Disclaimer: I do something really stupid in this blog post. Call it pregnancy brain, lack of sleep, or just a momentary lapse in thinking, but I assure you I am not really as dumb as I make myself out to be in this post...I promise.
OK, I have to tell you about a huge cooking mishap I had earlier this week regarding roasting a whole chicken in the oven. Oven roasted chicken is something I make a lot- probably two to three times per month. My family loves it and whole chicken is pretty inexpensive for the amount of meat you get from it. Sometimes I make it with stuffing and mashed potatoes and my kids call it our "mini" Thanksgiving dinner.
The only issue I have with oven roasted chicken is that it fills the house up with smoke. The oven is on at a high temperature for over an hour and the fat drippings from the chicken onto the pan create a lot of smoke. No matter how many windows I open it always gets smoky, and this particular day was rainy and windy, so a house full of open windows wasn't a great idea. I wanted that roasted chicken though.
So, what do I do? Turn to Pinterest, naturally.
Pinterest tells me to add a half a cup of chicken broth or water to the bottom of my pan to prevent it from smoking, and to help add flavor to the gravy I may want to make from the drippings. Fabulous. So I add the chicken broth to the pan. 45 minutes into the roasting process and the house is smoke free. Thank you Pinterest, you've saved the day once again!
Then I check on the chicken. I need to see how close to being done it is so that I can start preparing and timing the side dishes. I notice that the bottom of the pan is pretty much dry now, and the drippings are just starting to smoke a little. OK, I think Pinterest said something about how the amount of liquid you use may vary, because some will evaporate depending on how long and how high you are cooking. So I think "I need to add more chicken broth." I grabbed my chicken bullion, some water, and my measuring cup and mix up another half cup or so, not thinking anything was wrong with this. (Hint: warning bells should be going off in your head right now, because I'm using a glass dish to hold my chicken!)
Again, not thinking, I open the oven, pull out the rack, and pour the chicken broth into the dish. And it exploded. I mean, the thing seriously made the loudest sound ever and shattered all over the place. I don't know how I didn't lose an eyeball or get a shard of glass impaled into my protruding, pregnant belly.
Of course, I immediately knew what I did wrong. You're not supposed to just pour water (especially cold water) into a hot glass dish. Obviously, the glass is going to crack and break. And I just dumped the whole thing in there, which caused it to instantly shatter completely, sending glass chunks flying everywhere and left a dripping, greasy mess in the bottom of my oven.
Let me tell you, cleaning out this bad boy was not fun. I was barefoot and had to first clean up the glass that was all over the kitchen floor. Then I had to pick up all of the glass chunks out of the oven. We're talking a 13x9 inch pan here, so there was a lot of glass. I couldn't just vacuum up the rest because the bottom of the oven was full of water and chicken fat. Gross. I picked up as much glass as I could, tossed the chicken in the garbage (because I couldn't turn the oven back on), and called it a night. I do believe we had Wendy's that night for dinner instead, and my husband barbecued for the next 3 nights (score!) He also laughed at me for the next 3 nights because he couldn't believe what I did.
When it finally came time to clean the oven for real, it sucked. I put it off for as long as I could, but eventually, I needed to use the oven again. There were still tiny pieces of glass stuck in all of the gunk in the bottom of it, so I had to be extra careful not to cut myself. I guess the silver lining is that I have a really, really clean oven now.
The job totally called for a head lamp.
So there you have it: how NOT to roast a whole chicken in the oven.
A great lesson in slowing down, thinking clearly, & using common sense in the kitchen.
What's the dumbest cooking mistake you've made?