Lisa Ricard Claro – Author

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Chicken By Any Other Name Is. . .Squirrel?

Posted on Jun 30, 2009 by Lisa Ricard Claro   2 Comments | Posted in chicken · kitchen · squirrel

My father-in-law—known as Papa and adored by all—is a terrific cook. When he moved in several years ago I was delighted to hand over the Golden Spatula and let him have at it. He cooks for us almost every night and we enjoy meals ranging from Tomato Basil Shrimp to Pork Medallions with Curry Sauce. Yeah, we’re spoiled. We’re also gaining weight, but that’s another story.

Over the course of the last few years some of the recipe names have been changed to make them sound more like comfort foods. For instance, Chicken St. Thomas became Chicken with ‘Shrooms & Cheese. Getting in the spirit of things, Papa created Redneck Wellington, which is Beef Wellington with ground beef (think meatloaf) instead of filet mignon. Papa cackles every time he thinks about it, and Papa cackling is always a good thing.

As I passed by Papa’s room this evening I heard the T.V. Papa was watching a cooking show. The chef was preparing—gulp!—Chicken Fried Squirrel. Maybe, I thought, this Redneck stuff was getting a little out of hand. Maybe, you know, Papa was going off the deep end.

I stuck my head into his room and waved. “Hey there,” I said. “Is that guy serious? Chicken Fried Squirrel? You aren’t thinking about…you know…?”

Chicken Fried Squirrel,” he nodded. “You deep fry it, just like chicken.”

“I don’t think that would go over very well.” I told him.

“Really? Okay. We’ll call it Redneck Chicken instead,” he suggested, straight-faced. “Serve it up with a little cream gravy and a side salad.”

“You’re a funny guy,” I said, eyebrow raised.

“Just watch me laugh the next time we eat chicken,” he deadpanned.

“I’ll revoke your kitchen privileges,” I threatened.

“Avgolemono soup and shrimp salad is on the menu tomorrow night,” he reminded me, and had the audacity to look smug when I started drooling. “I don’t think you’ll strip me of my apron just yet.”

Damn. The man knows me too well. There will be no kicking him out of the kitchen tomorrow night, that’s for sure. Now, come Thursday, if he tells me we’re having chicken, well, I may have to revoke his Golden Spatula.

I’ll keep you apprised of the menu –

2 Responses to "Chicken By Any Other Name Is. . .Squirrel?"

  1. Comment by Cathy C. Hall
    July 3, 2009 at 11:45 pm  

    Have you thought about a Rent-a-Papa program? I know one cook who'd pay handsomely. And I'm pretty sure she'd be okay with squirrel. ANYTHING chicken fried is welcome at the Hall house 🙂

  2. Comment by Lisa Ricard Claro
    July 4, 2009 at 8:23 pm  

    Actually, Papa used to cook for the folks across the street (he sent their dinner over in styrofoam take-out containers). He gave it up a couple of years ago, deciding it was just too much work. The lady offered to up his pay, but he "retired" at 82 from the Rent-a-Papa program. As far as I know, he's never served up squirrel…but, you know, chicken fried and covered in cream gravy…? You never know.

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