I have to admit I didn’t anticipate the controversy that the Fifty Shades of Grey movie was going to conjure up. The whole time I was reading the book series, all I could think was how miffed I was that I didn’t write it myself, because had I done so, I could be filthy rich at this very point in time.
Let’s face it, it isn’t stellar writing; it’s a romance series filled with all the spicy details that Danielle Steel left to our hungry imaginations. It’s bonafide, steamy smut and it’s pure genius. So, I hand it to EL James, because she doesn’t have to work another day in her life. I consider myself a feminist and I do not consider it porn, degrading to women, or anything the like. It’s just a story of fetishes and fantasies between two consenting adults. No biggie.
I only read the first two books and a half a chapter of book three. That’s because I kept finding myself with the urge to have a cigarette and I don’t smoke. It was the sheer, unrelenting frequency of the wild and frenzied coitus that chapter after chapter, just wore me completely out. (I think that’s why my husband couldn’t put these books down-I hope he doesn’t kill me for telling you he read them). I had heard that the whole thing was going to have a happy ending, so once I opened book three and saw that they had started their honeymoon, I shut the book in my nightstand and let it be.
I just thought I’d get that out of the way because I keep reading these odd blog posts about how women should run screaming from the theatres as to avoid looking for their life’s completion in the book’s protagonist, Christian Grey. Bizarre. I never fathomed anyone taking the books that seriously. My opinion is, if you don’t want to watch it don’t, and let the rest of us have our cheap thrills and most of all, our piece…I mean, our peace…ahem.
That brings me to the point of this post, which is to review a parody cookbook called Fifty Shades of Chicken, written under the pseudonym, FL Fowler.
I saw this book while browsing through TJ MAXX one day and I bought every single copy. I gave it to all my friends because I found it to be the perfect menagerie of a legit cookbook with stunning photography and mouthwatering recipes and at the same time, an outright roast (excuse the pun) of the steamy book series. It made me laugh so hard I cried, yet I couldn’t wait to try all the exquisite recipes. It left me delightfully confused, not unlike the series it intends to mock.
The book contains 50 chicken recipes “bound to be delicious”. It is written in the voice of a whole, raw hen. In the first chapter, “The Novice Bird”, like Anastasia Steele Mr. Grey’s conquest, is awakened to her “Fifty Blades” and all his kitchen trickery. This plain roasting chicken is only used to being treated with salt and pepper, but Fifty Blades insists on binding her, giving her alcohol, and rubbing her down with exotic spices because “he doesn’t make dinner, he cooks….hard”. The first recipe in the chapter is “Vanilla Chicken”, which of course refers to conventional sex termed “vanilla” in the Fifty Shades series. For those that have indulged in Fifty Shades, the similarities will leave you in stitches, and if you did take the books with any seriousness before, you won’t be able to now.
After you have wet your appetite with the Vanilla Chicken, which is just a bird rubbed down with butter and seasoning, you move on to “Popped Cherry Pullet”, “Extra Virgin Breasts”, and “Please Don’t Stop Chicken”, all delicious looking recipes that will make your mouth water and your cheeks blush. The plain, understated chicken continues to walk you through her experiences in the cool, modern kitchen, of Mr. Fifty Blades, who manipulates and cooks her while wearing a pair of jeans, a white apron tied low around his hips, his shirt abandoned.
In chapter two, “Falling to Pieces” the chicken has fully succumbed to the ways of Fifty Blades and anticipates her tenderization, roasting, and broiling, as eagerly as Anastasia Steele. You will find the recipes in this chapter a little more adventurous, and non-vanilla. Amongst my favorites are, ” Dripping Thighs”, “Chicken Strip Tease”, and “Pound Me Tender”. Oh my.
The third and final chapter, “Birds Gone Wild (advanced techniques)” is the Karma Sutra of poultry cookery. Fifty blades opens the chapter by stating, “Miss Hen, we’ve only scratched the surface. We haven’t yet started on the advanced techniques”. The book finishes with recipes for “Come Hither Chicken”, “Chicken Under the Covers”, and “Backdoor Beer Can Chicken”. If you are a bit faint of heart, perhaps you would prefer the “Sexy Sliders”, or the “Chicken with Hearts and Flowers”, used to mock Christian Grey’s efforts to romance Anastasia after he swore he “does not do romance”.
The recipes conclude with “Happy Ending Chicken” in which Miss Hen is rubbed down with herbs and butter and Fifty Blades declares his love for her true, unadulterated flavor.
In the Epilogue, you will hear from Fifty Blades himself, in his husky, first person voice. He speaks of his unexpected pull to the plain Jane chicken, and his inability to resist probing her with his knife and roasting her in his oven.
All’s well that ends well.
If you are looking for a gift for a foodie friend, Fifty Shades fanatic, or a cookbook collector with eclectic taste and a sense of humor, I highly recommend this book. I found it enticingly clever, witty, and fun to read. The food photography is skillfully done to convey mystery and intrigue as well as not-so-subtle sexual innuendo. You wouldn’t want to hand this book over to anyone who’s under-age of course. Those on the vanilla side may find it in poor taste.
I hope I have stirred your curiosity about this delightful cookbook. I can’t wait to go cook up some “blushing parts” or a “mustard spanked” chicken. I anticipate it will be nothing short of juicy, tender, and tantalizing.
Now where’s that cigarette?