It’s Sunday here in Leuven, with nothing concrete to do. And I’m currently worrying about what to eat for lunch and for dinner, since most of the shops are closed, save for Carrefour Express down at Naamsestraat.
Hence, I dug through my partially-sorted image archives and found this nice photo of Jollibee’s ChickenJoy from back home in the Philippines.
Although I admit to liking more of KFC’s version of fried chicken than this local recipe, but there’s something “meatier” and “crispier” attached to this particular dish.
For one thing, this is the default dish at NCIC whenever our group stays over the lab/office for dinner. Our conversation would be punctuated by crackling sounds of breading breaking whenever we take bites off from our choice parts (I prefer thighs/legs and wings), sometimes animated by serious discussions over who gets the odd tub of brown gravy and extra rice.
The taste of ChickenJoy? Hmm, I can never tell. The meat is very juicy and flavorful, if a bit too salty for my taste–which matches well with the plain (read: bland) steamed rice served wrapped in its distinct Jollibee paper. Eating it depends on one’s personal preference–I’d pick off a piece of meat, dip it with the gravy and eat it with a spoonful of rice; others prefer to pour the gravy on the chicken and the rice, turning the whole dish into one thick brown mess; others reserve the crispy breaded skin to munch on after the meat and rice are all gone.
The Filipino Taste
ChickenJoy represents the general Filipino palate when it comes to food. Unabashedly simple in preparation and looks, a bit salty, but juicy and overflowing with that meaty, umami taste that pairs well with the country’s main staple (rice).
Thinking about that now, I really am hungry for lunch. Too bad I ran out of my current staple food (I guess the official food of penny-pinching PhD students):