The Newspaper Chicken
If you ask almost every Zimbabwean, they would tell you what newspaper chicken is. Roast or Fried chicken wrapped up in a newspaper and carried as lunch was part of most students who went to boarding school.
The day before going to school as a border or as a visitor, travelling back to the city from the rural areas, our mothers or our grandmas used to always prepare chicken so we can carry it and eat as part of packed lunch while on the long journey. With most students who lived in the schools as borders, this was a highlight of the trip back to school. To top it off, our mothers would make rice to go along with the chicken. The road runner was slaughtered, washed until clean then first boiled until the pieces were tender up until the pieces where deep fat fried until golden brown.
They’d wrap the chicken in a newspaper which I would like to think was a way to probably keep it moist or to soak out the excess oil but all the same, it was just divine.
For those who were borders, they’d have a whole trunk of groceries , new uniforms , books and a another bag full of goodies which they’d enjoy while on the bus or that evening when they got to school. Unfortunately I never experienced the newspaper chicken because I never went to boarding school and I only used to look at the chicken being packed away as I drool and wished I was the owner of that divine parcel.
On the bus, most people would indulging and it was quite an experience when someone got on the bus the hot /fresh potato chips smelling of vinegar and ketchup. Some would get on the bus and buy fresh boiled peanuts or roundnuts, while some cracked open the boiled eggs and drizzle the hot chilli on it before getting gobbling it down their throats. Those were memories of travelling from rural areas to the city….memories I will always treasure.