I just finished handling some raw chicken in preparation for dinner. I’ll be taking a Silkwood shower from the elbows down and blowtorching the kitchen if anybody needs me.
I’m sick of grocery stores advertising amazing prices on meat and then you find out you have to buy a metric tonne of it to get the deal. This is how I came to be wrangling a ten pound frozen mass of boneless, skinless chicken breasts this afternoon. The chicken breasts were thawed when my husband purchased them, but one of us (I’m blaming him) just threw the whole bag in the freezer without separating them into usable portions. When I took it out of the freezer, it was an intimidating ice ball of mangled chicken. This bag of frozen chicken has been in the refrigerator for two days, and it is just now showing signs of thawing.
I improvised last night, but we need this chicken for dinner tonight. With about five hours to go until dinner time, I decided I better take that big frozen bitch out of the refrigerator and start making shit happen.
I have to say, if toxic waste were treated with the same caution I exercise for raw chicken, EPA regulators would be sitting around with nothing to do, much like the Maytag repairman. The Toxic Avenger movie would have never been made. (Actually, that would be a tragedy.) Maybe instead we could have Salmonella Avenger – the woeful tale of a hippie housewife who didn’t believe in the powers of bleach and triclosan. I ain’t going down like that.
Preparing a regular-sized package of raw chicken isn’t that big a deal. You open the package over the garbage, wash your hands 37 times in five minutes, and hose down the kitchen with anti-bacterial cleaner when you’re through. Wrestling an icy chicken mass larger than a newborn baby is a different sort of ordeal.
I hate putting food in the kitchen sink because everybody knows your kitchen sink is dirtier than your toilet. That being said, I needed to run some water over this frozen chicken ball to break apart the boobs, and the nearest toilet was too far away. You want to know something about frozen meat? That shit is fucking cold. I alternated between prying the chicken meat pieces apart under the running water and holding my fingers under the faucet to thaw them out as well.
I finally separated three Dolly Parton-esque chicken breasts from the pack and put them in a casserole dish to finish thawing. Then I had to put the remaining frozen mass back into the bag and clothespin it closed since it didn’t have a Ziploc opening. (A ten pound bag of meat that isn’t reclosable? Seriously, Albertson’s, you are officially too ghetto for me. I’m done with you. I don’t care if your chicken breasts are 17 cents per pound.) Of course, by now the outside of that bag is covered in salmonella. I considered wiping it down with bleach, but since I couldn’t completely close the bag I was worried I would get bleach onto the chicken and poison myself in a whole different way. So I put it inside a plastic shopping bag and returned it to the fridge to continue thawing over the next six weeks.
I’m pretty sure my entire kitchen is now a bacteria-laden petri dish. I scrubbed my hands and arms up to the elbows, but I’m worried that tiny micro-particles of chicken death are irreversibly jammed up my fingernails. Also, I’m pretty sure that salmonella from the chicken bag is now molesting everything else inside of my refrigerator.
I’m a little worried about all of this, but I have a pretty surefire solution for situations like these: I’ll just wait until I’ve forgotten about how dirty everything is and then go about my normal business. (Hey, it works with my “dry clean only” clothes that I hang in the back of the closet.) Does anybody want to come over for chicken parmigiana? I’m pretty sure I’ll have enough for all of you.