WARNING: If you are a really sensitive vegan or vegetarian, you might want to come back tomorrow. If you are really squeamish in general about raw chicken, you might also want to come back tomorrow. If, however, you enjoy a tale of woe and poultry-related misfortune, you’ve come to the right place.
Settle in, kittens. I've only just recovered enough from the experiences of last night to tell this tale. I was attacked from beyond the grave.
Carter and I invited a couple (Jason and Laura) over for dinner last night to watch the Giants/Redskins game. (Carter, for those of you who don’t know, is a diehard Redskins fan.) I was making my somewhat famous Roast Chicken with a Lemon White Wine Sauce. Yum, right?
It all started so well. I had gone into work early and gotten off early. My plan was to prep the birds and get them into the oven, since they take nearly 2 hours when all is said and done. While they were happily roasting away, I was going to do P90X Yoga because I’m tired of feeling…. oh, let’s say “lumpy” and “not-at-all-bendy-in-the-least” and be exercised and showered by the time the chickens were done and Carter was home with the wine, leaving me plenty of time to quickly saute the Lemon Parmesan Green Beans before our guests arrived.
Perhaps my use of “happily roast” in an earlier Gchat with Carter is what did me in.
Maybe it was my optimism for working out for the first time in 2 months.
Or, possibly, it was my hubris at thinking myself so “Martha-F*cking-Stewart-y” that I could have it all. (And yes, that is the technical term.)
Either way, the birds had a different idea.
You know that scene in Scarface with the chainsaw and the shower?
Ok, so it wasn't quite that bad. (If you haven’t seen that movie, do yourself a favor and continue on that happy trajectory. And do NOT try to YouTube that segment. I promise you’ll regret it.)
You know that scene in The Exorcist when the kid’s head spins around and she spits pea soup everywhere?
It was kind of like that. Only in my case, the kid=decapitated and raw roasting chicken and pea soup=chicken schmutz. (Schmutz is putting it REALLY nicely.)
I came home from work early, all ready to start dinner. I pulled the double shrink-wrapped chickens from the bottom drawer and laid them on my tiny, tiny countertop. I sliced the onions and lemons, preheated the oven, and prepared my work-space. Out of the knife block, I took my tiny paring knife and moved to slice open the shrink-wrap around the chicken (over the sink like you’re supposed to!), in the exact same way that I have done probably 100 times. It wasn't even a forceful cut. Rather, I made a small, gentle incision in the plastic wrap and slowly moved the knife downward to make a slit large enough that I could remove the chicken.
Which is where it all went horribly wrong.
I could tell you, but in my MFA in Writing they always told us to SHOW, not TELL.
Ok. So I’m not sure that’s what they had in mind.
It was everywhere. “Farm Fresh” apparently really means in chicken speak, “I will spray my blood and Salmonella all over everything that you love!!!”
It was in my hair, kittens. Let me say this again, for those of you who skim: I got chicken blood IN MY HAIR. My shirt looked like Leatherface’s apron from Texas Chainsaw Massacre and, as you can see in the above diagram, there was chicken “schmutz” everywhere. After I was able to cure my eyes of food poisoning and look around, all I could say was “mother f*cker.” Over and over again. Because that is what you call an exploding “Farm-Fresh” chicken. That, and only that, is what you call one of those little bastards.
I wanted to Lysol my entire life but I couldn’t. Because I was holding ½ of dinner, a vengeful she-beast that needed to be prepared. I reached down into the cavity to remove the giblet bag. There was no giblet bag. But it did feel awfully full in there. I referred to the other chicken package. There were most certainly giblets included, giblets that I wanted removed because the taste of offal was not what I wanted. I turned the chicken cavity towards the light and saw a liver.
And a heart.
And what looked like lungs.
And let me tell you – they were not in a bag.
So, I did what any woman of strong German heritage would do. I plunged into the beast up to my elbow and removed its innards with my bare hands.
In my mind.
What really happened was more of me squealing “Ew Ew Ew Ew Ew” and scraping all of the offal out with the closest utensil I could grab, which was a measuring spoon, which did me next to no good at all and I basically used my hand as much as the tablespoon to remove the giblets. It was all very Lord of the Rings.
