Music – “Chicken Dance (Fastest)” from Chicken Dance Kids Party by Chicken Dance Kids Party. Released: 2012.
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In this harried, rush-rush-rush Western existence, for the most part, we have lost touch with our food in the sense that we have consciously (or unconsciously) disassociated ourselves with what those meaty red slabs of meat or pale avian pieces in Styrofoam containers,wrapped in glistening plastic wrap really are and, more importantly, what they were before they ended up in the supermarket refrigerated case.
For most of us who use cookbooks routinely, you can open just about any cookbook on your shelf and find a recipe for a chicken and rice dish in some fashion or another. The process is not difficult and relatively easy and begins with a trip to the supermarket for a package of some portion of a chicken, which then might be sautéed in butter with a few mushrooms perhaps, while the rice cooks, maybe in a little chicken stock and there you go. Not a great deal of effort, minimal cooking time, just a pan or two to clean and Bob’s your uncle! Many of these recipes are found in cookbooks such as “Working Mother Cookbook” by McCall’s, or “The Busy Mom’s Cookbook: 100 Recipes for Quick, Delicious, Home-Cooked Meals” by Antonia Lofaso, “New Food Fast” by Donna Hay and other similar cookbooks.
On the other side of the world, however, the recipe may vary considerably. A recipe I located in Ed Gibbon’s “The Congo Cookbook”, most recently published in 2005, features a recipe excerpt from a cookbook published by the Family Advisory Board of the CIA: Spies, Black Ties, & Mango Pies: Stories and recipes from CIA families all over the world. The recipe is for “Chicken Moamba” and is most definitely not a time-saver, although the date the recipe was obtained is unknown:
1. Three days before preparing the recipe, send your houseman up a palm tree to bring down the nuts.
2. Extract the palm oil from the nuts in a sturdy, stone mortar.
3. The day before, slaughter a chicken from your chicken coop and pluck it.
4. Marinate the chicken in the palm oil.
5. The day you prepare the recipe, cut some manioc leaves from manioc plants in your vegetable garden and chop them coarsely.
6. Sauté the chicken in the palm oil until tender.
7. Steam the manioc leaves in a colander.
8. Prepare white rice in your favorite way.
9. Take Alka Seltzer after eating the meal.
10. Do not have Chicken Moamba two days in a row.
Thus, to make “Chicken Moamba” requires at least three days, the services of a houseman, a vegetable garden, a strong stomach, a very sharp knife and a trip to the pharmacy! In addition, you’d better eat it all at one sitting, because leftovers the next day are a no-no. This recipe truly makes Mom busy!