The Chicken, the Whole Chicken and Nothing but the Chicken, so Help Me…

Let me be clear: I have an aversion to chicken.

It dates back to my childhood years of poking my meat with a fork to check for veins or other signs that my entree used to be a live animal.

I wish I was past this.  I wish I didn’t care that there are things in chicken like fat and “gristle” (a word that still makes me shudder).  Mostly I just wish I was a vegetarian.

But then I couldn’t have steak or fish, both things for which I salivate.

So.  The chicken.  I deal with it on a semi-weekly basis because it’s easy, cheap and the husband enjoys it.   I usually just cut it up and cook it with some simmer sauce.  But do I like it?  Unclear.

Recently I’ve been flipping through various cookbooks and the same recipe keeps jumping out at me: whole roasted chicken.  Every single recipe taunts me with how easy it is, how low-maintenance, but they all seem to forget one little tidbit:  I have to TOUCH the chicken to make it.

So, without actually touching it, I managed to get this 4.5lb chicken from its packaging to my chicken-only cutting board.

Ten minutes later, the chicken still looked like this, because I was pacing back and forth in front of it after reading the following in my cookbook: “Remove organs from cavity of chicken.”

Surely there must be some other way.

I finally decided that without rubber gloves I was going to have to resort to using a paper towel.  I wrapped my hand in the paper towel and stuck my hand into the “cavity.”   It only took about two seconds for me to realize that I could not feel a thing, nor could I move my hand to grab at anything.

I was going to have to do this the hard way.

I took off the paper towel, counted to three and dove my hand in so fast I convinced myself I wouldn’t feel a thing.  But I did feel a thing.  His organs.  How do people do this?!

I promptly threw them in the trash and then washed my hands within an inch of their life.  Only I should have kept reading because it wasn’t long before I was rubbing salt and pepper all over the bad bird and then shoving a lemon up his rear.   Good times.

I became a huge fan of rosemary in the process, because I quickly discovered that I can jam it into the chicken without ever touching the slimy flesh.

My jaw really hit the floor when the cruel authors of the cookbook demanded that I lift the skin away from the meat with my finger and put whole garlic cloves underneath. Excuse me?

I put the whole thing in the oven and instantly realized why people love cooking chicken this way: you can walk away for an hour.  This, in cooking, is priceless.  Usually when I cook chicken, it’s stir-fry style and I have to stand there and move the chicken pieces around for twenty minutes.  With the whole chicken method, I’m watching Bethenny Getting Married and having a glass of wine.  Why didn’t I know about this sooner?

The resulting bird was really a thing to behold: all golden brown, perfectly crispy on the outside and tender and juicy on the inside (and by inside, I mean the meat…not the “cavity”).  Mike was astonished that such a thing of beauty would come from the work of my hands, especially since he knows about my aversion to poultry.

So now I am caught in a bind: do I make the chicken more often, considering how easy it is and how much Mike likes it?  Or do I banish forever the image of my hand up the backside of a bird?

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11 Comments

Filed under AwkWORD (Humor)

11 responses to “The Chicken, the Whole Chicken and Nothing but the Chicken, so Help Me…

  1. You CRACK me up, Abby. Love it.

  2. Warren

    Hey Abs, want me to buy you a box of latex gloves? Your delicate skin would never touch the foul skin, fat, gristle and “other” things and you simply peel them off afterward and voila….clean as a whistle.
    Phobias’ are a hoot to read about and we all have them, we just don’t share them. wb

    • abbyreph

      I totally need some rubber gloves. I feel like my cooking experience would reach new levels of achivement if only I could perform these tasks with a shield of rubber between me and the flesh.

      • Erin

        make sure they’re food safe gloves as you don’t want your new favorite dish to taste like latex…… 🙂

      • Allie

        No no! NOT latex! I wore them for a year and a half when I stuck needles in people. You want the cheap plastic ones! Like this: http://imgur.com/MdS0i

        TRUST me cousins! I too *hate* touching chicken/meat and do all that I can to not. (I make and shape meatloaf with spoons) Congrats btw Abby- I’m still avoiding recipes like that… and yet, you can get a whole, cooked & seasoned chicken at the store for $2.99! Want me to FedEx you some?

  3. Siri

    I am so embarrassed that I made chicken for you once! I had no idea.

    But congratulations on facing your fears. You are a brave one.

    • abbyreph

      Are you crazy?! Your chicken was the entire reason Mike asked me to try this TWO YEARS ago, but I thought it was so hard I would never be able to do it. I’m completely serious. Your chicken changed our definition of chicken.

      • Siri

        That’s a relief! I was having visions of you choking it down and me being completely oblivious to your disgust. And thanks for making my cooking life with the the comp. 🙂

  4. Siri

    P.S. You really are brave. I ask Casey to take out the “parts.”

  5. Alyson

    Don’t listen to your father about getting you gloves. He waits until I have surgery and steals them from the hospital room. No wonder health care costs have skyrocketed!!

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