What the #@$% is wrong with this chicken?!
2005-11-07 - 3:54 p.m.

It appears that Theo won't stay a hometown boy after all. Silly me for passing on that rumor. But it seemed SO likely...

Yesterday, at the conclusion of a very good but very busy weekend, I wandered into the kitchen to start dinner. It was almost 5:00 and I had a whole chicken waiting for me in the refrigerator and a roasted lemon thyme chicken recipe in hand.

The recipe was very easy--rub olive oil over the whole chicken surface, cover that with a mix of lemon zest, thyme, salt, and pepper, shove a lemon into the poor bird, and roast for an hour at 375. Some baked potatoes and baked carnival squash (both courtesy of the CSA) rounded out my meal prep. 15 minutes later, the food was all in the oven and I was back to my newest obsession, a needle felted scarf project I purchased at a craft fair on Saturday, photos of which will follow soon.

Around 6:15, I had just finished burning my fingers on the squash while attempting to scoop it into a bowl and the rest of the family was at the dinner table, waiting for the food with varying degrees of patience.

I put down the squash, removed the foil tent from the top of the chicken, grabbed the knife and got ready to carve up the meat.

With just one slice on the platter, I called my mom over to look at the meat.

"What's the problem?"

"Look at this!" The meat seemed way too pink in places. "I don't get it--the juices ran clear and the temperature was in the right place. Why the pink?"

"Could it be the herbs you used?"

"Lemon zest and thyme?"

"Oh. I guess not."

She stood and watched as I butchered the poor chicken. I was having a huge amount of trouble slicing the thing up. Like Freddy Kreuger was in charge of the carving station. "I can't do this," I announced, dropping the knife onto the plate. "I'm making a giant mess, and the meat doesn't seem to be where I expect it to be, and it's a weird color anyway and I might kill us if we eat it."

My mom stepped in, surveyed the situation, and started to laugh. "Jennifer, you cooked the chicken upside down."

Apparently, that can make the meat a bit pink.

My family laughed long and hard.

Some day, I might even share the humor of the moment. Last night was not that time, though.

I did, however, receive a compliment from one of my coworkers (once she stopped laughing at me). She said, "You have an amazing sense of decorum, Jennifer. 'The meat doesn't seem to be where I expect it to be' indeed. I would have said, 'What the fuck is wrong with this chicken?!' !"

Yep. Never a dull moment around here, I tell you.


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