Throughout my lifetime, I have eaten tons of fried chicken in a variety of forms: nuggets, fingers, tenders, strips, even sometimes chicken with bones in it. Everyone has their area of expertise. Neil deGrasse Tyson can write about astrophysics. OJ Simpson can write about how to murder your ex-wife and her lover. And if I was to ever write a book, it would probably be entitled The Fat Guy’s Definitive Guide to Fried Chicken.
And although it does not possess the same level of patriotic associations as pizza, hot dogs, hamburgers, or barbecue, the classic meal of fried chicken and french fries is more common than all its competitors. Almost every restaurant you have ever been to does a version of this dish. If your friend does not want to try the lamb rogan josh when you drag him to an Indian restaurant, he can probably order a plate of chicken nuggets off the kids menu.
The quality of fried chicken varies wildly. You have the machine-made monstrosities of elementary school cafeteria food. You have the surprisingly addictive Chicken McNugget. You have Colonel Sanders’ secret recipe1)The secret ingredient is grease..
And then, towering above them all, you have Raising Cane’s. The chain restaurant from Baton Rouge, LA, is set to take over the country with the greatest fried chicken in the world. Their menu is extremely simple; their only meal options are:
- 3 chicken fingers
- 4 chicken fingers
- 6 chicken fingers
- 3 chicken fingers stuck between two pieces of bread
Each meal comes with coleslaw, fries, Cane’s sauce, and a slice of Texas toast, all of which are excellent. But the true stars are the chicken fingers. They are tender and succulent. The breading is light, crispy, and flavorful. In short, Raising Cane’s chicken fingers are the best form of fried chicken you will ever find.
Unlike most people, I do not have any issues with participation trophies. Kids recognize those awards do not have the same amount of value as a real trophy. But more importantly, participation trophies reward showing up, which is an underrated skill. You can show up to work, put in a half-assed effort, and still keep your job. 90% of being a good parent is being there for your kids and not beating them.
Most people complaining about participation trophies are not superstar athletes, artists, or entrepreneurs; they’re accountants and teachers living average, decent lives who probably took an extra coffee break sometime this work week. People who live in middle-class glass houses shouldn’t throw stones. Participation trophies are a physical representation of the mathematical reality that most people are average and mediocre.
However, we, as a society, cannot forget the concept of excellence does exist. Listen to Moonlight Sonata. Read To Kill a Mockingbird. Watch LeBron dunk on these fools. Eating Cane’s reminds me that brilliance can be achieved. All those restaurants that claim to have the “world’s greatest” pizza or chicken fried steak are probably lying, but someone actually does have to be number one. And why can’t the best at something be me? Although Cane’s chicken fingers may expand my waistline, it also grows my ambition.
Footnotes [ + ]
|1.||↑||The secret ingredient is grease.|