Combining all of your suggestions, I decided on Chicken Fettuccine Alfredo. After a search of the Internet for a recipe and quick stop by the local grocery store, I was armed and ready to throw all this stuff together into an explosion of food.
As always, my humongous flashlight sat patiently in the corner, waiting for his day to shine. (Admit it, you laughed.) Because I would be cutting up raw chicken breasts, which I loathe touching, I selected The Knife. Not the one which I stabbed myself with, the ninja knife. The one that is so sharp that it can cut through schools. (Name that movie.)
Before shopping, I had really only looked at the ingredient list so I would know what to buy. I hadn’t actually READ the instructions. How hard could it be, right? Make sauce. Make noodles. Fry chicken. Throw it all in a bowl. Easy.
First, I needed to cut the chicken into “bite-size chunks.” Now, I’ve grilled chicken before, and was aware that there would be some shrinkage of the meat, so I decided to err on the generous definition of bite-sized. It didn’t say human bites, and I’m pretty sure a shark could eat all three breasts in one go. Ok, the truth of the matter was that I was stalling. I HATE raw chicken, and I wanted to get through this with as little touching of the stuff as possible.
Funny enough, my disgust has nothing to do with the fact that it’s slimy, although that rib meat and the fat strands that look like gobs of snot are pretty disgusting. My disgust comes from the fact that I am touching, with my bare hands, raw poultry. Raw poultry kills people. It’s been instilled in my brain since before birth. You don’t leave raw poultry out. You don’t touch raw poultry. You’ll get syphilis or something. And once you’ve touched it, you simply aren’t allowed to touch anything else without washing your hands first.
I admit it. I’m a little bit OCD. I just don’t want salmonella hands. I also won’t allow any dish or utensil that has touched the uncooked poultry to touch any other food until it’s been washed thoroughly. Anyways. I cut the chicken with The Ninja Knife. And I had to restrain myself, lest I cut through the cutting board and countertop and foundation… basically cutting a hole all the way to Japan. That would be bad, because then they would see that a Caucasian was in possession of a Ninja Knife, and they would probably take it away from me. I put all of the chicken bits in a bowl, and promptly washed the knife… and the cutting board… and my hands… twice.
Looking at my oven, which is jammed right up against the wall and makes for awkward angles of pot handles, I suddenly realized that I would, for the first time in my entire life, have more than one burner turned on simultaneously. Boldly skipping past the logical step of two burning at once, I leaped ahead to three. Ladies and Gentlemen… (HA! As if men read this shit.) I give you Stuck’s first real attempt at multitasking!
There were a few minor problems with this arrangement. First, the instructions for the sauce said to stir CONSTANTLY. That means, last time I checked, without stopping. If I dedicate one hand to stirring, then I only have one hand free to tend the other two events… and then how the hell am I supposed to drink my bear?
I managed, though, and set about putting raw things into hot containers. I accidently put too much cream in the saucepan, so I compensated by putting more parmesan cheese. It was the logical thing to do. I realized that the noodles were going to fill the entire pot once they swelled, which meant that I would have to keep blowing on it. I dumped the bowl of raw chicken into the wok, and immediately realized that the wok was going to be too small. Because of it’s bowl-shape, it was pretty much just a bowl full of chicken chunks. So, carefully, I dumped the contents of the wok (oil, salt, pepper, garlic powder, and two pounds of chicken chunks) into my big-ass skillet. In all honesty, I thought this would be the point where something tragic happened and maimed me. Boiling oil used to kill knights, you know? But I was lucky. So immediately washed out the bowl that held the raw chicken chunks and then the wok.
It was a little bit of a juggling act, having to stir the sauce, drink the beer, blow on the noodles, get another beer, stir the chicken to make those disgusting pink sides go face-down, drink the beer, wash my hands again in case there might be any residual raw chicken bacteria… but I managed pretty well, I think. Then the moment of truth came.
Pour sauce over chicken.
What? But there’s oil in that big-ass skillet. And that chicken was very recently raw. I don’t want to ruin my brand-new sauce!
To me, instructions should be very specifc, and written so that no steps are assumed. Whether it assumed I would know to drain the oil, or whether the oil was supposed to stay there, I’ll never know. But I wasn’t about to pour my sauce, which simmered gently and never once came to a boil or threatened to burn, over some bastard oil that had just put it’s greasy fingers all over raw chicken. Fuck that.
So I pulled each chicken chunk out, cutting through it completely to make sure there was no trace of pink, and then dropped it in my sauce. I’m pretty sure this clinches the whole OCD suspicion, but I did it with EVERY chunk. Do you know how many chunks of chicken two pounds worth of breasts can produce? It was a lot. I finished a fresh beer in the time it took.
The noodles had been done, and I had taken them and drained them sometime during my individual chicken-chunk inspection process. So it was time to throw it all together on a plate, and see what happened.
I kind of wish I had black plates. The presentation really isn’t saying much to me. Maybe I’ll add some parsley next time… Anyway, I dished out a more-than-ample serving, and looked at the noodles and sauce remaining. This is why I don’t like cooking for one. I had about three more servings of this stuff. So I did what any young man in my situation would do. (No, I didn’t pour the rest on my plate, though the thought did occur to me.) I got out the tupperware:
Now it was time to turn my attention to the plate of food on my table, and discover whether I was about to throw away the leftovers I’d just put up. After a brief glance to make sure than none of the chicken had reverted to pink, I took a bite. And then I took a picture, to prove yet again that I have the biggest head on the planet and absolutely no neck.
In all modesty, I’ve never had chicken alfredo that tasted this good in any restaurant. I’m already looking forward to eating the leftovers.