It’s probably a strange thing to say, but when I went to my dad’s for the weekend, long before I went to live with him, one of the first things we got was a chicken dinner. I don’t know what it was about this dinner, but it was always so good, and we could not wait until the next time we could have one. The restaurant that made them is long gone, and that is a huge shame. It was by far one of the best meals I had as a kid, and I could always count on it being the same each time I ordered it.

Today, as I was leaving my weekly paddle tennis practice (and readers, I could write 10 columns about my obsession with the weirdly wonderful winter sport of bouncing around inside of a cage while smacking a ball that’s as hard as a frozen grapefruit at your friends and enemies…but I will spare you…for now) when my teammate Lisi hollered out, “Caroline, what are you making for dinner tonight?”


The chicken dinner we had came with two pieces of chicken, a bun, coleslaw (that we never ate) and a small portion of macaroni and cheese. My brother and I always asked for it the moment we came to Dad’s house, and many times he had already ordered it by the time we got there. He loved the chicken dinner as much as we did, and he waited until we were there for the weekend before he would get it for himself.

Looking back, I know that the chicken dinner was not the best thing for us health wise, but it was always a great treat. We saw Dad every other weekend back then, so it wasn’t like we were eating it every day. If that restaurant were still open I would imagine he would still get them, and we would most likely order the chicken dinner when I go to visit him. It’s probably a good thing they aren’t there any more. The people that took over that particular business once the first owners decided it was time to retire had the same menu, but for some reason the dinners were just not the same.

You don’t have to order out for a great chicken dinner. You can make your own at home, though if you know of a great place like I did, you may not want to bother with the mess. A good chicken dinner will take hours to prepare, but when you are done you are going to know it was well worth your time. It doesn’t have to be bad for you if you use good oils like Canola oil to fry your chicken dinner. Just remember to have it for a special treat. Even with the healthy oil you are going to be putting down a lot of extra calories.