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My First Fried Chicken


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When was the first time you cut up a whole chicken?

In 1977, my 31-year-old mother passed away. I was thirteen, and the oldest girl in my family. My mom, being sick for awhile, hadn’t taught me how to cook very many things.

After she died, summer rolled around and I was out of school. My dad was a hardworking man and I decided to fix him a meal. He had been living on fried green tomatoes, which was one of the things I knew how to cook, but I wanted him to eat something more. So I looked in the freezer and I saw a whole chicken. I thawed the bird and decided that I could fry him chicken for dinner.

I had no clue how to do this.

I knew I had to cut up the chicken, but had never done this. I thought I would call my aunt that lived two houses down and get some directions. Well, that didn’t work, she informed me that the only kind of chicken she ever bought was already cut up. I decided it could not be that difficult, so with knife in hand, I started cutting.

I didn’t do too bad. I knew to cut the legs and wings but that was it. After that, I looked at what remained and knew there was more to be done. So I cut, not having a clue what was left. (I did cut the tail off.) I began to fry the chicken. When my dad came home and saw what I had done for him, he was thrilled. I explained how difficult it had been to cut up the chicken. He looked at me and said, “You did wonderful.”

I asked him if it was right and that is when he showed me that I had actually cut the main part of the body of the chicken in quarters so I had a piece with a little bit of a back, breast, and thigh together. We laughed and I learned. He told me it was the best meal he had eaten since Mom passed.

It has been 35 years now and this story seems like it happened yesterday. Thanks for letting me share this wonderful memory of my mom, dad, and that wonderful fried chicken. And yes, I now know how to properly cut up a chicken!

That was my first time cutting up a whole bird. Yours?

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Posted by on June 27, 2012 | Permalink  

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11 comments | RSS feed for comments of this post

  1. 6-27

    Aww…what a sweet story! Thank you for sharing.

  2. 6-27

    Thanks for the wonderful chicken memories story. I am like your aunt, I always bought my chicken already cut up! But I think I could do it if I had to.
    I think it was Ross who had a very good tutorial on here a while ago?

  3. 6-27

    Well I don’t remember cutting up my first chicken – it was too long ago.
    But I do remember being about 8 or 9 and my mother telling me to “wash the chicken” so she could cut it up.

    So I washed the chicken.

    With soap. And water.
    And my mother coming into the kitchen sees me giving the chicken a bath and yelped; “NO!”

    “What are you DOING???”.

    Me, quivering lipped answered; “Doing what you told me to do. I’m washing the chicken”.

    And that’s when I learned you don’t soap down the chicken because it will make it taste bad. Except that I rinsed it well and it tasted fine. So go figure! lol

    Yep, true story.

  4. 6-27

    I am impressed.

    When I was 13, I almost failed home-ec ’cause I refused to touch raw chicken.

    Thanks for the story!

  5. 6-27

    Thanks for sharing your chicken story. Hugs to the brave 13-year old and her wish to do something for her dad.

  6. 6-27

    What a great story! It makes me miss my dad a lot.

    I have butchered chickens – as in killing them, gutting them and plucking or skinning them, then sticking them in the freezer, but I don’t think I have ever cut one up into parts. I think I need to do that this summer!

  7. 6-27

    This story made me a little teary-eyed. It sounds like you have a wonderful father.

  8. 6-28

    Oh, what a wonderful story. Such a great memory of your father too.

  9. 6-28

    What a young age to lose your mother. I’m sorry for your loss.
    Your dad is truly a DAD. Any man can be a father but it takes more to earn the title “dad”. He did good on complimenting you on your first venture into cutting up and frying a chicken and I’m sure he appreciated all your hard work to put a wholesome meal on the table. It sounds like you and your dad were even closer after your mom passed.
    I bet your siblings remember how you stepped up and took responsibility for running the household, at the tender age of 13!
    You did good

  10. 6-29

    Just precious … thank you for sharing your touching story with us, coky01.

  11. 7-2

    I was sixteen, and two days before Christmas, my Mom died suddenly she was thirty-five -I didn’t get to say goodbye. I knew how to cook a little, and I knew how to clean a house, but my Dad soon found a gf that he would marry within six months after Mom’s death – a wicked witch personified-I married at seventeen.

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