No, I’m not talking about the ones you buy at the joke shop.
I’m talking about chicken cooked by me. The only way I can get a chicken to come out unrubbery is to roast a whole one in the oven. Any other chicken recipe, be it baked or fried or even boiled, comes out rubbery.
Over the years I’ve asked myself: Is it the chicken? Should I have bought an organic one? Maybe it’s breasts vs. thighs? Or maybe I cooked it too fast? Or too slow?
I’ve tried everything, and my chicken still comes out rubbery.
I finally stopped eating chicken for quite a long time, which was probably a good thing because I’m practically a vegetarian anyway. I stopped eating beef so long ago I can’t remember, and to be perfectly honest, eating animals kind of grosses me out. I can still eat a couple of kinds of fish, or tuna from a can, but I’m even a little squeamish about that.
The thing is, chicken and fish and even red meat still smell good to me when they’re cooking, especially if they’re fried or roasted. It’s a very seductive smell, and I think I’d have to say that I actually like the smell better than the taste, so I guess it’s that smell that makes it hard to quit cold, er, turkey.
Recently I tried cooking some chicken breasts, after my long hiatus of not eating chicken. They came out rubbery. Then it came to me: I cook chicken too long, and the reason I do it is because I basically think it’s gross and it just seems less gross overcooked. I remember being in Paris once and ordering chicken in a restaurant and it was undercooked. When I cut it, pink (read: bloody) juice came oozing out. That was such a turnoff that I knew I would never eat chicken again unless it was really, really WELL-COOKED.
I can’t be 100% sure if that’s why my chicken is rubbery, but it seems logical. I’m also pretty sure that my squeamishness about, as the vegetarians would say, eating “anything that has a face” will eventually lead me to eschew ingesting critters altogether.
And here’s a special offering from Roger Aldridge today!