A while back I wanted to start a little thing here on the blog of things I tried and my reaction to these new things. In order to keep life exciting and far from routine I figured trying new things would not only give me more writing material, but also expand my horizons. This won't just be trying new foods, but new things as well. PG rated of course.
During the Thanksgiving holiday you'll be hard pressed to find anyone trying new things. I made the comment that I thought all the Food Network specials where cooks are sharing these extra fancy recipes were completely pointless. Who tries a whole new meal on Thanksgiving? Tell me you wouldn't be disappointed to find out your mother, sister, uncle or grandmother who always brings their family famous dish, decided to change that family favorite to something fancy because Rachel Ray told them it was the bee's knees. (Honestly though if it was your uncle I'm going to guess he'd say that Giada's boobs told him to do it, am I right?).
I didn't get to try anything new while eating the traditional dinner, unless you count red wine. I tried lots of new brands of red wine. None disappointed. That either means I have the least picky pallet out there, or I'm frankly just a lush. I'll let you decide.
The choice to try something new presented itself when Mike and I decided to take his sister to our favorite Fried Chicken joint in town. This place is a death trap. Namely my death trap. I am going to be hard pressed not to want to go there every weekend. The atmosphere is awesome, it's like having a piece of the Mississippi Delta area right in our own Alabama backyard. The menu is complete with fried chicken that will make you die and go to heaven and tamales. Compete with blues on the jukebox and lots of kitchy decor it's a great place to chill and stuff your face with deep fried goodness (or badness).
While ordering Mike's sister decided to get herself a Chicken Liver snack. I have never tried liver. My experience with liver was very small. I can recall three instances where I was faced with liver.
Number 1: When Boss Hog ate Liver and Onions on The Dukes of Hazzard. Absolutely gross.
Number 2: My mother would make liver and onions for my father and her for dinner - I was able to get a free pass and eat pizza, thankfully.
Number 3: My mother used to dig out chicken, or turkey innards and she would slice, dice and fry them up in butter for our cats during the holidays or when she roasted chicken. Um, so liver is cat food - that's what I decided.
My mind has been more open since the days that I would scream YEEE HAWWWW! And jump over the foot rest of my dad's chair. Between watching Anthony Bourdain and Andrew Zimmern on the travel channel - I've started to think differently about animal bits that most people here snub their noses at.
So when Mike's older sister offered me a deep fried chicken liver I figured... when in Alabama, right? Please note, she ordered a "snack" size they brought her an entire basket full of about 10+ livers, in full breading, HUGE. She looked at me and all I could think to say was "Welcome to Alabama."
I took the offering... placed it on my plate of salad and deep fried buffalo chicken tenders and contemplated my attack. Do I just dig in? Bite into it? Do I cut it down? Is there a dipping sauce? I decided to take a fork and knife to the nugget of deep fried massiveness. As I cut it, the liver sort of fell out of the crispy shell. My stomach sank, it was gray. Dark gray, like an over cooked mushroom. Only this looked more rubbery than a mushroom. I shrugged it off, and put the liver back into the crispy covering and took a bite.
First chew... not too bad.... I kept chewing, and then it hit me - GAG REFLEX. As soon as the liver hit the back of my tongue, I thought I was going to lose the 2 bites of lettuce and chicken tender, and whatever else was still in my gut from the night before - all over the table. Yes, gag reflex. It was that bad.
First instinct - drink a huge gulp of my water to wash it down. I learned this when I was really young. Yes, kids you can swallow an entire brussel sprout like a pill if you drink enough water or milk. This also works for lima beans, asparagus and other veggies. (Note: I now love roasted brussels & asparagus, but lima beans can take a long walk off a short pier). The gulp of water did nothing... I got it down, but the taste, ugh the bitter liver flavor was still there.
I thought, KILL IT WITH FIRE... I took a bit bite of my spicy chicken tenders... but then it just tasted like Buffalo Liver. Blech! Eventually the taste went away, and thankfully my Sister-In-Law didn't see my horror ridden face after biting into the snack she enjoys.
To be fair, my brother-in-law's wife who was there felt the same way. She tried it and couldn't eat it either. I'm not a picky person, and this concerns me that I won't like other types of liver, but I will still try them. After all it gives me something funny to talk about right?
I do not like Deep Fried Chicken Liver and I will not be eating it again anytime soon. I tried it, and I didn't like it. The South will deep fry anything and everything, but that doesn't mean you're going to enjoy it when you eat it.
I really thought I might enjoy it - considering I ate, and enjoyed pork pate, beef tongue and heart (and other wild foods) a few months ago.