Tuesday, December 30, 2014

I Fought The Chicken and I Eventually Won

Working full time means having to cut some corners at dinner while providing a picture-perfect home cooked meal that the family will fawn over while they take seconds and thirds. One of my favorite things to make is crock pot chicken cacciatore, which plates beautifully and pairs nicely with jasmine rice and a side salad. My secret to making this dish is to add the frozen pieces of chicken into the crockpot so that there is no lengthy defrost time. Four to six hours simmering in the crockpot, bathing in tomato sauce is enough for the chicken to cook perfectly.

Yesterday, though, the chicken acted like a big baby fighting me tooth and nail getting into that nice warm bath.  I had two packages of thighs that I had bought fresh two days before and promptly stuffed into the freezer, right next to some leftover containers of I-Can't-Even-Recognize-It-Anymore. I took them out and started my usual, hassle free, cook-blog-worthy prep.  I pulled the plastic wrap off the chicken, and started to pull the styrofoam packaging off the chicken but that crap wouldn't budge. I ran the frozen rectangle of protein and foam under some cool water and finally, I was able to claw chunks of the perimeter of the bedding off.  I still couldn't get a big portion of the container off the bottom of the thighs, which were also still stuck together. Water and chicken juice had become frozen glue.

After ten minutes of scraping, I decided to dunk the chickenberg into a bowl of water in the hopes of everything just coming apart.  That worked for the remainder of the styrofoam, but the chicken maxi-pad was still stuck to the bottom! I tugged at it, and pulled at it, and clawed at it. I was not Martha Stewart anymore. My hair had come out of it's neat ponytail and was flying around my face. I was grunting and growling.  It was becoming a fight to the death.  OK, maybe not that dramatic, but it took me what seemed forever to pull the top plastic layer of the maxi-pad off of that chicken along with some skin (not sure if it was mine or the chicken). Once that was over, I started washing off the spongy layer. I felt good. I felt like I was getting somewhere. OMG, what in hell is that?  My sink stopped draining and started filling up with water.  I fished for the drain net thing and pulled it out!  It was filled with a ton of clear pink goop. It was absolutely horrifying. Here, I'll share the horror with you.

What the hell is that????

Then I remembered, it's kind of like the stuff in a diaper that gets all big and swollen and makes your baby look like he's been riding a motorcycle all day. This chicken wasn't wearing a maxi pad! It was wearing a DIAPER!  Well, I had to get the rest of that diaper off this chicken because, damn it, I had a beautiful family to feed in six hours and a bunch of emails were waiting to be answered!  But, the chicken wasn't done with me yet: the top layer of diaper plastic was stuck underneath folds of frozen chicken.  It took me another ten minutes to pull that bad boy off, during which time, I broke three fingernails.

I was FINALLY able to get the chicken into the crockpot, wipe my hands on my lovely apron and let the crockpot work its magic!



  1. They had a late lunch. They ate the salad and rice with the tomato sauce. Sigh.