MAY IT PLEASE THE PALATE: Food for the large game


It is possible you were one of 111,000,000 people who recently watched a special televised contest. While it was memorable for the winning team's remarkable comeback, what makes the Super Bowl truly amazing is the National Football League's hyper-aggressive protection of its trademark. They once famously sent a cease and desist letter to a church group that was having a small fundraiser, to pay admission, eat food, and watch the XLIst of these games (I'm sure the NFL is next scheming to trademark Roman numerals).

Everyone is now scared, from church ladies to big companies, who must engage in verbal gymnastics to avoid saying Super Bowl. Stephen Colbert was even targeted for moving one letter and talking about the "Superb Owl" in MMXIV, which is three years ago for you sports fans who prefer Arabic numerals.

Fortunately, one source the No Fun League can't touch is the legitimate media, like this publication, the Most Highest and Superb Legal News.

But retail establishments must be careful. Stores can't say "come pick up some chicken wings for the Super Bowl!" They are constrained to invite the public to buy some chicken wings for the "Big Game."

Which is exactly what this member of the public did, at his local grocery store, on Super Sunday (another trademarked name, by the way), just a few hours before kickoff. Except for one problem: my local Large Store was out of chicken wings for the Large Game.

I panicked. I was expecting a Super-Sized crowd, and hadn't left myself much time to cook. Besides, the nature of a Colossal Contest party lends itself to simple, munchable foodstuffs that don't require complex preparation or invite subtle appreciation. "Gee, Nick, I love that touch of tarragon in the Green Goddess dressing," said no one, ever, at a Super Bowl party.

So I scoured: the meat counter, the fresh chicken coolers, and both freezers where the un-helpful butcher told me, falsely, that might find some chicken wings. The store was completely out. I momentarily wondered if evolution had finally resulted in the eradication of the chicken's wings, due to their utter inability to fly. ("Flew the coop" is a misnomer, like "When pigs fly.")

Well, I had to cook something, and the Mexicali dip would barely get us through the nineteen-hour pregame show. So I picked up some thighs and drumsticks, and Betty Crocker came to the rescue.

Here's what I love about cooking classics like Ms. Crocker: you trust the recipes are meticulously tested. In contrast, Betty Blogger posts something and you start to wonder, "Why does she have me salt and pepper it three times?" or "When do I put in the parsnips?"

So here's to ya, Betty Crocker. Thanks for saving Large Game Day of the Week.

Oven Fried Chicken

¼ cup butter or margarine

½ cup all-purpose flour

1 teaspoon paprika

½ teaspoon salt

¼ teaspoon pepper

(feel free to experiment with spices, e.g. add garlic powder)

3- to 3 1/2-lb cut-up whole chicken

1. Heat oven to 425°F. Melt butter in 13x9-inch pan in oven.

2. In shallow dish, mix flour, paprika, salt and pepper. Coat chicken with flour mixture. (I like to shake it in a freezer bag). Place chicken, skin sides down, in the buttered pan.

3. Bake uncovered 30 minutes. Turn chicken; bake about 30 minutes longer or until juice is clear when thickest part is cut to bone (170°F for breasts; 180°F for thighs and legs).

By the way, my editors would like to remind you that when referring to this publication, Legal News is trademarked and all other news sources are highly illegal.

Kidding, but as we were taught in law school, it never hurts to cite the source.


Nick Roumel is a principal with Nacht & Roumel PC, a firm in Ann Arbor specializing in employment and civil right litigation. He also has many years of varied restaurant and catering experience, has taught Greek cooking classes, and wrote a food/restaurant column for "Current" magazine in Ann Arbor. Follow him at @nickroumel.

Published: Fri, Feb 10, 2017