Last night, I tackled #96 on my life list: roast a whole chicken.
This may not sound like much to most people, but I am a bit squeamish about raw meat (ok, more than "a bit"), so tackling a whole bird was daunting to me.
Translation: I was gonna have to touch the thing. Bleh.
I settled on a recipe that involved roasting a 5-6 pound bird atop a bed of veggies. It looked simple enough: rinse bird, stuff bird, season bird, bake bird. How bad could that be?
Things even started out pretty well. I covered the bottom of a casserole with veggies and got the bird out of the package with little trouble.
Then it came time to stuff the bird. I looked in expecting to find a wide open cavity and instead found ... parts. Giblets, I think they're called. I recognized a heart and a liver before I put it down in horror.
Once I calmed down, I decided to upend the bird over a plastic sack and dump whatever the heck was in there out. I flipped the bird and gave it a good shake.
Another shake. Still nothing.
Apparently the opening wasn't large enough, and the giblets were wedged in there. I knew what I had to do. The only way the awfulness was leaving was if I stuck my hand in and pulled it out myself.
I took a breath, closed my eyes, and reached in quickly, pulling out a handful of who knows what. I threw it in the sack before my mind could figure out exactly what I was touching.
After a couple handfuls, the bird was clear.
And then I saw it: the neck.
I've bought rotisserie chickens before, and I know that the end result should definitely not have this bit of bone and spine flopping off one end. The question was how to remove it. I don't own a cleaver, so I hacked and pulled and twisted (and gagged) until the vile thing was gone.
The rest of the process was fairly smooth. Unless you count the lemon I stuffed in falling out the back end at one point. Compared to what I had been through, that was nothing.
When I told Kurt and my dad about the horror, they were surprised. They thought giblets were usually in some sort of bag, and neither ever remembered seeing a raw chicken with a neck still attached.
Apparently, I got a rustic style bird where they chopped off the head and feet and called it good. At least they plucked the thing.
Next time, I'll see if they have a city girl version.
** Yes, the bird is upside down. No, I didn't mean to cook it that way.