“If God hadn’t intended us to eat chicken, he wouldn’t have made them taste so damn good,” my
father has been known to proclaim. His father, my grandfather, did not agree.
My grandfather never tasted chicken in all of his 86 years
on earth (he also refused to fly in planes, but that story’s for another day). As mild-mannered and easy-going as my grandfather (George, which is what we called him, not "grandpa" or "gramps" or "pa," but his given name,
George) was, the one thing he could not tolerate in his house was chicken. Not only was chicken never served, it was never even spoken about.
My father actually didn’t eat chicken until he went away to college, and when he came back home to visit, he was literally not allowed to mention having
I asked George once, when I was too young to know any
better, why he loved ham, meatloaf and pot roast yet hated chicken so. He squeezed
up his face and grimaced, shook his head and continued reading his
newspaper. My question seemed to have viscerally, silently aggravated him.
George took the reason for his hatred of a solid chicken
dinner to his grave—telling no one. My father has made up for that marked
disdain in spades; he can grill, roast, simmer, stew, poach and sauté chicken
like a pro. And why not? Chicken tastes so damn good.