Book Review: Fifty Shades of Chicken: Wash your Hands Thoroughly (NSFW?)

Introduction

My distaste for the Fifty Shades of Grey novels and the recent release of Grey by the author E.L. James is well known and can be considered that of legend. Despite the acclaim that it has achieved with the books and the movie, I think it is a horrible series that disgraces actual practitioners of BDSM and puts women back twenty years.

You might want to go the full fifty to account for your individual tolerance.

You might want to go the full fifty to account for your individual tolerance.

So, one of my friends as a joke decided to give me a copy of the parody cookbook called Fifty Shades of Chicken by F.L. Fowler, which the book clearly expresses it to be a pseudonym. So, as a means of humoring the person who gave me this book, I decided to review it. Over the course of 158 pages (excluding the index), it recalls the story of a man and his ingredients while intertwining several poultry themed recipes between each section. Despite becoming a New York Times Bestseller, many people I have talked to about it have never heard of this book. I will cover both the ‘story’ and the recipes that it entails.

The Story

Where do I even begin with the story? Told from a first person perspective of a plastic covered chicken that lives in a refrigerator who is soon named ‘Miss Hen‘ whose best friend in the refrigerator is a holiday ham. She is soon introduced to the man who owns the kitchen, who after Miss Hen sees his collection of kitchen knives, decides to call him ‘Mr. Blades’. After falling out of the fridge and being collected by Mr. Blades, the two begin to talk to each other about cooking. You have read right. The man has full length conversations with a raw prepackaged chicken that he plans to cook. Now, I can understand how someone can treat cooking like it is an art and feels that the food speaks to them, but these are full length conversations. I just love how Mr. Blades takes the fact that his chicken is talking to him like another person is standing in front of him. That is not how a normal person would react to poultry talking to them and I use the term ‘normal’ lightly.

Thank you Nostalgia Critic for creating the perfect depiction of a person who should be scared sh**less.

Thank you Nostalgia Critic for creating the perfect depiction of a person who should be scared sh**less.

Yeah… if your chicken is talking to you in a manner that can be considered sexual, that you might have severe schizophrenia. And when I mean sexual, I mean sexual. The writing is overtly sexual in sections as Miss Hen narrates the story and each thing that Mr. Blades does to her. Don’t believe me? Read this. He slips two fingers inside of me, making me gasp. The touch of his spiced fingertips ignites hot sparks under my skin that fire into my bloodstream and pulse around my body, heating everything in their path. I groan…Oh my–a conflagration radiates throughout my cavity…everywhere. F***. F*** indeed. Mr. Blades tries to control Miss Hen in a sadist manner through his varying recipes which can be humorous at times. If you have read the Fifty Shades series, then the plot line is very similar from the interactions to the backstories. This provides a nice familiarity for readers of E.L. Jame’s series, but allows flexibility for the author to create his own story (I think the author is a guy). I will admit that in this short read, the characters are fleshed out. You see how Miss Hen progresses to risque cooking from her original opposition to it before and you learn what drove Mr. Blades to cooking.

The Recipes

What is a cookbook without recipes? As the title would reference, there are fifty different recipes for chicken in this book that a person can practice at their own convenience. The book is split into three different sections depending how how much of a difficult meal you want to cook entitled as the following;

  1. The Novice Bird
  2. Falling to Pieces
  3. Birds Gone Wild

Now, if the puns in the chapter names were not enough for you, please read some of the recipe names that the author uses for each dish. Some of the names for the dishes would be Cherry Popped Chicken, Mustard-Spanked Chicken, and Learning to Truss You. Which the section Learning to Truss You, it tells how a person should tie up a chicken with twine for preparation for cooking and it features the ideal chef for any kitchen.

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Is this considered a step up or a step down from posing for PlayGirl Magazine?

Sexist jokes about depicting the male body aside, he does show the proper technique that other cookbooks would teach. As for how the recipes taste, I have tried a recipe from each section and I would have to say that the chicken, if cooked correctly, tastes amazing. I also find it convenient that the side dishes that are mentioned throughout the book are listed in the back for reference and instruction.

Does it hold up on its own?

So, what is the final verdict for Fifty Shades of Chicken? Honestly, I enjoyed it in its entirety. I think that it is a funny story that is accompanied by recipes that are easy for anyone to replicate. Whether if it is for a recreational chef or someone who wants to be a master, I would suggest it on their bookshelf. For the others who don’t want to cook, it still provides a colorful story that is funny in its writing and execution.

If you want to check of FL Fowler’s home website for the Fifty Shades of Chicken book, click here.

The book is available on Amazon here.

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