Now this is something that I’ve wanted to share with people for awhile. Let me tell you first that I totally love fried chicken and indulge in a plate of fresh fried goodness when I can. This post is NOT about hating on hot fried chicken. It is about one’s options when presented with leftover chicken and I am merely writing about some of the merits of enjoying it chilled rather than reheated or nuked.
1. You don’t have to worry about burning your mouth.
Now this one might be kind of obvious, but I can’t tell you how many times I’ve sunk my teeth into some hot, delicious morsel only to horribly singe my taste buds and lose my appreciation for the rest of the meal. Dead taste buds remain numb when it comes to their function but still manage to feel pain and will stay sore for at least a couple of days. While the tongue is a fast regenerator, cold fried chicken allows you to take some of the danger out of your home dining experience.
2. You don’t have to go through the trouble of putting it into a microwave oven.
While many households do carry a way to heat their food, there are some that just don’t have microwaves for whatever reason. For the dorm-inhabiting college student, a microwave oven isn’t always a guarantee. Or, a microwave is available but its communal nature prevents the eater from satisfying their late-night munchies. Regardless, cold fried chicken eliminates the need for that extra step or appliance (assuming you have a refrigerator). Don’t get me started on why you shouldn’t use an oven. And you STILL won’t have to worry about burning your tongue OR your fingers!
3. Cold chicken stays crunchy like Nature intended
Unlike revenge, fried chicken is a dish that can be served cold but still maintain its delicious integrity. Let’s face it, there’s no way to save everything when it comes to leftover fried chicken, but sacrificing temperature for texture and flavor isn’t a bad way to go. Even fresh fried chicken can disappoint when the skin peels off the meat too readily, and reheated chicken suffers the problem to an even greater extent, only it comes with the added flaw of being saggy and tasteless. Like a crisp autumn day or a persistent ex, cold fried chicken will cling to your every sense and refuse to let go!
4. It’s fast and easy to transport
Whether you’re heading to the beach for a picnic or looking for something to throw into a cool salad before your day begins, cold fried chicken turns yesterday’s leftovers into a speedy and proactive answer to tomorrow’s schedule! Nobody in their right mind would reheat their chicken only to take it outside and expose it to the elements.
5. It’s like a metaphor. Don’t read this if you haven’t finished The Great Gatsby yet!
In Chapter 7 of F. Scott Fitzgerald’s The Great Gatsby, antagonist Tom Buchanan and his wife Daisy reignite their flawed and largely dispassionate marriage over a plate of cold fried chicken. Now for some people this might not mean anything. Baz Luhrmann didn’t even see fit to keep it in the movie (just one of several blunders in his career). However, for the discerning student of literature, this dish means so much more. As a form of comfort food traditionally associated with the American South, the cold fried chicken represents the triumph of money over freedom. It’s a metaphor for the sheer power of old money and possibly corruption itself. Daisy and Tom can afford more expensive food, but they choose to eat cheaper fare on their own terms, and in the end, they don’t even touch it.
So the next time you’re chowing down on fried chicken and you’re worried that it won’t keep well, keep in mind what I’ve told you before you leave a pile of bones!