Posts Tagged ‘spicy food’

El Fuego

February 20, 2016 1 comment

Just kidding, I don’t speak Spanish.

I come today to tell you about the fire.  The fire of forty thousand hells that resides in one harmless looking piece of chicken.

Perhaps you have seen the commercials for KFC’s Nashville Hot chicken.  Perhaps you are intrigued.  Perhaps you, like I, hold the opinion that anything handed to you from a KFC drive thru window will bring delight.  Well, let me tell you about this chicken.

But first, let me tell you about my reservations about the chicken.  I’m not a fan of spicy foods.  I have a low tolerance for capsaicin.  My idea of adding some heat to my food is reaching for the red chili flake with a delicate touch.  So I was not initially drawn to such a product.  But then, at work one day, we started talking about food, as we are wont to do, and Nashville Hot chicken became the topic of the day.  I relentlessly questioned my coworkers about the level of heat.  I asked again.  I asked for comparisons.  I asked for other references of spicy foods they like.  I fell just short of waterboarding them before I decided to give it a go.

Being of a cautious nature, I decided to order some regular chicken tenders and also some Nashville Hot.  You know, in case of el fuego and all.  Sadly for me, my husband is less adept than my teenagers at reading my text messages, so when I texted him the order, ALL he read was Nashville Hot.  And ALL he brought me was Nashville Hot.  I was all in, friends.  It was Nashville Hot or nothing.

Okay, it wasn’t actually like that.  Hubs actually felt really, really bad for messing up my order and offered me his chicken and everything.  Well, not only did I not want his chicken, but I also didn’t want him to feel bad about it, so I put on my big girl panties and sat down to eat the fuego chicken.

I should have known how this was going to go down as soon as I opened the box, because my delicious, fluffy biscuit was sitting in a pool of Nashville Hot sauce.  My biscuit, which everyone knows is the best part of any KFC meal, had this hot sauce ombre thing going on.   There were also some random pickle slices tossed in, which, according to the coworker who apparently most wants me to die, are the best part.  A cooling element, if you will.

So, whatever, I was hungry.  I ate a bite of chicken.  Then this happened.



Holy mother of God, what liquefied hell have they coated my chicken in?  This isn’t HOT, this is so freaking far beyond hot that hot is just a dark and distant memory.  This is hot sauce with notes of fire and brimstone.  This sauce is so hot that I feel relatively certain that Satan is listed somewhere in the recipe.  This is not Nashville Hot chicken.  This is Nashville hates you so much it’s gonna melt off your taste buds and set your face on fire Hot chicken.  The amount of heat on this chicken doesn’t even make sense.  This is the kind of stuff people eat on a dare.  I feel like I should get a free t-shirt and my picture on the wall for consuming one bite of this.

So, what I did was something totally contrary to every instinct. I followed my coworker’s advice and ate a pickle.  Now, I know something about how to deal with spicy food.  I would not normally expect a pickle to be a cooling element.  What you want for a cooling element is something with some dairy involved.  Not a vegetable soaked in vinegar.  Vinegar!  Vinegar actually opens up your palate.  As in, inviting more of the flavor.  MORE fuego.

Even though I knew all that, in that moment in which I felt like my teeth were dissolving and my tongue was numb, but not numb like I didn’t feel it, more numb because it’s engulfed in flames, I reached for the nearest thing that was not fire chicken.  A pickle.  So, basically what I did was reach for the one thing on my plate that was guaranteed to escalate the situation.  I would have actually been better off eating more chicken than eating that little slice of evil that entered my mouth on a seek and destroy mission for any wayward taste buds that had somehow escaped the initial carnage and set them to sizzling.  I felt, at that moment, like I was going to die of that chicken.

Here’s the rub.  I was still trying to not make Hubs feel bad about bringing this carnage upon me.  So while all this was going on, while I was fighting the urge to cut out my own tongue, just to MAKE IT STOP, I had to act like a regular person eating a regular meal.  The last thing I wanted him to have to live with was the knowledge that he had inadvertently killed his beloved wife with chicken.  So when he asked me how it was, I calmly said, “huh.  little hotter than I expected.”  When my ordinary reaction to such a culinary catastrophe would have been to throw it at him and eat a PB&J, I calmly said, “I better get some Ranch.”

Friends, since the inception of Ranch, there has not been enough Ranch produced to cover the hellfire that raged from that KFC box.  And never has there been a dirtier trick than those pickles.  Unless you count the hot sauce biscuit.  That was pretty dirty.  Somehow, though, I ate every bite of that meal.  It took more effort and strength of will to do that than anything I’ve ever done, including childbirth. But I did it, and then I swore forever after to never again be taken in by KFC’s clever ploys and one particular coworker’s plot to END ME.

I’ve begun the process of healing and learning to trust again.  But, Colonel, we have a long way to go, you and I.  Don’t you try to charm me.