Monday, 4 January 2010
Fun with chicken
I have issues touching raw chicken. I don't like the feel of it, I don't like how it makes my hands feel afterwards no matter how many times I wash them. I don't like the mess it makes on the board or my knives. I really have issues. Unfortunately for me, I happen to like eating chicken. D loves chicken and it's the meat we eat most often. I tend to buy a lot of pre-cut chicken pieces. On the rare occasions that I do have to touch/cut chicken, we keep food grade handling gloves on hand.
When you take my issues into account and add to them the fact D doesn't like dark meat or meat on the bone, we are limited in the kinds of recipes that we can make.
I first handled a whole chicken carcass in June last year after watching George make a roast chicken on Masterchef. We really wanted to try it, so I pushed my distaste aside and learned how to remove the crown from the rest of the chicken. I was reasonably successful, and the roast was awesome, but I haven't tried again.
Over the Christmas holidays I found quite a few recipes I wanted to try that I couldn't work out how to adapt to our oddities, so we bought another whole chicken. There are only two of us, so even a small whole chicken is too large for us so I needed to halve it somehow.
I was watching Bill Granger's Bill's Food on DVD and Bill butterflied a whole chicken. I watched him and thought to myself, I can do that. I was determined. I wasn't even going to use food handling gloves. I got up and fetched the chicken from the fridge and removed it from its rapping and was grossed out. I persevered, washing the carcass under the tap. Calling it a carcass probably isn't helping me overcome my issues.
Anyway, while washing I discovered that the innards were still inside the chicken. Grossed out again. And slightly disturbed that the last chicken we bought was innards free... is it or is it not supposed to have its insides still inside? Still, I removed the innards and carried on. Washing it really REALLY well. After its bath and a patting down with kitchen towel, it didn't feel as gross to touch, so I attacked it with a cleaver. I removed the spine and opened it up (washing the inside again) and then turned it over and flatted it down and then cut it into two halves.
This post is purely because I am so proud of myself for successfully cutting a chicken in half. I know, it's sad, but I am. We won't talk about the number of times I've washed my hands since then or the really weird tight nasty feeling they have. I'll have to keep working on that.