Friday, February 19, 2010

Things You Don't Do: Explosion Avoided

With my work day, sometimes I can step away from my desk and get dinner started in the early afternoon and others...well, let's say I'm scrambling at 5 or 5:30 trying to get something on the table before BabyBella is hollering that she's starving: now.  Problem is, I rarely have any sorts of heads-up and know when work is going to be crazy so between that and BabyBella's weird food habits (this week she suddenly hates PB&J after asking for it daily for lunch for the past six months...really child?) any sort of pre-planning of meals is out the window. This entire week has been like that--running like the idiomatic chicken at dinnertime.
Side note and warning: cooking is an art form. And like any art, there are proper tools, techniques, and rulesets that should be followed as you exercise your creativity.  Have I mentioned I'm not so good at following rules?
So BabyBella has been asking for roast chicken all week and here I am last night, standing in the middle of my kitchen at 5:45 pm staring dejectedly at my still-mostly-frozen cornish hen.  I had taken it out of the freezer and put it in the fridge overnight, then it sat on the counter all afternoon, but the stupid thing was barely thawed.  I dropped it in a cold water bath to hasten the process and turned to the internet to find a solution (yeah...at this point I should've just ordered a pizza or made something else, but I was on a mission dangit).  Bingo!  I find three recipes (here, here, and here) for deep-friend cornish hen which only takes twelve minutes!   More after the break...

Excited at this point, thinking that in half an hour I'd have dinner on the table I called Jo to tell her the good news (I'd already texted earlier that I was having problems because the darn hen was still frozen) and share with her the recipe.  The conversation went something like this:

Me: "Jo, problem solved--I'm going to deep fry the cornish game hen!"
Jo: "Um...where?  Not in the house, right?"
Me: "Yeah, in the kitchen. Why?"
Jo: "Is it still frozen?" 
Me: "A little. The recipe says to make sure its room temp, but its only a little frozen so that shouldn't matter, right?  It only takes twelve minutes and I really need to get dinner done now."
Jo: "Don't do that. You'll set the house on fire."
Me: "Nah, I have a big pot and its only a cornish game hen, it'll be fine."
Jo: "No, really, don't do that.  You're going to set the house on fire.  Haven't you ever seen videos of people deep frying turkeys?  They explode.  Now just run it under some cold water and chop it in half before you put it in the oven so it'll cook faster."

This went 'round and 'round for a bit until Jo convinced me that it was really, really a VERY bad idea to attempt the deep frying and I just threw it in a 450 degree oven for 40 minutes.  Dinner was late, but the hen was awesome and no fire department assistance was needed. 

This morning though I woke up and asked myself "really...how bad could it have been if I'd done it anyway?"  Well, I found out:
This is from Underwriter Labs:

Thank goodness for good friend like Jo who keep me from setting the house on fire!!!

Oh, and in case you want to try it, for the proper way to deep fry a bird I always ask WWAD? (What Would Alton Do?):

Probably not-so-official but entire episode (in three parts) on YouTube:



Jo:
Here in the south, frying turkeys or fowl is a common occurance. Have I done it yet? Nope, I'm still waiting to pick up an outdoor propane fryer, and planning on laying a concrete pad at the edge of the property line, before I try it.

As I have told Bella, I have set off my smoke alarms in each house I have lived in. I own 3 fire extinguishers for each area that might blow up, kitchen, garage, and basement. I need another one for my grill. Also if you own a home extinguisher, (Home Depot, Lowe's, Walmart, Target, local ACE hardware) replace them every 2 to 3 years. You aren't going to test them or get them recharged, so just replace them. You never know, what may happen.

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