Today marks a monumental step for me as a cook. I am right now, at this very minute, boiling a whole chicken. The reasons that this is such a big deal are threefold: one, every kind of meat I’ve ever cooked before has been of the frozen, processed variety; two, I’m a big wuss and there is a WHOLE DEAD BIRD in my pot; and three, it actually may come out of said pot edible. Yes, that was the whole point, but I have this incredible knack for messing up food. When it’s as simple as boil a chicken in water, if I were to somehow inject my usual dose of folly into the situation, the results could be disastrous.

My grandma happened to call right after I put the chicken into the pot, and had been freshly icked-out by the chicken. She laughed and laughed as I told her that I was supposed to purchase a whole CUT UP fryer, not a whole fryer. Then how I was really, REALLY hoping that this little bird wouldn’t be like a turkey – hollowed out with only the tasty organs left inside. Much to my dismay, it was. I rinsed the chicken in cold water as instructed, and was horrified when what appeared to be this poor bird’s NECK fell out of it’s… um… cavity. (Would it be inappropriate to call it the bird’s ass? Yes? Okay.) I finished rinsing the chicken and put it in a pot of water boiling on the stove. As water filled the uh, cavity, it bubbled and gurgled and pooped out another organ. I fetched a spoon, fished out what appeared to be a tiny liver, and flung it into the garbage disposal as if it were infecting my hand via the spoon. My grandma just laughed as I recounted my tale of horror and anguish, told me I was a big baby, and then congratulated me for not just chucking the whole thing into the garbage and reverting to frozen breasts as my own mother would have done. Which made me feel proud of myself until the chicken was done, and I had to fish it out of the pot again.

First, I tried using a big spoon and a fork. WRONG. Oh so wrong. It just made the bird fall into about a zillion pieces that I now had to fish for. I got a second large spoon and scooped up the main piece of chicken. Then I used a slotted spoon to fish out the smaller pieces, reserving the broth for another step in the recipe I was using. After the chicken cooled to temperatures that didn’t seer my flesh off (yes, I tried to pick it apart right away, I am blond), I pulled the chicken off of the bones and set it aside. Not before I had a fit over the spine and the discovery of yet another organ, which Hubby pointed out was probably the heart. In a word? Eww!

The end of this story is a happy one! I survived and turned out quite a yummy dish, if I do say so myself. And I can attribute this success to my solid-steel stomach and resolve (ha), and The Pioneer Woman, whom I love and adore.

Meal Stats!
Dinner Prepared: Chicken Spaghetti
Time: A loooong time, but only because I am disorganized and crazy and had to take a break to give my two year old a bath, who then pooped in the tub. The longest part was cooking the chicken and picking the meat off of the bones. Assembling the dish and chopping the veggies was simple and went together in a snap. You can get this dish cooked relatively quickly if you follow PW’s directions. I’m no good at following directions. I’m a rebel (again, HA).
Hubby said: Good… not fond of the fact that there are vegetables in this dish. Dislikes crunch and texture and just KNOWING they are there. Otherwise, yummy overall flavor and very filling.
Toddler said: Yummy! Except when she came across a veggie, which she pulled out of her mouth and declared, “Too yucky!”
Overall: I would definitely make this again. Next time I will either sauté the peppers and onions, or use a food processor to mince them away to nothing. Or maybe both, so there will still be delicious flavor, but less complaining from the peanut gallery.

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