Friday, April 4, 2014

How NOT to roast a whole chicken in the oven

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?

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9 comments:

  1. I've broken a glass pan in a very similar way. I think I was doing chicken too :/ If you have a crockpot - USE IT!!! :D (http://www.fantasticalsharing.com/2011/08/fauxtisserie-chicken.html) I don't do chickens in the oven anymore LOL

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  2. This made me laugh out loud because it's TOTALLY something I would do! I've never even thought about a cold liquid possibly shattering hot glass. I guess I'm glad this happened for blog documentation because otherwise it would have happened to me as well.

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  3. Holy crap! Well I'm so glad that you didn't injure yourself in the process of cooking OR cleaning up the glass. I guess all that smoke doesn't seem too bad anymore. ;)

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  4. Right? And I had almost used my metal 13x9 inch pan instead, but at the last minute I thought glass might be easier to clean up. Should have gone with the metal one!

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  5. Well I'm glad someone can learn from my stupidity! Hahaha.

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  6. I do use a crock pot sometimes for doing whole chickens, but I was making these oven roasted potatoes & veggies to go with it and it's not as good if you don't brown it in the oven. I usually just add the veggies to the chicken dish at the end...I should have totally done the crock pot method & roasted the veggies by themselves or something!

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  7. Saw that one coming! Lol glad you didn't get any glass in you and that you do have a super clean oven now. My husband once was roasting 2 beer can chickens (many many years ago) and he had them standing up in my lasagna pan. He placed the Pyrex right on the grill and closed the lid of the BBQ. 20 mins later it exploded inside our BBQ! I had no idea he had even set it in there like that. Tons of glass though, tons.

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  8. Don't feel bad, that totally sounds like something I would do too! Maybe it's pregnancy brain, but reading your post, I was like, "yeah, just add more broth!" Glad no one was hurt! On the other hand, any advice on cleaning your oven? I totally need to clean mine because my Totino's pregnancy pizza cravings have left little burnt pieces of pizza in my oven each time I eat one (which is nearly every day). I don't want to use any crazy chemicals, but I also don't want to wear myself out! Any thoughts (aside from using a headlamp)?

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  9. I'm so glad that you didn't get hurt! The other day I was washing dishes and a steak knife slipped out of my hand. On instinct I tried to catch it but pulled my hand back before I was in danger of getting cut.

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