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:
Trinidad green seasoning
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.