Awhile back, Elizabeth from Flourish in Progress dared us to do something that scared us. I chose the only fear that I could reasonably conquer while still raising babies: my fear of raw chicken. I made progress, but never did the final step of cooking a whole raw bird. And for a little background, I had a terrifying fear of raw poultry. At my lowest of my low, I refused to buy it and eat only precooked chicken strips I a bag. On the rare occasion when I did cook raw chicken, I had some weird rituals about cleaning with bleach and using paper towels, but a lot of that has been alleviated with the new recommendations of not rinsing the chicken before cooking.
Well, that and therapy.
I decided it was time to just do it already. Mostly because we are hosting Thanksgiving. I was excited, yet the whole never having cooked a turkey before was looking over me. And because I'm one to prepare, I decided to practice on some chickens before the big day. I mean, I didn't want to fail and have to make peanut butter and jelly for everyone. I just don't think the wine would have paired well with that, no?
So I finally decided to try Anne Burrell's recipe from Cook like a Rock Star. The chopping of herbs and vegetables was totally in my comfort zone, but the separating of the skin to apply the herb paste and trussing the chicken was totally not in my comfort zone.
Here is a photo essay of how I conquered my fear if raw chicken. All photos are taken by my dad since Harrington decided it would be better to take the kids out of the house incase I freaked out and had a nervous breakdown.
First, I got a kick ass pan. It made me feel really grown up, not unlike the first time I wore red lipstick to a dance in junior high.
Then I chopped up vegetables - easy peasy.
The bag of guts. So gross. But not as gross as the blood that drained out. Blech.
Then, as Anne Burrell said, I lubed up the chicken. I cut my nails so incredibly short that there was no way a colony of salmonella could grow under there.
|My hand is in between the skin and the flesh. I don't even know who I am anymore.|
|I can't believe that I am doing this.|
Trussing was confusing. I watched Anne Burrell's YouTube clip like 5 times because my spatial relations skills rival that of a 3 year old. So I practiced.
On my mom's thumbs.
|Kinda like Cat's Cradle, no?|
|Trussing for real.|
|I did it! Yay!|
Then I put the birds in the oven so I could start my OCD sanitizing rituals. I wash my hands and forearms as if I was scrubbing in for surgery.
|I am scrubbing in for surgery! Doesn't everyone wash their forearms after handling raw poultry?|
Then I wipe the counter clean as many times as it takes my soul to feel clean. This day it was only 3, but I've gone as many as
10 20. I may have changed my shirt in fear that some contaminated paste may have gotten on it. Extreme? Perhaps. But I have a raw
effing chicken in my kitchen so let's just focus on the positive.
When the birds came out delicious and juicy, I felt elated. I was just aiming to not kill anyone with undercooked poultry. But it tasted delicious! I'm thinking this is similar to someone jumping out of Airplane to conquer her fear of heights. I feel invincible! Roasted turkey? Yes! Roast beef? Let's do it! Pork roast? Bring it.
|Ta Da! The final product!|
Have you ever conquered a fear? How did you go about doing it?