Break a leg... the anti chicken leg conspiracy

I learnt pretty early in life that things that grown up say are good for you - spinach, milk, vegetables, liver, apples, spinach ! - do not taste good.

Then as I grew older I found that things that taste good - red meat, prawns, egg yolks, chocolates, fish head, soft drinks - are not good for you! Between cholesterol and extra kilos, this list covers it all.

This just about leaves you with fish and chicken, the hot favourites of the dietary and cardiac worlds. And I am not thinking of crossing over to greener pastures right now.

There is a small problem. I don't like fish too much. Specially the poached, grilled or boiled version. And frying apparently takes you back to square one.

Which leaves one with chicken. There is enough and more that one can do with chicken without frying it.

Problem solved? Not quite. When it comes to chicken I love the legs. And, I don't think much of the breasts. I find the breasts a bit too chewy and dry for my taste. Now I can see evangelists jumping up and extolling the virtue of fat free breast cuts over the fat filled legs. I think I can live with that. A man deserves his wild moments.
So what's the problem then? Here's the thing. Most continental restaurants in Mumbai do not serve leg pieces. You won't face that in Chinese or Indian restaurants. But continental places are stubborn. I once asked the reason for this when I was reviewing a restaurant. The manager told me that this was because leg pieces had bones which were messy to eat.
Hole in the argument 1: Why do they assume that we can't find our way around that with a knife and fork. There is a friend of mine whose blood boils when they show English soaps on TV with English sub titles. He feels this this is an affront to his intelligence. Same here with respect to this argument.
Hole in the argument 2: You can get boneless cuts from legs too. We had some lovely East Indian Steaks at a resort called Manoribel near Mumbai. They made these with leg pieces on my request. I often buy boneless leg cuts from Marks to make dishes at home. Chinese restaurants give leg pieces on request in their side dishes (albeit chopped)
Hole in the argument 3: Candies serves roast chicken with leg pieces. See their classic roasts in the picture below. I recently saw that Salt Water Cafe has a braised leg of chicken on their menu. So there are people who serve continental dishes on the bone.

I really wish that contintental places would be more customer friendly and give the customer the option of choosing the cut they want. Most places charge upwards of Rs 250 (5 USD). So a dish to one's preference is not much to ask for.

Till then I will stick to ordering pork.

But seriously, wouldn't it make more business sense to have a customer with a long life?
Note: the picture on the tandoori at the top of the post is from Khaane Khaas, the most customer friendly restaurant that I have come across


Scarlett said…
I remember fighting for chicken leg with my sister as a kid whenever chicken curry was cooked at home. The two of us would end up with the two legs & parents had to always do without :)

Having said that I do think that continental dishes work best with chicken breasts. It's difficult to work around a chicken leg with a knife & fork but as they say...different people, different preferences :)
Kalyan Karmakar said…
Hey Scarlett,

Your post brought alive a lot of childhood memories.

Vegetarians migh find 'brought alive' an anamoly here.

I can completely relate to what you have written. I guess we never had the option of choosing the cut of chicken to buy while growing up. You had to buy the whole thing. In our case, it was my brother and me, and the chicken leg was much sought after.

Its only when I started shopping at Marks and Judes at Bandra that a whole new world opened to me.

I agree that breast pieces are easier to manage. But I would like to be given the option.

A parallel would be that we keep the sub titles on when we watch movies at home out of laziness. The friend, I referred too would hate that though. Like you said. what's sauce for the chicken...

The really tough ones to eat, and equally yummy, are chicken wings though... not reccomended on a first date.

I think I have spotted an answer to your post on why get married... so that you can eat chicken wings in peace without wondering whether you are being judged ;)
Unknown said…
I feel bony pieces are much more tasty than boneless meat,irrespective of it being chicken, mutton, lamb or pork...and a real foodie shouldnt bother bout eating with fork and knife when you have two hands of your own!!
When it comes to meat..i love the portions that has bones to chew on...and yes..chicken has to be legs/thighs. breast pieces are just too fleshy for me and tasteless.
Kalyan Karmakar said…
@Kashi, A: in fact most in the know say that the best meat is to be had off the bone. Suffice to say one would not be bothered about the impression one would have on one's date though