Elizabeth Gomez: An Open Letter to Fried Chicken and Mustard Greens, Collard Greens and Any Other Green Cooked with Ham Hocks

fried chicken

Dear Fried Chicken,

You have been my most beloved and faithful friend. I wanted to take a moment to thank you. When I’m down in the dumps, seeing your tender crispy legs always cheers me up. You never let me go to parties alone, you’re always willing to come with a bucket of your friends and cheer everyone up. Then, there are the times where I simply am hungry and alone and you’re willing to keep my company in my mouth.

Fried Chicken, I remember when we first met. I was 6 and you were fried golden brown served with a side of white mashed potatoes and gravy. I’ll never forget the way, the oil beaded between the skin and the muscle-ly goodness that I’ve grown to love eating, any time, any day, any where.

After all these years, I still like how hot you are. My fingers may blister from the intensity of your fire, but still, I cannot resist holding you. I like how you just lie there and let me peel back your flaky, crunchy, deep fried skin and dip it in hot sauce. On days, when we’re both in the mood, sometimes, it’s honey.

I also like how I can introduce you to anything and you’re fine with it. I especially like what we’ve been doing with those greens. Boiled with ham hocks, I can taste their drippy wet meat juice on my tongue and think, “Damn, baby, I don’t even need the pepper vinegar.”

Please know that I love you more than you’ll ever know. Please don’t ever leave me.

Forever yours,

Elizabeth Gomez

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