Running Free

Running Free

Friday, October 24, 2008

Roderick the Fowl Beast

I have heard of the chicken that wouldn’t die but I have not heard of the chicken that wouldn’t cook. Yet, that is precisely what happened to me not too long ago.

I had decided to try and ‘cook’ a meal for my husband and son: roasted chicken, summer squash and small baked red potatoes. I put the chicken in the oven at 4:00 p.m. The instructions on the bag in which said chicken came suggested baking at 350 degrees F for approximately one and a half hours.

Now this wasn’t an especially big chicken, it was not much larger than a hen actually. So, at 5:30 p.m. I took the chicken out of the oven to examine said poultry’s state of consumption-readiness. Using our trusty Sharper Image digital thermometer (with new AAA batteries) I stuck the aforementioned fowl to see where we were in the temperature department.

The instructions on the bag in which the bird came said that the internal temperature should be 180 degrees F. Much to my chagrin, the thermometer read a measly 140 degrees F after 90 minutes. I decided to stick the chicken back in the oven for another thirty minutes. At 5:55 p.m. my husband who has asked to remain nameless on this blog, breezed through the door with a pleasant, “Hello darling!”

Trying not to show my utter lack of control over the evening meal gave him my biggest grin. “You’re home early,” I squawked.

“A little,” he said. He planted a kiss on my cheek and then went to help our son with his homework while I prayed to the cooking goddess to hurry up and cook the bird to which I had now given the name Roderick.

Of course there was no real reason for constructing such a name, but I thought that by anthropomorphosizing (is this even a word? and if it is does it apply to once alive animals soon to be devoured by humans as opposed to the more typical assignment of humanistic characteristics to live animals?)

In any case, Roderick was the name I had given the bird in the oven that I was desperately trying to cook for my husband and son. Lest there be any doubt, this chicken was definitely male- I knew this much from our brief interlude.

Well, two hours passed and I took Roderick out of the oven to have a look see at his internal temperature - 152.7 degrees F. I was stumped. The potatoes were cooked- in fact they were rather shriveled and resembled dried figs more than roasted potatoes. But at least they were cooked! The vegetables were cooked, steamed to perfection.

But said Roderick- he was no where near being cooked- despite being poked and prodded in a host of different places, the thigh, the neck, the breast, the back- I began to feel like a mad scientist about to dissect a victim, except that I was losing my cool and beginning to curse at the beast under my breath.

“Okay,” I announced to the hungry lads playing a game of chess in the family room who were patiently munching on some carrot sticks and a few nuts to quench the thirst of salivation, “Just fifteen more minutes and we should be ready.” By this time our son had his finished his homework. The time was now 6:15 p.m.

Needless to say, fifteen more minutes did nothing to bring Roderick into the realm of ready for consumption. And by now I was about to cry. There was and is a reason I dislike the kitchen and this was just one more chapter to add to my horror stories of cooking.

Roderick was a big blob of gooey, liquid mush and rather unappealing. My dear husband being the kind and understanding man that he is came to my rescue with a “Not to worry honey. I still love you and I applaud you for trying.”

Talk about being made to feel worthless- a wife who can’t cook a chicken- a chicken mind you- not Chateaubriand or king crab - just a chicken....

Did I mention that I detest cooking? Did I mention that I have no appreciation for the supposed art of cooking?

Did I mention that the unsightly Roderick was quickly relocated (with the help of my husband) to a trash bin along with the rest of the proposed evening meal and that we went to Taco Bell?

The moral of the story: don’t pretend you can cook when the chicken won’t cooperate.

Vile beast.

1 comment:

Katherine Bouldin said...

I feel for you. I feel the same way about cooking... reservations, anyone? I oh SO LOVE to bake, though! Sounds like the side dishes cooperated just fine -- next time just buy the chicken already prepared and make your yummy potatoes & squash, etc. Phooey on Roderick! He got his just reward -- straight to the rubbish bin.