McDonald’s Chicken McNuggets, by definition:
“The Chicken McNugget is a small piece of processed chicken meat that is fried in batter and flash-frozen, then shipped out and sold at McDonald’s restaurants.
McDonald’s first executive chef, René Arend, created the Chicken McNuggets recipe in 1979. “The McNuggets were so well-received that every franchise wanted them”, said Arend in a 2009 interview. “There wasn’t a system to supply enough chicken”. Supply problems were solved by 1983, and Chicken McNuggets became available nationwide.
According to McDonald’s, the nuggets come in four shapes: the bell, the bow-tie, the ball and the boot. The reason for the four different shapes is to ensure consistent cooking times for food safety. Four shapes were chosen because McDonalds states “The 4 shapes we make Chicken McNuggets in was the perfect equilibrium of dipability and fun. 3 would’ve been too few. 5 would’ve been, like, wacky.”
Blah, blah, blah. I don’t give a crap about the invention of McNuggets nor their God-fearing nutricional UN-value. I don’t. And if you care to comment at this stage of this column I respectfully ask you to take your opinion to the nearest Wendy’s.
This is a story of McNugget Lore. A love story. A story of passion and poison. Gluttony and greed. It has all the elements of a Michael Douglas B-Rate thriller coupled with the spoiled-oil grease trap cooking these American legends across our great land. McNuggets are the Broad Stripes and Bright Stars. The Purple Mountain Magesty. The Amber Waves of Grain. Deep fried deliciousness.
OK, you get my stance.
And now to the long overdue story….
About a year ago….we will call in ‘Ought ’18, a few of my closest and dearest were enjoying some well-deserved Friday Beers over some conversation and comradery at one of our favorite watering holes in the mighty Mill City. In our spirited discussion, the wildly popular topic of food naturally arose. More specific? Fast Food. Despite the incredible pressure and political-correct-crapness to insist this cuisine is taboo and should never grace our pallets; lets be freakin’ honest for one Millennial second. If you are a child of the 1970s, 80s, and even 90s….you loved yourself some drive-thru. Of course you did. You wouldn’t be human or from the USA if you didn’t. One thing made you happier than anything else; The HAPPY Meal. And thence into beauty.
McDonalds, above all of the other gullet-stuffing, caloric-Titanic-disasters of the fast food chain made us all smile in a guilty but genuine glee.
As such, the gang and I all waxed poetic about the delicate decadence of the Chicken McNugget. Oohs and Ahhs quickly turned to bravado…
“How many McNuggets could you take down?,” one member of our crew shouted.
Insane mathematical impossibilities were exclaimed.
“No way, I can do 60!”
“I got 100 in me on an empty stomach!‘ screamed the most clearly inebriated of the clan.
Arguments, fuzzy logic and Venn diagrams even appeared within this classroom of cocktails.
And then a calm and sober voice interceded. A leader amongst us. The proprietor of this famed Lowellian water hole.
“Hey….I’ll buy Nuggets and let’s give it a test run.‘
He continued, “I saw a deal they (McDonald’s) are running right now on special. 40 nuggets for $10.”
The crowd now silenced like the spectators at the Roman Colliseum following a Gladiator death match.
Nods and hesitant (Boston accent) “Shahs” followed his proposal. And then, he was off like the childish Red and Yellow Clown Ronald himself.
Our bravado soon turned to healthy fear of a Weekend at BURN-ies with a side with a vomitous chicken collision.
I’d like to tell you how we had the greatest eat off since Lard Ass in the Pie Eating Contest in Stand By Me. I’d love to brag how eating giants Joey Chestnut and Kobayashi were weak shadows of greatness compared to what we were about to take in during this stomach stuffing for annals of history.
But, I can’t.
The real legend in this story is the Fearless Leader and Procurer of the above stated magnanimous amount of McDonald’s Chicken McNuggets.
He mosied in to the nearest Mickey D’s and laid it all down…and they didn’t know how to pick it up.
Calm and confident he stated his demands….
“Can I have 200 Chicken McNuggets, please?
Pimple-Face Paul on his first day at the Golden Arches nearly collapsed.
“One moment, sir,” Paul choked, “I need to see my Manager.”
“No problem,” our fearless faux-chicken-buying General responded.
As poor Paul raced to the back and tracked down Second Shift Manager Scotty, the hollow echoes across this grease pit began to stir. This was happening. The day this staff had all been preparing for since they launched this value-friendly coronary offer to the general public. Scotty attempted to compose himself and visited the counter to confirm this unprecedented request.
(stuttering and disheveled) “Hello, sir. Um, did my associate get that straight? You would like 200 Chicken McNuggets?
“Yeah, that’s right,” retorted our hero.
“OoooooK, then, ” Scotty replied in a shear state of disbelief and turned to head back to the kitchen to simply digest (giggle) this magnanimous confirmation.
Reluctantly, Scotty turned back to the counter made the mistake of asking…. “Do you want that for here? Or to go?”
And this is where this silly tale of processed meat became epic…
“I’m going to have it here.”
At this stage, every single employee, patron and bystander stood petrified in awe, amazement and fear.
And just when you thought our Champion could not make this scene any funnier, he uttered his final words before he let these Soldiers of Preservative-Filled Fortune off the hook with a laugh.
“Oh, and a small diet coke.”
P.S. I knocked back 30 nuggs without breaking a (meat) sweat later that day.