"The Funky Chicken" takes on new meaning

Yesterday, I saw the commercial where a girl loses her shit over a spider in the living room.  Her boyfriend sighs, goes over to kill it, and the spider GRABS THE DUDE AND TOTALLY KICKS HIS ASS.

I crossed my arms with indignation and turned to David.  "They really do that, you know.  So no more making fun of me for being freaked out by spiders.  Because now I have documented proof."  Oh, there's no livin' with me now.  I guess #11 on my 12 for 2012 isn't going to get done anytime soon.

In other news, I'd like to write about a chicken I roasted last week, because I can't stop thinking about it.  (Insert joke here about how I had my hand in its cavity and didn't even call the next day.) 

The chicken, before the roasting and before an intestinal apocolypse.

See, I may or may not have made people sick with this chicken.  Here's a sampling from the group:

Me:  Ate chicken, potatoes, celery, two dinner rolls; drank Kool Aid. 
David:  Ate chicken, potatoes, celery with peanut butter, two dinner rolls; drank Coke.
J.:  Ate chicken, potatoes, celery, two dinner rolls; drank Coke.

David and I got sick, and J. did not.  I know, what a jerk.  David actually felt unwell immediately after eating, but I got the pleasure of my stomach rebelling at 3 a.m.  And 6 a.m.... 10 a.m.... 1 p.m.... and finally, 5:30 p.m.  So the time it took for us to feel crappy suggests something bacterial.  But why did J. not get sick? 

Some details on the chicken: 
- I did not thaw it, as I'd just picked it up from the grocery the day before and kept it in the fridge.

- Housing:  In a roasting pan, surrounded by potatoes, celery, garlic cloves, and two cups of chicken bouillon. 

- The dinner rolls were the frozen Sister Schubert's kind, where you put them in at 350 for about ten minutes.  They were a last-minute addition to the meal when I discovered that they heat up at the same oven temp as the chicken.  I put them in a little pan, placed a pat of butter on each roll, and sprinkled the whole thing with garlic salt.  They came out soft, buttery, and garlic salty.  MMMMMMMMMM.

- Adornments:  I squeezed lemon over the bird and then put the quartered lemon in the cavity.  Also in the cavity, I put in a bunch of rosemary, oregano, part of a quartered onion, and a crapload of garlic.  This impromptu stuffing was prepared cold.  I put four tablespoons' butter under the skin.  Over the lemon juice on top, I added a bit of olive oil, oregano, rosemary, minced garlic.  I then shook seasoned salt over the whole pan, potatoes and all.

- Food safety:  I washed my hands after handling raw meat, and I didn't use the same knife for the chicken as I did for the vegetables.  I chopped the vegetables and put them in the pan, then used that knife to open the wrapping for the chicken, and then I was done with that knife.  I worked in restaurants for many, many years; I know about cross contamination.  With my brand new digital meat thermometer, the internal temp of the chicken was 175 degrees, which is ten degrees higher than what the USDA recommends for chicken.

- The senses:  The chicken (and everything else) did not smell "off" when it was raw.  Then when it was cooked, it smelled, tasted, and looked awesome.  It was still juicy, despite me cooking it longer than recommended.  The potatoes were really good, too. 

Any ideas on what could have happened?  I'd like to be able to brag about my chicken again, considering a slightly different version of the recipe is on this site.


  1. I think it was the flu and had nothing to due with your cooking! That's my opinion.

  2. I'm guessing that you and David got exposed to something else earlier It stands to reason that David probably was the carrier since he got the symptoms first... And nearly immediately. Don't blame the food unless you have to.

  3. I'm with the previous poster. To me, your symptoms suggest more of something you both picked up and shared within your household versus food poisoning. As overused as this is, I think it's "Going around." My dad, grandma and uncle all work at the same family business. They became ill with the symptoms you describe. At first, they thought it was caused by a catered lunch they shared. However, they discovered another employee who didn't eat with them also got sick. I vote nasty virus.

    I have a hard time imagining a fresh chicken prepared as you have described made you ill. Thawing in the fridge is actually the recommended way to thaw (if the bird was frozen). When chicken is underdone, it's obvious: the flesh is pink in color and somewhat translucent, the juices are bloody or "pink" instead of clear or yellowish (depending on the amount of seasonings). If you're paranoid, pick up a probe thermometer at Kitchen Art. 170 degrees at the deepest part of the breast.

  4. Hey, Susan.

    I detect no faults in preparation of the food, certainly. I guess there's a ghost of a chance the rolls were contaminated. I just read a piece a couple weeks ago about e Coli/Salmonella in commercial flour. And it's possible that stomach acidity and the acid in the Coke explain why some eaters got sick and others did not. A less acidic stomach and Kool-Aid together might make for a perfect bacteria growth environment.

    I'm pretty much in conspiracy-theory-land on this one, though.

  5. I would not blame the food...I had the exact same stomach bug four days before Christmas, and it really sucked...pretty much the exact same thing you described. I originally attributed it to eating at Wendy's, but concluded against it when the wife did not get sick at all. Now I can't eat a Wendy's for a good long time...it's an annoying habit I have when I barf, I can't eat the last thing I had beforehand for a good long time afterward...and the wife HATES it, lol. It's like a Pavlovian response or something...

    Hope you are feeling better...your cooking looks delicious, when do we get to try it out?


  6. All I know is that that Chicken was all kinds of good.


  7. DW -- When you both come for the Super Bowl party! I hate to think it's been almost a year since I first intended to plan a dinner party with you two. I know, I'm a bad friend...boo at me. :(

    J. -- Thank you sweetheart; I thought it tasted pretty darn good myself, but it was all kinds of confusing when David and I weren't feeling well but you were fine. I am SO freaking glad that you were fine, though. I feel a lot better about us being ill than you, to be honest.