Rave Recipes is a Festival Insider series wherein the wild and wonderful Brittany Gaston recounts insane stories from her time on the dance floor and pairs them with delectable dishes and easy-to-follow instructions. Chock full of flavor and always entertaining, Rave Recipes brings the party to your kitchen:
“Have any of you heard from Spicy* today?” I asked some friends who I saw in passing while walking stage to stage at Movement Festival in 2016. Spicy and I first met exactly five years ago on the patio of an after-party during this techno weekender in Detroit. It was weird she hadn’t come to the festival yet, considering most of our memories together have been around a techno dance floor. I gave her a call to make sure she was alright.
“I know, I know I know, I’m so late!” Spicy answered like she already knew what I called her for before I even had a chance to say hi. Among her closer friends, she earned the nickname Spicy; partially because of her ethnic background, but mostly because when irritated, she’ll fire shots under duress of a venomous tongue.
“What happened to you, girl?!” I laughed at her psychic greeting. “The first day of the festival is almost done and you still aren’t here yet, you slacker!”
True techno heads know that the only place to celebrate the origins of the genre and its pioneers, both living and gone, is in Detroit. First launched in 2000 as Detroit Electronic Music Festival, Movement is now the anchor event that brings hundreds of thousands of techno lovers all around the world to this music mecca, though many locals and seasoned dance floor veterans still call it DEMF.
This particular year was special because it’d been three years since I moved to Los Angeles and a year since Spicy moved to Mexico. Our friend circle from the East Coast hadn’t been together as a full techno crew for a while, so we all planned to fly to Detroit at the same time for a mini-reunion at the airport. We split the fare on a car service to take us to our hotels, which we made sure were a short walking distance to each other and the festival grounds of Hart Plaza.
“I partied way too hard last night at Function.” Spicy lamented. “ I met this boy, too.” The tone of her voice shifted from hungover to bashful.
“Say no more, girl!” I didn’t ask for details since Spicy and I had already bonded over our mutual heauxism.
Once a model in her younger years, Spicy has a “bombshell” type of outward beauty that’s infuriating for the rest of us regular-looking folks. She’s intelligent too, which is also annoying, working for a very prominent accounting firm. To make matters worse, she’s nice, doesn’t take herself too seriously, and is never too “pretty” to sweat while dancing all night to techno. You want to hate her, but you can’t.
“I met him at the pre-party with Function.” Spicy had started her weekend early by attending a show on the Friday before the first day of Movement. “You should’ve come!”
Photo by Bruno Postigo
I would’ve gone, but I got wasted myself--accidentally--during a scavenger hunt across Motor City with Christian Martin, Worthy and Dirtybird’s tour manager. Though he didn’t come on the hunt with us, Claude Vonstroke made the itinerary to encourage fans to explore Motor City while celebrating the 10th-anniversary release of his track “Who’s Afraid of Detroit?” My assignment was to live tweet my experience, however, I scheduled to meet up with the Dirtybirders less than an hour after checking into my hotel, and I was drunk about an hour after that.
“We met in the best way.” Spicy persisted, telling me the story of why she can’t function because she met Alex at the Function function.
When the music is good, Spicy refuses to leave a party, which is exactly what happened last night, she explained. Knowing she was going to be on the dance floor for the long haul, she excused herself from her spot at the front left speaker to find a dark corner in which to do a bump in peace. Past the sweaty crowd, she found a bench but made a point to only sit on the edge of it.
Scanning around to make sure security wasn’t nearby, right after the pile of white powder disappeared up the caverns of her nose, she heard a deep voice ask, “Got a light?”
Startled by the voice, she flinched as she turned around to see who was talking. There he was, on the opposite side of the bench also holding a suspicious powder. With short brown hair and a neatly kempt beard, Alex was the Armenian version of tall, dark and handsome. He was about to do the same thing she’d just done, only he couldn’t see what he was doing.
I imagined the moment they saw each other, their eyes met looking over their respective baggies and, like something out of Animaniacs, their pupils engorged to giant cartoon hearts.
When I met Alex two days later, I was ready to give him a full interrogation, but since our crew made plans to attend the same afterparty, I had limited time between leaving the festival and heading to the next event to get down to the nitty-gritty.
