|Do not let this guy near an open flame.|
To the neophyte cook, is there any object more suspect, more chock-full of dangers unknown, than a thick, raw chicken breast?
An experienced chef doesn't worry about chicken. But to me, on a particular evening last summer, as a neophyte cook fresh off my first rice cooker and utterly lacking in stovetop experience, two thick, raw chicken breasts represented nothing so much as a gamble on mine and my boyfriend's lives. A person less inclined to panic would consult Google. I just slathered the things with butter, cranked up the gas, and tossed 'em on the stove.
Sputter! Hiss! The air was full of molten butter spitlets, and in seconds the outer skins of the damned breasts were charred. I thought: My god, are they cooked already? I waded into the butter-crazy danger zone around the stove, sliced open one of the breasts -- using a knife which immediately entered quarantine in the sink, because you can never be too careful; you don't want to re-use
one of these soiled things, because even a successfully burnt bird could thereby be retainted with dread salmonella -- and, no, the insides were completely raw. And there was a lot
of inside to these breasts. They were more than three inches thick. It was clear that long before the inner breasts were safe to eat, the outsides would be inedible and carbonized.
I did what any reasonable young adult would do in that situation. I called mommy.More »