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Friday, January 11, 2008

Baby I (Really Don't) Like It Raw

Remember when I said I wanted to become more adventurous with my cooking.

Well last night I debuted a new dish that when consumed would definitely count as adventurous. If not reckless.

Chicken Sashimi.

Well, initially my plan was to make a Roast Chicken per this simple but delicious recipe on Epicurious.com. I mean how hard does it sound?

Take the chicken.
Pat it dry.
Sprinkle it liberally with salt.
Roast at 450 degrees for an 50-60 minutes
Let rest for 15 minutes.
Consume.

But you know, cooking hubris will sneak right up on you. The moment you stop thinking you could possibly fuck a recipe up? Is the moment you fuck up a recipe/expose your loved ones to Salmonella. Even something as simple as Take This Chicken and Cook It.

So here is how it went down:

My oven is wretched. I don’t want to hurt it’s feelings since I use it every day and you know how I like to take the feelings of inanimate objects in my home into account. But it is wretched. When it broils anything it smokes. When it cooks anything over 375 degrees it smokes (and it is CLEAN). And most wretched of all it lies about the temperature. I know I should just get one of those oven thermometer things but so far I just have been turning the heat down a smidge so if it says “Cook at 350” I turn the dial to between 350 and 325. And that usually works out fine as long as I remember to do so. Which I usually do.

So I turned the oven on for between 450 and 425. Trussed and salted my bird and threw it into the oven. And set the timer for 50 minutes per the instructions and waited.

After 50 minutes I took it out, decided it didn’t look “roasted” enough and stuck it back in for the final ten minutes.

When I removed it, I suck a thermometer in it and since it registered at about 170 degrees I pronounced the chicken done and let it “Sit” for fifteen minutes before I started carving.

The first few slices looked great: crisp and salty skin. Nice white meat.

Then a few more cuts in I saw a whole lot of pink. I couldn’t tell if it was the lighting in the kitchen so I sampled a piece. Yup. RAW!

I gagged, turned the bird over and lo! The bottom of the bird was barely cooked at all.

How can this be?

I know I probably could have salvaged what was left, and threw it back in the oven but it had been sitting out for fifteen minutes and honestly when you sample a piece of your “Roast Chicken” and it’s half raw you really lose your appetite for any kind of chicken at all.

So a night that should have ended with a delicious roast chicken ended with turkey sandwiches.

Did I mention that I also somehow managed to burn PEAS? In the microwave!?

Let’s just pretend last night never happened, OK? But that thermometer is definitely getting thrown out. Trying to give me salmonella...who does it think it is?

9 comments:

Nicky said...

Can't you call your landlord and complain about the oven? That's one of the few benefits about renting - your appliances aren't your problem.

Sarah said...

Well its only like 3 or 4 years old and I dont' think there is anything wrong with it other than the temperature being a little off. The smoking thing is pretty common, from what I understand, when you cook at high heats for an extended period of time. However if my landlord would replace it with a Stainless Steel Wolf Built In Double Wall Oven then maybe I SHOULD ask. :-P One can dream!

Nicky said...

My oven doesn't smoke when it broils! That would seriously worry me. I use my oven alot, so the temp thing would be enough to drive me nuts. I would totally ask the landlord to take a look at it. Worse case scenario they replace some of the wires (or, if you're lucky...the entire oven!) Hey - a girl can dream. I like your double wall oven fantasy. (o;

Ladybug's Picnic said...

*dreams about Stainless Steel Wolf Built In Double Wall Ovens*

I have a pretty standard issue kenmore oven that occasionally smokes when I cook over 425. It's only about 4 years old - and I think you're right, it's a fairly common issue.

Probably not with the Wolfs, though :)

Cindy said...

Eeeuuuwww! Whenever I see pink chicken meat I always feel like I'm looking at roasted human and I get so grossed out I can't touch any poultry for a while.

I've given up on thermometers for the most part. I just roast my chicken until the leg bone wriggles loosely and the juices run clear when you slip a knife in that joint.

Can't help you on those peas though! :)

Martini said...

You sure sound like a Useless Man in disguise! I can make 2 things: toast and ice cubes. And I always burn the ice.

Adrienne said...

Well, at least the turkey was cooked? ; )

Love your blog, BTW, and all your fabulous recipes!

Karen said...

It's not you, it's not your oven...It's the CHICKEN. I decided to debut a new chicken recipe tonight at my house. I roasted for the maximum length of time. I checked the temperature and all was well. The bird was RAW.

I am completely convinced that Perdue is out to get us all now.

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