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Make fun of ‘Fifty Shades’ with fowl
The “Fifty Shades of Grey” obsession seems to have faded … for now. But spoofs of the racy fiction series are still going strong. “Fifty Shades of Chicken: A Parody in a Cookbook,” released last month, might be my favorite. Miss Chicken finds herself at the mercy of an insatiable chef, who craves a free-range relationship and succulent thigh meat. The book’s tantalizing recipes and food photos will steam up readers’ kitchens just in time for holiday rendezvous. Hopefully, its gluttony of sexual innuendos won’t turn off your stomach.
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— Find a Q&A with the cookbook creator, via the Contra Costa Times, below.
By JACKIE BURRELL
Contra Costa Times
Spatchcocked fowl. Plump, luscious breasts. Creamy, basted …
After picking up a copy of F.L. Fowler’s new culinary parody, “Fifty Shades of Chicken,” we can’t look at trussing twine without blushing.
The book was inspired, of course, by “Fifty Shades of Grey,” E.L. James’ now-famous steamy story about the sadomasochistic romance between naive, young Anastasia Steele and her kinky lover, Christian Grey. The book was the first in a trilogy; the series may have ejected wizards and vampires from the best- seller lists forever.
Fowler, the anonymous author behind “Fifty Shades of Chicken” (Clarkson Potter, $19.99, 160 pages), has managed to pen a parody that’s lewd, hilarious and epicurean all at the same time. It’s the tale of Miss Hen, an innocent chicken introduced to the more erotic side of life by a chef who leaves her battered, buttered, trussed and, yes, spatchcocked in a series of scenarios that may send readers straight to the walk-in freezer for a cool down.
X-rated scenes are interspersed with witty allusions to Chicken Little, the chicken who crossed the road and other famous fowl, as well as references to inner goddesses and other E.L. Jamesian motifs.
There are 50 recipes, too, although the titles and photos are so fraught with double entendres, you may want to hide the tome when the in-laws come to dinner. They don’t need to know that you’re serving them Inner Green Goddess Chicken or Chicken Thighs, Stirred Up and Fried Hard.
Naturally, we had questions.
Q. Most writers who are inspired by “Fifty Shades” turn their pens to steamy romance. What on earth made you think of chickens?
A. “Fifty Shades of Grey” must have been inspired by a trussed chicken. There’s no other way to explain Chapter 18. Deep inside every romance writer lies the secret longing for a snack.
Q. What can you tell us about your culinary and/or literary background?
A. I have extensive culinary training, and I’ve worked in the food business for decades. But this is my first foray into food romance.
Q. Let’s talk about the book itself. What is it about Miss Hen that fascinates a radish-loving gastronome like chef “Shifty Blades”? And why would he pick a supermarket chicken over the voluptuous musculature of, say, a free-ranger?
A. Well, the ambitious foodie in the book works only with pliant ingredients, until one day a sassy chicken makes him see that cooking is hotter when the food resists a little. The chicken is organic and free-range — a factory-farmed chicken would have been tasteless, not to mention too hormonal to work with.
Q. Clearly there are elements of certain other fictional characters in this torrid chicken and chef duo. Any real-life chefs, too?
A. Apart from the funny hat, it’s hard to tell a chef from a BDSM (bondage, discipline, sadism, masochism role play) dominant. I strongly suspect E.L. James ghostwrote Thomas Keller’s books. Anastasia is obviously an unseasoned spring chicken. And James’ “Mrs. Robinson” is a dead ringer for that culinary cougar, Julia Child, who seduced young chefs everywhere into thinking that tying up your dinner is perfectly normal. From there, the kinky cookery pretty much wrote itself.
Q. Has Hollywood come calling? Who would you cast in the film version of this masterpiece?
A. You (will be able to) actually see our film version at fiftyshadesofchicken.com. We considered all the obvious candidates — Matt Bomer, Ian Somerhalder, Patton Oswalt — before settling on … Well, you can watch for yourself. We cast a young unknown as the chicken. There ought to be an award for best supporting protein.
Q. Were these 50 recipes dishes you already had in your arsenal? Or were they inspired by the desire to use words like “trussing,” “spatchcocked” and “desire” in recipe form?
A. Once I found the theme, the recipes were a lot of fun to develop and test. All the recipes were new to me, but even the racy techniques like trussing and spatchcocking are more common than you’d think. “Fifty Shades” is happening right now behind closed doors in a restaurant kitchen near you.
Q. What’s your favorite? Recipe, we mean.
A. It’s hard to pick a favorite, but if forced, I’d have to say Dripping Thighs — tasty, succulent and fun to announce to your family.
Q. Any plans for a sequel?
A. Fifty Shades of Gravy? Fifty Shades Beefier? Oh jeez, once you get started, it’s just so hard to stop.