I’ve never… had real Kentucky fried chicken

Kentucky Fried Chicken. Quite possibly the most disgusting “food” ever conceived. And they just keep upping the ante by engineering worse and worse abominations. Like the KFC Double Down (mercifully unavailable in Canada) that is made up of cheese, sauce and bacon sandwiched between two breaded chicken filets.


Even though I know how awful their food is, every few years the part of my brain that controls rational thought misfires a bit and I think to myself, “Man, I could really go for some KFC.” I then spend the rest of the night filled with shame and self-loathing.

On a recent trip south of the border, however, I had the chance to experience what authentic Kentucky fried chicken was like. My friends Tina, Jared, Janele and I drove down visit our friend Shane, who now works and lives in Florence, Kentucky, just on the other side of Cincinnati, Ohio.

It was a memorable trip filled with a variety of Kentucky experiences. We drank a lot of bourbon. We toured the Louisville Slugger factory. We visited the awesomely-named Big Bone Lick State Park. We checked out some great caves. We wandered the aisles of America’s cultural centerpiece, WalMart. We went to the horse races and turned Tina into a gambling junkie. We discovered Janele has a phobia of stilt-walkers. We fell in love with a local game called Corn Hole.

Tina. Classy gal.

Most importantly though, we ate. We ate in ways only Americans can eat. Greasy, heavy and in mind-boggling portion sizes. On our first night in Kentucky we went to a local restaurant and ordered the meat platter for us all to share. I asked our waitress if she thought it would be enough to feed the five of us and she said we’d probably have enough.

The carnivorous feast that ensued was enough to feed ten of us and served on the back of a garbage can lid. Embracing a “when in Rome” mentality, we stuffed our faces with more food than we could handle. I spent the rest of the night feeling like I had a cinder block in my gut.

To bookend our Kentucky experience properly, we went out to another nearby restaurant for supper on our last night. Our goal was to experience fried chicken the proper way. The restaurant was fancy enough to make us feel out of place and we all ordered the fried chicken from the menu. Our waitress informed us that the fried chicken came with a choice of a side, including vegetables. We hadn’t been eating a lot of veggies during our trip, unless bacon can be considered as such, so Tina asked what the vegetable options were.

Our veggie choices were very American indeed:

  • Broccoli smothered in a cheese sauce
  • Mashed potatoes; or my personal favourite,
  • Pasta salad (which I’m definitely planting in my garden next year)

“Can I have the broccoli without the cheese sauce?” Tina asked.

“No,” replied our waitress. Awesome.

Our fried chicken arrived shortly thereafter and only then did we realize that we each were getting a mammoth half-chicken. The piece of meat occupied my entire plate, meaning my cheesy vegetable side was served in a separate bowl.

While certainly better than KFC, the real fried chicken we had was nothing that special. Fairly bland and way too big a portion.

We drove home the next day, being sure to wave farewell to the sixty-foot statue of Jesus next to the I75 near Cincinnati. Sadly, not long after, that same giant Jesus burnt to the ground. Freak lightning storm, or another sign of the apocalypse?

Think about it:

  • KFC Double Down is created
  • Giant zombie Jesus statue burns to the ground
  • Italy loses in World Cup soccer to Slovakia.

The end is near.


Eat real Kentucky fried chicken? Check.

Duane Elgin, author of “Voluntary Simplicity”, talked about the “invisible wealth of experiential riches.” My “I’ve Never Club” is inspired by this idea and chronicles my reflections on the novel things I’ve done recently.


Funny stories. Good advice. Josh Martin is author of the book “Simple(ton) Living: Lessons in balance from life’s absurd moments.” Click here to learn more and  purchase a copy.

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