Have you noticed the smell which even “fresh” chicken exudes these days?  Rather putrid, to say the least.  I read somewhere that they are now flushing the packages with something like carbon dioxide.–I could be so wrong about what the gas is.–It’s supposed to keep the chicken fresher, longer.  O.K., food scientists, whatever you say.  It still smells bad.

So when the chicken in my fridge, purchased, on sale, at least 5 days before the ‘sell by’ date started to smell stronger two to three days before the ‘sell by’ date, I didn’t think much of it.  I was going to roast it on the ‘sell by’ date of January 17, but life got in the way.  I pulled it out to prep today (January 20) and it was really strong.  Thinking this is the new science, I forged ahead.

Cut off excess fat and skin; plop into nice shallow bath of olive oil and a splash of white wine; throw in oven at 300 degrees and run out door to retrieve daughter from school… Return an hour and a half later, after various errands TO HOUSE THAT REEEKS OF I can’t actually say what…dead animal maybe?  LONG dead animal?  You get the idea.  Putrid.

So I call the market where I got it and nobody there is very helpful because the manager is out to lunch.  I crank up the oven to 400 degrees and remove the lid because that’s what the recipe calls for.  I light incense and wait to see what happens.  The smell seems to dissipate.  I confess, I was wondering if I would kill any bacteria at the higher temperature and then everything would be edible.  I call the butcher department back.  I explain what happened and he says best advice is, “When in doubt, throw it out.”  So I did.

This story reveals something my spouse has long accused me of; fearlessness in the face of potential food poisoning.  Not necessarily something I’m proud of.  I might have even tried to eat it myself but I could not inflict such a nasty consequence of frugality on Miranda.  Unfortunately, the day was cold and it was not ideal for airing the house out.  Five hours later the house still smells of…whatever.

You don’t want a photo on this one.

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