Marking chickens

Informant is a 21 year old student at The Catholic University of America in Washington, DC.  He studies musical composition and business. His family tells a lot of stories, many of which he enjoys sharing with his friends at applicable times.  Here is one such story and a family custom that arose from this story.


“An amusing story from my family is that we have an uncle named Mark, except he is from Boston, so he’s really named “Maahk” – I can’t quite do the accent.  But this uncle is married to my father’s sister yet he’s very very dearly beloved by my mother’s mother – so my maternal grandmother and my paternal uncle.  They are both fantastic cooks, which is one thing they share in common.

“And so he, there was some family gathering wherein he was grilling chicken and he was taking it out to the grill to mark it, you know which is when you sear the sides to kind of seal in the flavor, but because of his Boston accent he pronounced it “maahk”, he was “maahking”* the chicken.

“So my dear little maternal Polish grandmother who is I believe over 5 feet, even five foot one and three quarters if you are being particular, but you know, this tiny lady and this huge Italian Boston guy have this hot exchange where where she is confused and perhaps a little bit scandalized that he’s taking the chickens out back to make fun of them.  So this has been passed down as a family legend that the chickens need to be insulted before they can be properly cooked.”

*the way he pronounced it sounded closer to “mocking” than to “marking”, thus the joke