It's no secret that I love to watch TV.
Wait, no. I take that back . . . it comes as a surprise to people who don't know me all that well, because it's a bit of a guilty pleasure that I don't advertise that much. But if you really start to engage me in conversation, it's bound to come up and my secret is out. Whether it be something I saw on the news or a quote from HIMYM, the truth always comes out. Please don't judge. Are you judging me? If so, just keep reading, because this post has very little to do with television.
I have a trusty DVR to keep me entertained as I work, cook . . . or breastfeed. One of my favorite things about the first few months of my baby's life is the excuse to lock myself in a room with just her and watch whatever I'd like. Because of my love/hate relationship with breastfeeding, this is sometimes my motivation to keep it up. It's well documented that I think the best time of year to have a baby is right before network sweeps.
Obviously, with each subsequent child that gets more difficult. Right now, I'm often nursing while quizzing Jack on spelling words, pondering Ben's "what if" scenarios and/or reading "Are You My Mother" to Claire for the 55,000th time. But during those late night nursing sessions, or when Kyle's home and I get that chance to sneak away and watch something, I savor every moment.
One show I added to the lineup this time around is the Pioneer Woman's cooking show on Food Network. I love her blog, so I was sure I'd love her show. I can bake pretty well, but I'm not much of a chef. Watching her in the kitchen, though, makes me think that I can do it, too. You just throw a little of this and a little of that into the pot, give it a stir, and viola! A culinary masterpiece! It's truly mesmerizing.
On last week's show, she made chicken and noodles. As I watched her cook and create, I was inspired. It seemed so simple. In a moment of pure stupidity, I added it to my menu as tonight's dinner. Why would anyone with a newborn add to her menu a meal that requires more than heating and serving? I really don't remember how it happened. I'll just blame Hattie.
The recipe calls for a whole chicken already cut up. They didn't have that at our local grocery stores. I probably could have looked harder and found one, but when your baby is on a feeding schedule, and your grocery shopping trips have a very specific time limit, you take what you can get.
I asked the guy at the store if it was pretty easy to cut them up. He looked me up and down and replied, "For me? Yeah."
Um, excuse me? Challenge accepted, buddy.
I asked google for information on "how to cut up a whole chicken" and found this tutorial from the New York Times Food section that made it look so simple. Just cut here, and pop there . . . it just kind of came apart for the lady in the video. Oddly enough, it didn't do that for me. The fat lines are not, in fact, a "grid for where to cut", and the joints do not just "appear" when I pop bones certain directions. That tutorial is full of lies and I'm vowing here and now to never subscribe to the NY Times.
It was a disaster. At one point, I considered chucking the whole thing and making something else, but this chicken gave its life for our sustenance and it would be totally ungrateful to just waste it (see that right there . . . that's from watching too much Naked and Afraid). I got the legs off (kind of) and then just decided to throw the whole thing in the pot, NOT cut up, to see what happened.
I let the whole thing boil, and it seemed to be working out okay. When it came time to take it out of the pot and shred the meat, I grabbed a slotted spoon that I THOUGHT would be strong enough to support the chicken, but as I was lifting it out of the pot . . . SPLASH. That sucker fell right back into the broth, leaving my whole kitchen, and me, covered in little bits of chicken. And chicken fat Oh, and not to mention . . . boiling hot water. You don't realize how greasy chicken is until you're having to wipe it off of your floor, cupboard doors and counter tops. And let's not forget that moms of littles don't get to take showers whenever they feel like it. In fact, this post was inspired a few minutes ago when I pulled a tiny bit of chicken out of my hair.
The meal was tasty and Jack even asked to take the leftovers in his lunch. So all's well that ends well, am I right?
Now if you'll excuse me, I'm going to take the first of the 1,000 showers that it will take to get the chicken smell off of me.