There wasn’t even any doubt as to where I would get my first meal after I arrived back in Taiwan: Staircase Lunchbox (bento). I had my usual fried chicken leg (and thigh) lunchbox with an extra order of fried chicken cutlet on the side.
This deep fried chicken leg was the one thing that I looked forward to eating more than any other food item. The twice-fried skin of the leg and thigh was paper-thin and crispy like crackling. The meat was ultra tender, having a tofu-like smoothness while retaining a slight, firm bite that was pleasing to my teeth biting it. The leg and thigh was also seasoned perfectly with just enough finely powered black and white peppercorns, salt, and probably a bit of msg. What elevated the flavours of this fried chicken into amazingness was the residual oil on the chicken that came from the deep fryer. Since the same deep fryer was used to fry every single pork chop, chicken cutlet, and chicken leg that they served for the day, all of the rendered pork and chicken fat from them blended in with the vegetable-based oil to create an absolutely mind-blowingly unctuous flavour that is as addictive as any naturally-occuring or chemically-sythesized substance known to mankind. Unhealthy? Yes, but I have no problems sacrificing a few minutes of my life expectancy for such a satisfying food experience.