I’m following certain pieces of advice in making a roasted chicken tonight, much from the mouth/hand of Thomas Keller and his wonderful Ad Hoc at Home cookbook. One thing has me a touch frightened though – right now, I have a raw, uncovered chicken in my fridge.
I remember growing up and seeing videos in Home Ec class in middle school that showed the dangers of raw chicken and eggs. They typically showed the “infected areas” as glowy, fluorescent and crawling with creepy and hairy-looking bacteria. Everywhere the raw chicken went, the room itself turned all Chernobyl (too soon for a Fukushima reference?). I remember waiting for people’s faces to start melting off, weird growths and tumors and hairy sprouts emerging on someone’s back, people generally screaming in terror and running in the streets from the horrors of raw chicken!
Its a wonder I actually ate chicken again after that.
Anyway, per instructions, last night I cleaned the chicken, patted it dry, then placed it on a plate, uncovered, in my fridge. I’ll try to snap a picture at some point, but this particular roaster is a droopy fellow who fills the plate widely and limply.
Flaccid is the word I was looking for …
So I found myself in full anxiety last night every time I opened the fridge. I could just see the whole place filling with noxious chicken gasses and invisible armies of salmonella, intent on destroying my bowels (ergo my toilet/plumbing). Each time the door was cracked was like another ticket for the Double Evacuation Lottery. Would it seep into other things in the fridge? Would it infect my beers? My french onion dip? Could it possibly impregnate my chicken eggs?!?!
My fears are only assuaged by the knowledge that every restaurant I have worked in had walk-in fridges with uncovered meat abound. Further, this is advice published in a cookbook, so there’s gotta be some kind of legal something or other there, right?
Allegedly, the process of drying and sitting uncovered in the fridge will suck some of the moisture from the skin, which in turn will allow it to crisp more thoroughly in the cook. Sounds delicious! Have any of you tried this?
Next step is to remove it from the fridge with enough time to get to room temperature before cooking (a trick everyone should know about for cooking any meat!). At that point, I will need to cover it, as I believe the temptation of an entire raw chicken may prove too much for Kir to handle.
Anyway, raw chicken concerns aside, I hope you’re looking forward to dinner tonight, neighbors!