The bird then needed to be rinsed on the inside in case there were any “bits” of organs left. And I assumed that from this point on, it would be like any other docile chicken and that when the water ran into the cavity, that it would run out the bottom where the head once was.
And that’s where next it went horribly wrong.
Maybe I should have noticed the fact that, unlike other chickens I'd roasted in my lifetime, this one still had a neck. But I was looking behind me, surveying the damage and calculating whether or not I had enough Lysol, or, for that matter, if there was enough Lysol in the world, to clean my kitchen, when all of a sudden, Old Faithful erupted forth from the chicken, spraying water, and chicken juice, and organ bits all over my face. So now, in case you’ve been skimming, I had chicken blood AND tiny bits of organ meat in my hair. IN MY HAIR!
This meant war. I drained the chicken and patted it completely dry with paper towels so that the skin would crisp in the oven. Because now, that chicken was going to be the best damned chicken in the world and I was gonna eat the whole damned thing by myself if no one would help me just to spite it, Intermittent Executive Veganism be damned!
I laid it in my prepared roasting pan, stuffed it with garlic and lemon, tied the legs off, and said, “Take that, you bitchy chicken!” (Because I am, and have always been, very good with insults.) "Now, to tackle your sister!”
Perhaps it was that I was so cavalier in forgetting that Chicken #2 had witnessed the stuffing and hog-tying of Chicken #1.
Maybe I was suffering from the desensitization to trauma in a “war zone” and that I was focusing more on the fact that I “survived” than the events that I had just “endured.”
Or, possibly, it was my hubris at being thinking myself so “Martha-F*cking-Stewart-y” that I could have it all. (And yes, again, that is the technical term.)
Either way, the birds, again, had a different idea.
I’ll spare you the extra reading. Suffice it to say that Chicken #2 exploded with even MORE force than Chicken #1 and had even MORE giblets to remove. The only difference was that this time I watched while rinsing it, now that I knew what their playbook was all about.
Once they were in the oven, it took me an entire hour to clean the kitchen. I had to Clorox the walls, the floor, the sink, the fridge, the stove, every inch of counter-space we have (Yep, all 14), AND re-wash all of the dishes in the drying rack because they were covered too and we don’t have a dishwasher. (Other than Carter. Kidding!) Buh-bye, yoga!
It ended up being fine. The chickens roasted beautifully, and I told them to "Suck It" as I pulled them out of the oven. The white wine sauce made with pan drippings and lemon was delicious and the green beans also turned out well. (I was thanking all of my stars that I had waited to pull them out until after the chicken was in the oven. Which is good because no one like Green Beans covered with a nice Lemon Parmesan topping where the secret ingredient is e coli.) So yea, it all turned out fine.
Except for the part where our guests showed up and I was in my disgusting “I have the flu” shorts and an old t-shirt with chicken blood in my hair because I didn't have time to shower. Or change. Which means that my head has food poisoning now and my hair will probably all fall out and die. Wait. Scratch that; reverse it.
Oh, and then there was the part where I then relayed to Laura, in graphic detail, the entire incident while I brandished a carving knife and took a whole glass of wine to my face. And by “to my face” I mean, “poured it straight down my throat.”
To their credit, they ate the chicken and had seconds and said it was delicious. Although I don’t know if this was because they thought it was actually good and worth eating more of or if they saw in me a crazy lady near the end of her rope with chicken blood in her hair rocking back and forth mumbling, “Forever unclean. Forever unclean. Forever unclean.”
But hey, tomato tomato, right?
Can it be Friday, please, y'all?
Note: I really apologize for this post. It's awful. But I know for a fact that fully half of you watch The Walking Dead and nothing that happened in the Nest last night is nearly as gross as that shit. Which I refuse to watch. Because I'm afraid of the dark. And zombies. And zombies in the dark. And zombies chasing me in the dark. And hipsters who bring typewriters to the park.This is starting to sound a little Law & Order: CI for me, which terrifies me. So I'm just gonna go now. Yea. ......