A Chicken in a Pair of Blue Shorts
by Todd Rushing, Pitmaster for No Rush Q
One of the funniest things I have seen lately was a video of a chicken running around in a blue pair of shorts. I’m not sure why I thought this was so funny, but it was simple and it made me laugh. Why would someone put a chicken in a pair of shorts? Even better, why would someone post it on social media and it get thousands of views? Who thinks of this stuff? But it served its purpose and it caught my eye.
In the mastery of cooking KCBS chicken have we gone so far as to put our chicken in the preverbal “blue shorts”? Maybe so. Having cooked many competition over the past few years I am as guilty as the rest of trying to make the perfect pieces of symmetrical little pieces of meat that taste like chicken. Running the gamut of pans, tins, toothpicks and such to make that box get appearance scores of “9”.
All of us eat with our eyes first. If it looks great then we have won half of the battle. But who decides what looks great. Well of course the judges do, but have we polled them and asked lately what constitutes “great” looking chicken? I’m sure some have and others have not. But I am also sure that if you ask 10 judges you will most assuredly get 10 different answers of some variation therein. In the end, I know that appearance scores are not weighted nearly as high as taste and tenderness but you better not overlook them or your overall scores will suffer. However, as of late it does seem that chicken can look more like “chicken” and be okay. That’s good news in my book. It allows us to focus more on cooking the meat and flavor profiles.
This sport of competition barbecue is so very subjective. There is no defined goal line, goalpost, or home run wall that will give you a predetermined score. Your game plan must involve the knowledge and experience gained over time to hopefully be at least 1/10th of a point better than your competition. As it relates to chicken…well if that means putting it in blue shorts make sure you check his waist size and get some that fit nice!