… plus a bonus Pork Chop Braise!
I don’t cook my most delicious food for my Gentile friends, because I don’t think they deserve it. I spend half the afternoon over a skillet, gently sautéing layer upon layer of a chicken braise, and they say, “Delicious! See, there’s nothing wrong with serving chicken at a dinner party.” Such is their indulgent homage to my chicken‑on‑the‑bone. It’s as if they’re telling me not to feel embarrassed, which being a praeteritio itself embarrasses. Or else there’s the wistfully condescending, “It tastes like something my grandmother would have made from her French provincial cook book.” That’s a sweet compliment (I think), but you know what, it’s a hell of a lot easier for me just to make you a steak, so how about you spare me your reassurance and my afternoon, and we go with the steak, eh?
And there’s yet another problem with braising chicken parts for you Gentiles: when it comes to eating, you’re big babies. Many of you don’t like the “dark” meat, and you don’t know how to use a fork and knife to get it off the bone. Next best thing of course would be for you to pick it up with your hands and gnaw it off with your teeth, but you’d sooner leave mouthfuls of flesh still clinging to the bone to be tossed in the trash rather than sully your fingers or your napkin at a dinner-party.
No, no, braising is not labor to be thus wasted on the polite; this is food for the hungry soul. The dark meat at the bone is the tastiest of the animal, a gift of its viscera to yours. Cutlets of breast have no such power to stir your viscera. They offend little because they offer little; are receptive to the flavorings of your choice because they have so little of their own. Bland food for bland souls. Carnivorous souls want that whiff of blood, that tearing of sinew, that slick on the tongue of cartilaginous jelly rendered from bone—recollections of a time when men gave thanks to God as they reverently laid on altar fires the beasts sacrificed to feed their bowels. Polite Gentiles can’t handle such truth, let alone mention of bowels.