoon of freshly ground black pepper
1 (3 1/2 to 4 lb) chicken, cut into 8 pieces, patted dry with paper towels
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Whisk together the cream, mustard, garlic, lime zest and juice, and pepper. Rub the chicken parts with the salt. Drizzle the cream mixture over the chicken, tossing to coat.
2. Line a jelly-roll pan or baking sheet with a non-stick liner, or with aluminum foil, oiling the foil. Arrange the chicken to fit in a single layer; leaving breathing room in between the pieces. Roast for 20 minutes then raise the oven temperature to 500 degrees and continue to roast until the chicken is cooked through and golden brown skinned; the tender breasts will take about 25 minutes, and muscled legs will need 5 to 10 minutes more. Serve the chicken garnished with chives.