“Soo, what are your intentions with my Spicy?” I said to Alex as the three of us we were leaving Hart Plaza. I was serious even though I said it in a sarcastic tone. He had an equally sarcastic response but he was still nice, respectful of me, and seemed to really enjoy Spicy’s company.
“You think there’s anything open right now? I’m starving.” Alex asked into the void. Spicy wasn’t hungry but I knew I probably needed to have something on my stomach for the next wave of night to daytime parties. I remembered the City Market located near the Cadillac District, a mere two minutes walking from my and Spicy’s hotel.
I had already been to this market many times that week. Once after I got back from my Dirtybird assignment to get beers and snacks for the hotel room. Another time to buy more cigarettes because I gave all mine away at the festival. And another time to get some of the fresh fruit and baklava that the store's owner's mother made herself every week. I knew they stayed open late, and that they had warm dishes made with love.
“That chicken looks dank!” Alex pointed to a small rotisserie turning a whole fryer under the heat lamp.
“This is my family’s secret herb blend.” The shop owner said proudly. He recognized me from my frequent trips to his store earlier in the week.
Even though I wasn’t the hungry one, I made the decision for Alex, “Fuck dude, if a Grecian Nana made this chicken, we gotta get it.”
He didn’t need much convincing. “Rotisserie chicken is the truth,” he responded in agreement.
Spicy told us we could eat in her hotel room while she quickly changed clothes and refreshed for the next party. The moment we walked in her room, she jets off to the bathroom, leaving Alex and I to fend for ourselves. The pile of Spicy’s clothes made sitting at the table impossible, so we sat on the floor, putting the small end table that was next to the bed in the middle of us. Alex removed the plastic lid and placed the rotisserie chicken in the middle. Neither of us had a plate so we both picked at the chicken breast with plastic forks for a bit.
“This chicken is fuckin’ fantastic!” Alex exclaimed with his mouth full. He put the fork down and used his hands to grab the chicken leg on his side. We both laughed at his barbarian eating methods and concluded this was the best chicken we’d ever had.
Ten minutes and a chicken carcass later, Spicy opened the door of her hotel bathroom to see her friend and new male companion sitting on the floor eating a rotisserie chicken. “You guys could’ve moved the stuff and sat down at the table, you know?”
She felt bad her guests were sitting on the floor, but we weren’t too bothered. It was really, really good chicken.
*Names have been changed because... fuckin', duhh
Air-Fryer Rotisserie Herbed Chicken
Heaping handfuls of (don’t be shy)
5 - 10 garlic cloves
2 tsp marjoram
1 tbsp onion powder
1 tbsp paprika
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp nutmeg
Juice of half a lemon (save the other half)
3 tbsp olive oil
Kosher salt (to taste)
Black pepper (to taste)
Combine fresh herbs and remaining seasonings and ingredients in a food processor, blender or Magic Bullet derivative. Pulse until slightly mixed and then blend on high until the herb mixture has the same texture as a paste. Set aside.
Wearing cooking or disposable gloves, separate the skin from the meat of your whole fryer. Working from the neck end, slide fingers under skin until you reach the end of the breast, be careful not to tear the skin as it will shrivel when cooked. Take a liberal handful of your herb mixture to rub in between the skin and chicken. Repeat this for all legs and underside of your bird.
Refrigerate for 24 hours.
After letting your bird brine overnight, stuff the other ½ of your fresh cut lemon inside the cavity of your chicken. Feel free to add any leftover herbs. Give your bird a quick pat down using paper towels. Using an olive, canola, or coconut oil aerosol, spray all sides of the chicken. Then load the bird into your air fryer basket with the breast side down.
Air fry the chicken according to the manufacturer's guidelines. Open the air fryer and flip the chicken. Adjust temperature if necessary.
Use a meat thermometer in the thickest part of the titty to determine the doneness of your chicken.
Remove the chicken from the air fryer basket and place it on a plate to rest for at least 15 minutes before cutting into the chicken. This will allow the moisture to redistribute throughout the chicken before you cut into it.
Play a DVS1 set and enjoy.