Remember those $2 bags of chicken parts I bought yesterday, thinking I got the deal of the century? As it turns out, not so much.
I set the chicken to marinating in balsamic vinegar and lemon zest and juice around 1pm this afternoon, thinking that the longer it had to marinate, the more delicious it would be. Once I finished with that, I continued trimming up the random chicken parts in the bag. It looks like I got two chickens, cut-up, per bag. Inside the bag with the chicken was this slimy liquid that squicked me out, so I spent some time rinsing the chicken off before I trimmed off the ribs from the breasts and the tips from the wings, along with excess skin and fat on the remaining pieces.
Tonight I browned the chicken, as per instructions, and finished it off in the oven. As I was reducing the sauce, I felt as though it wasn’t quite sweet enough, so I tossed in a wee bit of sugar. But then as I poured the sauce off into my gravy boat I realized the sauce was completely broken. All I had left was blackened zest and clarified butter. Yuck. I guess the sugar was just too much for it.
As if being sauce-less wasn’t bad enough, I took one bite of my beautiful chicken, only to gasp at the spiciness of it. Grace complained as well of how spicy it was, and even Kurt made mention of it. Funnily enough, hardy little ME was so hungry (because I never feed her, don’t you know) that she had devoured all her chicken without complaint. Look, I like a zing to my food as much as the next person, but this was spicy, like it had been marinating in habanero juice.
(Firefox’s spell check does not like the word “habanero.” It is giving me “Habakkuk” and “Phanerozoic” as alternative suggestions. I don’t even know what “Phanerozoic” means! Dictionary.com says it’s “the eon comprising the Paleozoic, Mesozoic, and Cenozoic eras.” Well, then. And Habakkuk is a prophet in the Bible. There’s even a book of the Bible named after him. Now you know.)
A while ago, probably before ME was even born, Kurt and I had dinner at this place near Warwick that served Mediterranean food. Having dated an Iranian guy before Kurt, I was desperate to find something approximating Persian food because it is just That Good. If you have a Persian restaurant near you, don’t tell me. I don’t want to know because then I will be envious. Of course the answer is to visit my parents more often, as there is a Persian restaurant on almost every corner in northern Virginia.
But I digress.
So I ordered something at this Mediterranean restaurant, something that looked rather Persian, and was probably Turkish instead. Laying across my entree was a long, green pepper that had been grilled. I took a tentative bite from the end, in case it was a spicy pepper, and followed it up with a huge gulp of the pepper since the first bite had been mild.
I almost died, people. It was So Hot. And by hot, I believe my tongue had been mysteriously severed from my mouth, sent down into the seven layers of hell, thrashed and scored and beaten with hot pokers, fired in the hottest fires imaginable, been coated in habanero juice, set alight with lighter fluid, and then returned to my body. I was crying with the pain of it, and I am no sissy when it comes to spicy. My mouth did not return to normal for several hours after the now-infamous Pepper Incident.
That chicken on sale yesterday? Was almost that hot. My mouth is returned to normal already, only because I took very tiny bites of the chicken in hopes that the first spicy bite was a fluke. Alas, it was not. I have been craving this lemon balsamic chicken all day, and not to be able to eat it because someone at the packing plant decided to pack it in some sort of spicy liquid makes me want to cry in disappointment and scream in frustration.
I can’t think of what else it could be, other than what the chicken was packed in. There is absolutely nothing in the recipe that is remotely spicy (lemon juice, lemon zest, balsamic vinegar, salt, pepper, and sugar), and all of my heat-inducing spices are well put away in their jars. I think Kurt once put chile powder Grace’s oatmeal instead of cinnamon, but in his defense, they’re in identical jars and they sit next to each other on the shelf. That wasn’t possible for tonight’s dinner, since I didn’t even use any spices.
Maybe later I’ll take myself out to Wendy’s. I deserve at least that after such a fiasco for dinner, right?