Saturday, December 02, 2006

Someone call the OED

"I hope it was a lot," Tom said with a thin and charmless smile. "I hope it was at least a thousand [zombie-type things that were killed], and I hope they slow-cooked them. I find myself thinking of some restaurant chain or other that used to advertise 'broasted' chicken.'[...]"

-from p. 276 of this edition of "Cell" by Stephen King.

At first I thought I'd spotted the first reference ever to the word broasted in a work of fiction, and was happy. Turns out, broasted has appeared in numerous books according to a Google books search. While most are books on food and/or travel, there are several in fictional works. The two that stand out are Stewart O'Nan's Speed Queen, and Still Life with Crows by Douglas Preston and Lincoln Child. Now, Child and Preston are probably, next to Koontz and Crichton, the closest thing to King's competition in the blockbuster horror-ish thriller category, and O'Nan's book's plot apparently centers around a manuscript being sent to a writer called "The King of Horror" (that's what Amazon says, anyway). Also, I'm pretty sure King blurbed O'Nan's A Prayer for the Dying. Where am I going with this. Nowhere. Except we can now safely say: horror writers love the word broasted.

Finally, for those interested in knowing what broasting is, no, it is not baking + roasting or broiling + roasting (or, as Mr. King suggests, slow-cooking). It's the brand name of a pressure-frying process. One makes broasted chicken in a broaster brand pressure fryer using broaster brand seasonings (an aside: it seems that KFC, at least originally, pressure fried its chicken). I sampled broasted chicken in Indiana at Rachel's Hi-Way Cafe in Alexandria. We saw about 156 restaurants boasting of broasting, and I finally whined enough that we pulled over and ordered some. Before we pulled over, Tara said, "It's just gonna be fried chicken." She was right, but left out the fact that it would take twenty-five minutes for a single order and be styrofoam-meltingly, mouth burningly hot when we finally tasted it in the car. Slate took on broasted chicken here. And, if you'd like to find out firsthand that, yes, it's just fried chicken, you can click here and search for a location near you. But don't.


Anonymous said...

but don't? are you nuts? forget going online -- just come to SEE-KOW-CUS -- and i'll show you the way to broasted bliss.

brendan said...

FYI, "Chik-fil-a" is the reigning king of pressure fried chicken, but I have yet to experience it. Even though there's one solitary outpost in New York City, it's in an NYU dining hall and you need a student ID to get in. Trust me on this one, you need an ID.

However, a rather mediocre BBQ joint next to Madison Square Garden called Shady Jakes makes surprisingly delicious pressure fried chicken. No student ID necessary.

Anonymous said...

we can't get him to SEA-COW-CUS for trinity much less broasted bliss.

Anonymous said...

not true! we got him to trinity. i mean, i'm sure he complained all the way home - and did think the burger we love was meh -- but he did travel. come on, lil' k -- i've got your broasted feast right here.

site said...

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