I haven’t written a post like this in a long, long time – the kind of post where I just write something that happened to me, totally unplanned, no fancy words on the pictures – just a chance for me to look really, really dumb in front of the whole Internet.
It’s a story worth telling, honestly, so that I can redeem something out of the experience and don’t have to cry about it.
The mistake was so huge, my husband started taking pictures on his cell phone as I stood by helplessly:
The tale begins back when we were meal planning for our Whole30 – we spent some time on the lovely Nom Nom Paleo site, and when I came across this recipe for chicken made in a certain way, I dismissed it as “not for us.”
But a few weeks later when my social media manager messaged me to say, “Have you seen this recipe? It’s life-changing,” well…that’s the kind of peer pressure I can’t resist.
So into my Plan to Eat recipe book it went so that the right kind of chicken would auto-populate my shopping list. I grabbed it at Aldi (what else I buy at Aldi), examined the recipe thoroughly midday, and got a little behind on starting dinner.
Because I was in a rush, I didn’t go back to the recipe – how hard could cooking chicken seasoned with salt and pepper be???
Famous last words.
Let’s just start by saying that THIS is what the meal is supposed to look like, complete with idyllic children eating yummy chicken and licking their fingers clean:
I got everything ready to go, remembering fully that the original recipe instructed the use of a grease splatter cover, even going so far as to animating a cartoon to show us how important it was.
I have 4 kids.
I was in a hurry.
I cook big batches, period.
I was going to use my cast iron griddle, not my cast iron pan. I wouldn’t be able to use the grease splatter guard, but I figured a little splatter was an acceptable trade-off for dinner more quickly.
As I gazed at the 8-10 pieces of chicken thighs nestled on my griddle, I started thinking how thick they looked.
“Are these really going to cook in 7 minutes on one side and 3 on the other?” I wondered to myself.
It was then that I realized a huge missed step – I had forgotten to snip out the bones!
I set about trying to get them out with my kitchen shears while they were popping away on the griddle – what else could I do?
Then I found out just HOW much grease is really in bone-in, skin-on chicken.
Let’s just say it’s an intense experience.
It’s probably better if I just try to show you.
That’s grease nearly overflowing the griddle:
That’s grease up the back of the stove, over to the kettle (and beyond I might add):
That’s more grease off to the left – it actually went quite a bit farther, splattering stainless steel water bottles and more:
And yes, that’s grease all the way up to the top of the over-the-stove microwave:
I had to put a towel on the floor, too, and got an apron on over my solid-colored hot pink shirt just in the nick of time. (You know what a problem we have with grease stains on laundry around here already!)
I nearly cried.
It’s not like I could stop cooking!
Hence my husband, breaking the severity of the moment by taking photos.
“We’ll laugh about this later, I promise,” he said.
I swore I’d never make the recipe again, no way – I didn’t even know what I’d do with the four thighs I had left.
And then we tasted it.
*cue angels singing*
Even my husband, who picks out dark meat from soups and everything else like a 3yo hunting down green things, was over the moon about it.
As it turns out, cracklin’ chicken really is life-changing.
It’s kitchen-altering, too, but if you’re smarter than me, you’ll use the dang grease splatter guard!