Hapless Hens

One of my favorite dinners growing up was chicken and rice, and it’s one I make fairly regularly. Usually, I take the easy route and just use chicken breasts, but my parents usuallly used Cornish hens. A few days ago, I saw Cornish hens on sale so I thought, “Why not?”

They stayed in the freezer until the night before I wanted to cook them. Then, I put them in the fridge to thaw overnight and the next day. Nearly 24 hours later, I pulled them out of the fridge, and… they were not thawed in the least.

That wouldn’t be a problem with chicken breasts, but with Cornish hens, you have to clean out the insides a little before cooking them or they … it’s just kind of gross. So I soak them in water for a little bit, then I pry open the smaller one just a tad. Normally, that would have been enough. I could’ve rinsed it, sprayed in a little butter, and been on my way.

But this was not an empty chicken.

Some sick person had decided to clean out the chicken, put all its insides in a plastic bag, then stick everything back into the chicken. What sadistic pleasure he got from that, I have no idea, but I can’t imagine what use chicken stomachs, livers, hearts, etc. would be to a normal person.

After much running water, prying, tugging, pulling, cursing, crying… everything I could think to do, I finally got the bag out of the smaller chicken. On to the bigger one.

I tackled it with the same tactics: Run some water, pull the bag, twist it a little, tug it, whatever… And the bag tore. So now I have a bloody, slimy, bag of mostly frozen chicken guts that STILL won’t come out of the chicken.

I finally got it out. By cutting it out with an oversized Ginsu knife.

From now on, I’m sticking to the safety of boneless, skinless chicken breasts, and family tradition be hanged.


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