Writing Assignment: Write About Chicken (Or Chickpeas)

by Randy Murray on December 6, 2013

This week I’ve been rather obsessively writing about chicken. I’m continually amazed at how many meals can come from one little bird brought home from the supermarket in a bag.

There are a world of possibilities from many simple foods like rotisserie chicken. You just need a bit of imagination and planning. You don’t necessarily have to be a cook. Seemingly simple, basic things often have deeper qualities and multiple uses. It is an excellent lesson for writers to explore simple things in preparation for bigger, more complex items.

For today’s assignment, select a simple, basic food and write in detail about its qualities. Write about chicken, like I have, or chickpeas, or potatoes, or beef jerky—it’s your choice.

Once you’ve selected something, ask yourself, “How can I take this single item and make it the basis for three or four consecutive meals?” What flavors are you looking to bring out? What qualities make for an ordinary meal or make it something special.

The key to this assignment is to pick, perhaps at random, a single ingredient food item and then to list as many of its qualities as you can identify. Once you have your list you can begin to explore how to use these qualities as the building blocks for potential meals. It doesn’t matter if you think that you can cook or not. You’re a writer. Look first at the item, examine the essential details and qualities of this item, and then think through, in writing, how those details and qualities can be used in different ways.

As a bonus for writing cooks, write a full week’s menu based upon your selected food item.


Writing Assignment: Write About Chicken (Or Chickpeas) by Randy Murray, unless otherwise expressly stated, is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License.

Leave a Comment

Previous post: