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Close Encounters of the Broasted Kind – Devils Tower View, WY

A few months ago I wrote about a fantastic movie I saw at QAGOMA called Spinning Plates. It followed three very different restaurants striving to make a success of their businesses. One of them, Breitbach’s Country Dining, served Broasted chicken. This sent me dashing to the internet to find out what Broasted chicken was. A Broaster is a proprietary name for a cooking device that fries and pressure cooks the chicken at the same time, sealing in the moisture. Sounds like a very dangerous way of cooking but the resulting chicken is dangerously tasty which is why it was the number one seller on Breitbach’s menu.

Close Encounters
Fast forward a few months and we found ourselves at the campground at Devils Tower, Wyoming. The tower is a National Monument run by the National Park Service. It thrusts up out of the landscape and is visible for miles around.
Devils Tower sunset
Devils Tower Prairie Dog

The Tower is not really near anything so generally you need to stay the night. This gives you the opportunity to view the Tower in glorious sunset colours and catch the prairie dogs grazing before the sun goes down. There is a walk around the base taking around an hour which allows you to admire it from a number of angles. Whilst the campground and registration were open, all of the facilities including the cafe, were closed. In the absolute middle of nowhere with clear skies and the temperature dropping rapidly, we were after a hot meal before we spent the night in our freezing cabin. If we were going to make first contact, we wanted it to be on a full stomach. A short drive up the road, the aptly named Tower View Cafe offered the only option for many miles and, will you look at that…Broasted Chicken!

Devils Tower View Sign
The View from Devils Tower View

The View from Devils Tower View

The cafe is run by a husband and wife team. She takes care of the gift shop and he looks after the cafe and cooking. We slid into a booth and perused the menu. I pretended I might try the highly recommended buffalo burger or something else on the menu before going for the 4 piece Broasted chicken dinner with ‘jojos’. It wasn’t the first time I’d seen jojos on the menu so I had to ask, ‘What’s a jojo?’ The answer – potato wedges.

Broast Dinner
Our meals were cooked in a jiffy and quaintly served on paper plates with plastic cutlery. I was finally about to try the mysterious Broasted chicken and yes, it was as delicious as I had hoped. The coating was unbelievably crunchy and light and not highly seasoned. The chicken, juicy and moist. Not a hint of greasiness. This may have looked something like the Colonel’s but there the similarities ended. Now there’s 4 pieces of chicken and, there’s 4 pieces of chicken in Middle America. As can be seen in the photo, each piece of chicken was huge and far too much for one meal. Whilst organising a takeout container for two of the chicken pieces, I chatted with the owner about my first taste of Broasted chicken. He was surprised to learn that I had only recently heard of Broasting. He took me in to the kitchen to show me the Broaster and explained how it worked and told me there was actually a chain in the US called ‘Broasters’. He was a little embarrassed that I took a photo and said he would have cleaned it up if he had of known it was going to feature.

The meal...

The meal…

The machine...

The machine…

After saying ‘no’ to the homemade pie and signing the guest book, it was time to head back to our cabin and layer up in as much clothing as we could fit on ourselves. It was so cold that even the lure of two pieces of Broasted chicken in a styrofoam container couldn’t entice the aliens to Devils Tower that night.

Devils Tower in daylight
4 comments… add one
  • Sean November 29, 2014, 6:30 pm

    You weren’t tempted to mould a Devil’s Tower out of mashed potatoes??

    • Fiona Ryan November 30, 2014, 1:22 pm

      You’re too clever mentioning this – of course, that was one of the main reasons for me going but it never occurred to me to mention the mashed potato mountain in my post. Those large rocks on one side of the base took me instantly to the scene where they are scrambling to get around the mountain. The staging area for the alien landing was filmed at our campground. I’m sure Anthony had much more highbrow reasons for visiting.

  • Jan Rhoades November 30, 2014, 6:36 am

    Nice piece Fiona. I enjoyed your encounter with broasted chicken.

    • Fiona Ryan November 30, 2014, 1:24 pm

      I’ve now discovered that you can get Broasted chicken in Australia. Make sure you nip out to Lakemba when you are in Sydney in January.

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