Why I Will Never Be a Chef - Raw Meat


Reason #1 why I will never be a professional chef: I find raw meat to be absolutely disgusting. The cheaper the meat, the less processing to remove skin and bones, the more disgusting it is. I will eat any processed crap that looks good. If I don't have to cook them, I've got a savagely destructive method of eating chicken wings that ensures I get all the meat (the trick is to break all the bones away from their tendons/cartilage). But touching raw meat makes me want to break down and drown myself in liquid soap.

This week, I bought a 8lb bag of chicken leg quarters, because I've never cooked with them, and they were $0.40 a pound ($3.50 for 8 pounds of chicken!). Since I'm cooking for one, I split the whole bag up into 3 freezer bags (2 quarters each).

During the process of moving the chicken from one bag to another, I washed my hands three times. Afterwards, I spent a whole five minutes washing my hands again. After that, I washed the counters, washed the sink, and washed the trash can lid where a drop of chicken juice fell.

And the plucking of the chickens wasn't complete, so there're some thin strands of what I assume are feathers sticking out, and the skin's sloughing off, and there's blood and bone and juice and slime and ugh ugh ugh ugh ugh gross!

But not doing this because its gross shuts me off from an entire world of culinary experience where meat, not sauce, not starch, not cheese, not vegetables, but meat is the centerpiece. In addition, the less-processed meat is cheaper, the skin and fats provide more opportunity for flavor, and the bones and other such provide opportunity for homemade stock. And just doing "boneless skinless chicken breasts" and "boneless skinless chicken thighs" and of course "ground chicken" is boring, just because anything with skin and bones requires me to touch something gross.

So I'm going with immersion therapy: Force myself to do it, and it might eventually become tolerable enough that I don't feel compelled to talk about it on my blog.