a canonical compendium of repulsive recipes

5.02.2006

Zombie Chicken

I'm quoting this from the New York Times, and I don't really think it needs comment. However, I do promise this: If you can obtain for me a live pre-plucked chicken, an appropriate quantity of mercury and sulfur, and an on-call ambulance, I will prepare and serve this dish for you. In its entirety.

The speaker here is Heston Blumenthal, chef at The Fat Duck, England's highest-Michelin-starred restaurant. The "Oh, my god"s are the interjections of the article's author, Christine Muhlke, who is my new best friend. I have decided to name this dish Zombie Chicken, for obvious reasons.
"I had came across a manuscript of Le Viander de Taillevent. He was the chef to the Palais Royal in Paris. I think it was the 14th century.. . .And in there was this wonderful — wonderful? fascinating as opposed to wonderful; it's not the right word — recipe for how to roast a chicken. You take the chicken, and you pluck the chicken while it's still alive, and you baste the skin with a mixture of soya, wheat germ and dripping, I think it was. And apparently this makes it look like the skin's been roasted. You then put the head of this live chicken under its tummy and rock it to sleep. Then you get two other chickens and you roast them. And you bring these three chickens out on a tray to the table. You start carving one of the roasted chickens. And. . .the one that is still alive but sleeping goes sort of 'Wha!' — head pops up — and it runs off down the table."

Oh, my God.

"And that's Part 1. Then you take this poor chicken, and you kill it, and you stuff its neck with a mixture of quicksilver, which is mercury, and sulfur, and then stitch it up. And apparently — obviously I haven't tried this at home, or at work — the expanding air in the neck cavity as you roast causes the mercury and the sulfur to react and somehow creates a clucking noise."

Oh, my God.

"And then you bring this clucking chicken back to the table. So you've taken a live chicken and made it appear dead, and then you've brought it back to life again."

Oh, my God.

"And so it's completely extreme, but it represents for me a point of creativity in cooking — not that I'd ever do anything like that."

2 Comments:

Anonymous Kat said...

Can I come over for Thanksgiving this year?

4:30 PM, May 04, 2006

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

i agree very creative people where very strange in 14 th century wasn't they
still they seemd to have more imagination too would love to see gran and kids at christmass /thanksgiving as the golden roast starts to cluck lol

8:14 PM, August 19, 2009

 

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