Haute Cheee-Kin

by Matt on October 10, 2007

Hotchicken487

I do my best not to disparage my fellow human being through bad
thoughts, gossip or mean words. In fact, I’m a pretty nice guy with no
known enemies and try to be likeable on most days. Most times I think I
succeed, and on those other days I rely on my bevy of good friends to
let me rant and rave about whatever is currently distressing me. They
help me get the bad stuff off my chest and move on. I appreciate and
love them.

(That means you, Kev.)

I am also the type of guy who is known for making
lemonade out of lemons and for taking less-than-glorious moments and
turning them around. It’s what I do. So perhaps you’ll appreciate this
story from my crazy years living in San Francisco. I was dating the
strangest of men, a guy I’ll only refer to as "D", and Bobby, if you’re
reading you’ll know exactly who I’m talking about. Anyway, this was a
beautiful, successful handsome man with a gorgeous home in Noe Valley
and the world was at his feet. He was really going places. Naturally I
enjoyed our time together and the old-fashioned courtship. That is
until we got behind closed doors, where all semblances of success and
sanity disappeared and he became a sloppy, annoying, needy , angry
drunk who would say the strangest things — all of which I cannot
repeat here. I file it under "nightmare dating experiences" and move
on. In fact, just writing this entry brought up a bunch of sad and
funny memories, and it made my heart hurt just a little bit. I’m sure
he’s doing better and he’s happy wherever he is…. at least that’s
what I tell myself. And god knows I couldn’t be happier now myself.

But
it wasn’t all bad. There was one brilliant thing about this man, one
thing that made the experience worthwhile and something I shall never
ever ever forget.

It was known as "Hot Chicken".

As it
turned out, "D" grew up in Quebec and introduced me to something he
grew up eating in Canada. It was called Hotchicken, or commonly known
as Hot Chicken. In its most simplest terms it’s an open face hot
chicken sandwich, but the addition of peas and sometimes french fries
make it stand alone in the sandwich world. And then there’s the sauce.
While we may refer to it as brown gravy, I learned that the true way to
enjoy a Hot Chicken (pronouced "haute cheeee-kin" with an accent, of
course) is with actual Hot Chicken Sauce which can be found in regional
grocery stores. Unfortunately I have no access to this magical potion
(read: brown gravy)  and must rely on my own.

At its worst, Hot
Chicken is a wet, salty sandwich free from anything fresh and good for
you. At its best, Hot Chicken is a wet, salty sandwich free from
anything fresh and good for you. And it’s for all these reasons that I
love it so.

Who says Poutine should get all the glory?

…………………………………………………………………………………………………………………

Hot Chicken

It’d be senseless to actually use measurements for this. It’s simply
too intuitive. Layer chicken on top of a slice of bread, top with
another slice, douse generously with brown gravy and top with mushy
peas. Yes, seriously. I’ll have another.

And here you thought we only ate truffles and locally-harvested snails. Hmpfh.