Roast chicken musings

As always, cooking mainly ‘Western food’ for Chinese friends was an interesting experience. For a start, I faced unusual competition for the best bits of the chicken. Whenever I cook roast chicken for my family or Western friends, chances are that someone will want the breast meat, which suits me fine – but anyone Chinese knows that the most delicious parts of the bird are the legs and wings, as do I. My friend chose to have wing ‘so I can fly high!’. She added that when she was a child, her parents wouldn’t let her eat chicken’s feet because they thought eating them would make her calligraphy as ugly as chicken’s footprints! (Probably her parents just wanted to eat the feet themselves.) And she said many Chinese parents in the past deliberately gave their children – or most likely, their sons – the cockscomb, because this resembles an imperial official’s cap, and might help them to enter the civil service.

When she tried my lovely beetroot salad, my friend said the vegetable, which she had never previously encountered, reminded her of a root vegetable she’d come across in Tibetan regions.

‘Oh, really!’, I said, ‘What do they do with it there?’

‘They feed it to their pigs.’ She replied.

She did, however, have a second helping.

The other interesting thing is that while most Western guests would have polished off the chicken, my Chinese friends ate more modest quantities of meat, but finished up most of the vegetables. This, I think was a reflection of the healthy bias towards vegetables in the traditional Chinese diet – but I should add that one of the reasons that the young daughter loved our English roast supper was that it reminded her of her beloved KFC!

4 Responses to “Roast chicken musings”

  1. David

    Hi Fuschia,

    Somebody said to me you were writing a cooking book about Chinese noodles? Is that true and if so, when will it be published?

    Also, I’m looking for a dumpling machine. I know they have monsters out in Asia for this purpose but do you know what type of machine a company in the UK would use? I have ask chop-chop.co.uk who I’ve read imported a machine from China but they haven’t replies to to me.

    You’ll remember me as they guy in Wales who asked about working in a Sichuan restaurant. I never did manage to find a post. I’m currently working in an Indian eatery.

  2. Fuchsia

    Hi David
    I’ve no idea about dumpling machines, I’m afraid.
    And I’m interested to hear the rumour about my next book! All I can say is that I am working on something else, and have a queue of books I want to write…!

  3. David

    Hello. Thanks for replying. I’m almost certain I was told my @SisterLaoban She’s a Dutch national who’s obsessed with noodles from different Asian countries and also writes a blog about it.

  4. Sean

    In my family, we competed for the best bits of the fish, most of them in the fish’s head. One has to fight hard when there are only two eyes in a fish and there are four mouths in a family. I wonder is this sorta stuff is common in Western family dinner tables, considering that everyone at the Western table tends to get the similar portions.

    I am also very interested in hearing about rumours on your next book. Zhejiang cuisine perhaps?

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