Birding is an interesting pursuit. It's about finding birds, of course, but a lot of it also seems to be about finding congenial people with which to drive around and be silly. Most of the birders I know have a gift for wordplay, and after a long day in the car, everybody gets a little punchy. A lot of these silly conversations involve various in-jokes; shared knowledge of Monty Python routines, VH-1 trivia, The Adventures of Buckaroo Banzai Across the Eighth Dimension and what birds have been seen in New Jersey (lately and cumulatively) is essential for my little in-group. For starters.
Today we got onto the subject of shellacked chicken. When The Lurker and Perfect Tommy brought it up (they'd started talking about it on a previous birding trip which I had missed), I thought about photo shoots where food gets shellacked in order to look appetizing when photographed. I used to work in an art department, so I suppose that was an understandable reaction. Without dragging you, the long-suffering reader, through the whole conversation (lots of birder humor boils down to the "you had to be there" variety), I will mention that Perfect Tommy thought he remembered a Frugal Gourmet recipe for shellacked chicken. That was all it took. Once we dispersed, it was a race to the keyboard to see what the internet would offer up.
Searching for shellacked chicken only offered general info about "food-grade shellac" (a somewhat worrisome concept) and descriptions from menus where a glazed finish is considered a shellac. Try lacquered chicken, and it's a whole 'nother ballgame, though. I found dozens of lacquered chicken crockpot recipes, and a recipe for Vietnamese lacquered chicken that involves barbequeing. But Perfect Tommy beat me in the all-important bizarreness department by finding a site where teachers post instructions for mummifying chickens in order to teach their classes about ancient Egyptian culture. Some even use canopic jars for the chicken's internal organs. If I had been doing stuff like this in school, I might have paid a little more attention, especially when I was going through my ancient Egypt phase.
One treat of the day was being able to relive the top 50 of WXPN's 885 greatest songs of all time. Of course, we missed most of the same songs we missed the first time around, when we were driving around southwest NJ trying to stay within range of XPN's signal while birding. But then, this is supposed to be a cooking blog, so you probably don't want to hear about that.