Monday, May 19, 2014

Sordid Tales to Entertain Your Guests, Or How to Cook a Chicken

Want to learn to cook a whole chicken? Here are a handful of simple, yet bleak, steps. Follow along!

1. Cut open the plastic wrapper around your chicken. This will explode pink chicken slime all over your shirt and contaminate your entire counter. 

You will probably hose down the counter with bleach afterwards as if you are a fireman and the counter is on fire.

2. Reach inside the body cavity to pull out the “accessories." If this is your first time handling a whole bird you may vaguely wonder which end of the chicken gets groped. You'll figure it out. 

The chicken accessories are all the interior bits (organs) that they thoughtfully saved for you, which will bring you some small amount of horror. You will pull out the organs one by one, vaguely feeling like you should know which organ you're looking at but 7th Grade was so long ago.

3. Rinse the chicken corpse under cold water. Around this time in the process is when you'll drop the chicken into the sink by accident.  

While you rinse the chicken you also may make it dance, flapping the wings a little. Then you will know for certain that you are broken on the inside. Proceed to the next step.

4. Assess
your chicken to decide which way is "up." If helpful, recall a Norman Rockwell painting.

Who decided that the breast of the chicken should be up and perkily on display? Some man, probably. 

5. Add chicken right-side-up into the slow cooker and shut the lid before the chicken comes back to life. Cook until your soul feels clean, or about 3 hours, whichever comes first.

Prepare yourself for a little disappointment when your chicken doesn't look like it came off the deli rotisserie counter. It's kind of like the cooking version of “photoshop versus real” celebrity comparisons.

6. When the chicken is cooked through, carefully remove the bird onto a cutting board and begin carving the chicken as if you actually know what you're doing.

If you're like me, after you finish carving, you will look at the carcass that remains and think, “I don't know much about biology, but didn't this chicken used to have ribs?” Somehow the ribs always disappear. Then you'll discover that the tail, which previously was kind of cute, has turned into a horrifying greasy sponge from which tiny vertebrae pop out.
Bonus Round
One of the exciting chicken “accessories” is the neck. Yes, they save the neck for you and cram it up inside the chicken. I feel like there is a “jerk chicken” + “head up your butt” joke somewhere here but I can't find it. 

But I digress.

One time while I was pulling out the accessories I didn't notice that the chicken neck went down the drain. Imagine my horror when I later stuck my hand in the drain only to find some bony, fleshy thing caught in the garbage disposal. Good times.