Monday, February 20, 2012

Well, that was kind of ... gross

So there were giblets and crap inside the chicken. And I cut into the chicken and that part of it looked fine, so I turned off the oven and let it rest, and then discovered when I took the bird apart that no, it wasn't actually all the way cooked through. Possibly because of the damn giblets. So I cut what looked nice and done off and left a lot of not-fully cooked meat on the carcass.

According to this video, I did everything wrong --- didn't truss the bird, didn't put lemons in the cavity (or take out giblets) or slip my flavorings under the skin.

And it got so smoky/steamy in here! I was running the fan once I took it out and everything and still it is nasty and my eyes hurt. I tried opening the back door but it is all cold and wintery out. Maybe I have to run the fan thingy the whole time the bird is cooking?

I can see why you'd want to invest in a regular roasting pan with rack. And a meat thermometer. Not sure if I cared enough about the result to invest in the tools. But cookie racks are only partially useful, let me tell you. The sides held in all the grease and stuff fine, but because it was very heavy and full and the cookie sheets are not all that reinforced, the pan wanted to torque or twist when I pulled it out of the oven. I was very careful, and lucky, but I almost lost a lot of hot grease all over my kitchen floor, and that would not have been fun to clean up.

Speaking of the grease, what do I do about that? Is it like bacon grease and you should never never put it down the sink because it will clog everything? I poured off a lot of grease and stuffed it in the fridge. Now what? I'm hoping it will solidify and be easy to throw out ---- I want to keep that tupperware bin because it is small enough to fit nicely in my lunch bag, so I will be pissed if I need to throw away the whole thing. The cookie pan is in the dishwasher as we speak and I'm hoping it will be clean or at least mostly clean once it's done. By the way, is it true that, as some of the cooking web sites I've just looked at say, I can never use it for cookies/baking again because it will always be greasy and chickeny? Thanks a lot.

So my lemon-oregano roasted chicken recipe from Fast Easy Fresh involved potatoes tucked all around the base of the bird and those turned out awesome! Soft and also crunchy on the edges, and soaked up the taste of the chicken fats and oils and was just delicious. The chicken? It was meh. You know, I only eat it every few weeks, since I don't cook meat at home, and my parents have been on the reduced-fat-and-salt old-people diets for most of my life, so I'm just so not used to eating the skin or the dark meat. Once you slip the skin off it doesn't really have much taste at all. (The last time I went to the Greek festival I had grilled lemon chicken there and the skin was the best most wonderful part! But this time neither the skin nor the chicken itself had that great lemony flavor.)

And after having to constantly fight my cats and get the whole damn mess cleaned up right away so they didn't get into trouble, I offered them some cooked pieces and they turned up their noses! Why they want to get at the carcass and try to put their paws in the pan full of grease but not eat some nice meat bits in their bowl, I don't know.

Dealing with all that cleanup/carcass chopping and tossing business, I don't know that it was worth it. Oh wait --- it was free. Yeah, still might have not been worth it. Maybe I should have gone for the veggie burgers. We'll see if I like my plan for recreating the leftovers --- I may even try making my own tortillas.


Feminist Avatar said...

I don't put my flavourings under the skin; just rub it into the skin- sometimes it works better than others. I think your tray should be fine- I use the same tray to cook chicken and make brownies and it works ok.

On the grease business, if it doesn't go hard in the fridge (it might not but it sometimes turns to jelly), then you can just pour it down the sink. I would run hot water first then put some detergent down in, then the grease and some more hot water and detergent. Or, get a plastic bag with no holes and put your cold grease in it, tie it up and bin it.

If you feel like you can't pick the chicken off the carcass because it's too raw, you can stick it in a soup pot and boil it. Then scoop out the chicken and pick clean, and then dump the meat back into your soup pot with some stock and veg and hey presto chicken soup.

Dr. Brazen Hussy said...

The first time I ever roasted a chicken it was terrible too. Then I sort of made it a mission to learn to roast a chicken, and then very next time I tried it, I tried Ina Garten's "Perfect Roast Chicken" recipe (google it, you'll find it right away)... and it was just that. Perfect. I've made it many times over the last several years and it's always perfect.

Dr. Koshary said...

This almost always happens the first time someone tries to roast a chicken. Now you know, for starters: take out the giblets! Put 'em in the pan with the veggies, if you like, but don't leave them inside the bird.

Regarding the pan, I think it's (usually) worth the money to get at least a serviceable casserole dish, like you'd use to bake brownies or some such. I roasted chickens in one of those for years, and while it wasn't perfect (the bottom of the bird had to sit in the grease), it got the job done. I have since splurged for a proper roasting pan with a rack, but that is more expensive, and worth it only if you expect to roast large pieces of meat or whole birds with some regularity.

Regarding the cold grease, I would recommend throwing it out rather than pouring it down the drain, detergent or no. If your kitchen pipes are anything like mine, they're made of PVC or something like that. I worry that pouring grease down the pipes will clog them, and pouring something harsh down the drain to clear it out will vaporize them. Just scrape the grease out into the trash can. Use a paper towel to swab out the container of clingy bits of fat, and then wash and dry as usual. It'll be fine.