My first Zinger

27 08 2008

Since this is a family and food blog it could be easy for me to just ignore the Olympics. But Karen and I did watch a fair amount of events, and we did enjoy most of what we saw.  But nestled in there tightly among the hours and hours and hours of beach volleyball televised by NBC was something I truly found inspiring.  I was inspired by an athlete who did what few others in his situation could do.  He celebrated his silver medal.  

It never ceases to amaze me when sportscasters and TV hosts act all disappointed in people who “settle for silver.”  Like Bob Costas could do better.  But there, after the men’s 100m dash final, was Richard Thompson from Trinidad & Tobago celebrating his silver medal as if he’d won gold.  It was obvious that he felt he’d run the race of his life, and he was truly proud of his accomplishment.  All Karen and I could do was wonder how long the fete would be in Trinidad.  I’m sure nobody went to work for a week.  

So, being that a Trini won the title of the World’s second-fastest man, I got to thinking once again about Trinidad food.  In particular, what kind of Trini food makes me get up and run.  This usually includes a fair amount of pepper.  Actually it most likely only involves a little pepper, but humor me, okay?  So I thought of the one food that has scared me off by its very name: The Zinger.

The Zinger is a fried chicken sandwich from KFC with plenty pepper.  I’d never heard of a Zinger before, and I’m pretty sure they don’t sell them here in the States.  Here’s KFC’s website from the United Kingdom talking about the Zinger.  Yes I know that KFC sells the Zinger in other countries too, but I first heard about it in Trinidad, where half the street vendors have “Flame” or “Fire” in their name.  

I started with a basic chicken marinade found in the Naparima cookbook.  It includes the following:

Soy sauce
Worcestershire sauce
Kosher salt
Black pepper
Pepper sauce
Trinidad green seasoning
Garlic
Cilantro

After marinading the chicken breasts I dredged them in some flour, paprika, and cayenne pepper and pan fried them.  They came out crispy on the outside and juicy on the inside.  

Okay, maybe the outside was a little charred, but it was crispy.  

Sliced up and put on a bun with some lettuce, ketchup, and mustard with fries chips on the side.  How yuh like dat, boy?  The sad thing was, there really wasn’t much zing to this sandwich.  The pepper sauce in the marinade never really made its way into the chicken, so the only trace of heat was in the breading.  And since I sliced the chicken I took away most of that.  Let’s call this one a work in progress.  

Next time I’m going all out.  I’ll trim the breasts down so I don’t have to slice them.  I’ll use a real batter with serious pepper, and they’re getting deep fried.  Oh, and I’m also making my own fries chips.

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5 responses

27 08 2008
Heidi

I saw a guy from Togo win his country’s first medal, a bronze. He was so excited, it was ridiculous! That is what I really love watching on the Olympics. The US men gymnasts also celebrated with fervor over their bronze medal.

The sandwich looks great!

28 08 2008
Bennie

I couldn’t agree with you more about what a cool thing it was for the runner from Trinidad celebrating like he deserves to. Contrast that with the jerk from Eastern Europe dropping his bronze on the floor during the medal ceremony.

By the way, I’m totally going to try The Zinger! Where do you get Trinidad green sauce? I imagine this is the pepper marinade.

29 08 2008
mark - in my own defense

The green seasoning is a mixture of herbs that they kind of use as a starting point. Karen’s mother brings us homemade seasoning from Trinidad in liter increments. Here’s a much better explanation than I could ever give:

http://www.trinigourmet.com/index.php/qa-1-what-is-green-seasoning/

And no, the green seasoning we have doesn’t have any pepper in it. I added some pepper sauce in as well.

29 08 2008
Chennette

it was great to see Thompson in the edges of the NBC coverage – so exuberant- there was so much for him to celebrate. Imagine medaling in one of the premier events of the Olympics the first time you compete at that level! And then going on to blaze the last leg to get us silver in the relay. Ahhh.

I love Zingers. It’s the only KFC thing I eat. I like the spiciness served just with cool mayonnaise and lettuce. Nothing else for me. Maybe you should try some pure pepper in the seasoning part? and you can lace a batter with pepper sauce so next time it should be great.

your signature charred chicken looks tasty 😀

29 08 2008
Mom/Grandma

Mark, I had a look at that link with the “green seasonings”…………I would never use that. Too much starch….but I suppose when you don’t have the real thing, anything will do. Your bottle is already packed and I have added some more pimento for extra flavor. As for the zinger, its my favorite meal from KFC if I ever have to eat there. So I am looking forward to your version when I visit, and yes, with chips too.

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