The Celluloid Pantry: Burnt Chicken and Notorious (1946)

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"This chicken took longer than I expected. Hope it isn't done too much…It caught fire once."

Alfred Hitchcock's romantic thriller, Notorious (1946), gets a dry pinch of comic relief when hard-drinking Miami party girl, Alicia Huberman (Ingrid Bergman), steps into the kitchen. On assignment in Rio with government agent, T.R. Devlin (Cary Grant), Alicia seems to have turned over a new leaf.

Not domestically inclined, but intent on a romantic evening in, she offers to make dinner. Devlin's skeptical:

"I thought you didn't like to cook,"
"No, I don't like to cook…but I have a chicken in the icebox, and you're eating it."
"What about all the washing up afterward?"
"We'll eat it with our fingers."

But first Devlin has to check in with the office about a pressing assignment. Alicia asks him to pick up a bottle of wine. When he returns, he is clearly preoccupied. From the kitchen, Alicia keeps talking while she carves the bird:

"We're going to have knives and forks after all. I've decided we're going to eat in style. Marriage must be wonderful with this sort of thing going on every day."

- Nora

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The Celluloid Pantry

Nora Maynard is a freelance writer based in New York City. Her recent work has appeared in Salon, Drunken Boat, and The Millions. She recently completed her ninth marathon and her first novel, Burnt Hill Road. Nora wrote for The Kitchn from 2006 to 2011.

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