Shit week, huh? But chin up! The weekend's almost here, the cops haven't gotten around to killing every single last one of us yet, and Burger King has brought back Chicken Fries.
This last item is probably the most unambiguously positive—because some people have to work weekends, and the cops are gonna get us all soon enough—but this Chicken Fry situation is a silver cloud top to bottom, a true cause for celebration in these deadly times.
It could be argued that "deadly times" is a bit overwrought for a review of something as safe and satisfying as boneless chicken. Let me explain. I originally wrote "lawless times," but then realized that, in light of the unconscionable shitshow in Missouri, we may in fact be living amid the exact opposite of lawlessness. Maybe now it's all law, all the time, with the catch being that the law changes on the fly to fit the needs of the thugs in charge.
I'm certain you agree with me, but perhaps you're also wondering how this relates to Burger King's curiously gratifying new shape of fried chicken. Many ways. The first and most obvious is the manner in which our constitutionally guaranteed right to free assembly is being systematically disregarded in much the same way the chewing elite overlooks chicken's subtle but invaluable contributions to our well being.
While everyone's busy yelling about how much they love pork (by which they mean bacon and barbecue sauce) and beef (by which, to be fair, they mean beef), chicken is just chugging along providing relatively cheap and low-cholesterol protein to the billions while being dismissed as bland and degraded by some of our very most egregious sauces. Some motherfuckers are so desperate to cover up chicken that they put ranch dressing on pizza.
Chickens are also unfairly derided as faint-hearted; the very name of the species has become synonymous with cowardice, which brings to mind that it's time to reconsider our willingness to let white males police society. It's an over-simplification, sure, but it's also not wrong to say that the most pernicious underlying cause for the problems in Ferguson in particular and America in general is that my fellow white men are abject chickenshits. We have the most, which means we have the most to lose, which means we're terrified of everything all the time, which renders us unfit to protect and serve.
You know what's bold? The spice on these friggin' chicken thingies. Maybe a little more salt than is strictly necessary, but that's balanced by quite some bit of black pepper. Sounds simple, I know, but it's really all breaded and fried chicken chunks need to excel. Burger King'll set you up with six different sauces, too, one of which is called Zesty, and the others of which are the usual barbecues and honey mustards, buffalos and whatnot. The woman who served me asked if I wanted ketchup. That's ridiculous. I took my Chicken Fries straight. How you gonna judge the cut of a fry's jib through a slick of sweet-and-sour sauce?
I got nine crayon-sized fries for $3.29. I wouldn't go so far as to call them "crunchy," but they weren't soggy, either. The predominant taste is of salted-and-peppered breading, with strong notes of chicken broth, and it's so much better than this sentence suggests. What I mean is that there's not a ton of actual bird inside these fries; you can't really peel the breading back to reveal hunks of intact flesh. The interior is a jumble of mashed-together meat shards and air pockets that somehow manage to strongly suggest the taste of a chicken nugget. In this manner, Chicken Fries resemble BK onion rings: Their structure is not necessarily what it should be, but you forgive that, because their essence is ultimately true to their intent.
Given the opportunity, an order of Burger King Chicken Fries will temporarily solve one of your smallest problems. Good luck out there.
Will Gordon loves life and tolerates dissent. He lives in Cambridge, Mass., and has visited all of the other New England states, including, come to think of it, Vermont. Find him on Twitter@WillGordonAgain.
Image by Sam Woolley.
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