I made Arroz Con Pollo last night, a sort of chicken paella. I’ve made it many times before. It’s easy and tasty. Well, not last night it wasn’t. We got all the ingredients at a local supermarket, Schnucks. It’s generally a good store that caters well for the local community and which takes care to stock foods that appeal to every ethnic background. We bought onion, garlic, green peppers, short grain rice, tinned chicken broth, fresh plum tomatoes, paprika and chicken thighs. Nothing odd, no funny spice mixes, no pre-packaged shortcuts (except for the broth I suppose). I cooked it up as I always do, frying the chicken first in olive oil, then the vegetables and paprika, adding the stock then rice… I let it rest for ten minutes before serving. It looked good but tasted of nothing. The chicken was awful with no flavour whatsoever. We had looked for a free range bird but in vain, and this was the best we could do.
I wish I could say I’m surprised, but I’m not. Just very disappointed. The very strange thing is that the rest of it had no flavour to speak of either. The onions, garlic, peppers, paprika and broth had achieved nothing. It’s no wonder that Colonel Sanders has to lather his chicken in a gazillion spices, a ton of salt (sugar too II’ll wager) and breadcrumbs then deep fry it, because without all the extra crap the meat itself would taste of nothing.
I wonder how many Americans, or Brits for that matter, when they say “it tastes of chicken” actually know what chicken tastes like?

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