My best-laid dinner plan laid an egg.

Alisande

Well, that was disappointing. On Thursday I bought a cookbook from my library's ongoing book sale: A Bird in the Oven, by Mindy Fox. It's all about roast chicken. On Friday I brought it with me to the Subaru dealership to read while I waited for my recalled air bag to be replaced.

Seductive cookbook! Fun to read. I decided to try the Moorish roast chicken with cumin, coriander, smoked paprika, and turmeric. So on the way home I stopped at a butcher shop and bought a chicken. My plan was to roast it on Sunday.

But here it is Sunday, and the chicken is cooking in a pot of water. Why? Because when I took it out of the fridge I could tell immediately that it didn't smell right. It smelled better after rinsing, but I still wasn't about to roast it. Or eat it. So I'm boiling it to give to the dogs at our shelter, which is what I do with all cooked meat, chicken, and egg scraps.

I wonder if I was wrong to keep the chicken in its original packaging. The Sell By date is today.

Anyway, I'm curious about something else. The cookbook author's favorite chicken roasting pan is a cast iron skillet. I'd never heard of this before, but was eager to try it. I have a lot of cast iron. Do any of you roast meat or chicken this way?

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Elmer J Fudd

Not a good idea to feed spoiled food to any animal, human or otherwise. Be fair and make sure you tell them at the shelter that it smelled funny before you cooked it, they may not want to use it.

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Olychick

I would have returned it, or photographed the label and asked for my money back. It probably was safe enough for dogs to eat after cooking

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gardengal48 (PNW Z8/9)

Unless it is too large for the pan, I use my cast iron skillet to cook any kind of roast - beef, chicken, turkey breast, pork loin, etc.

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Elmer J Fudd

I wouldn't feed spoiled food to my dog, olychick. Would you have fed it to yours?

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Olychick

I doubt it was "spoiled". After seeing what dogs pick up and eat without consequences, I'd likely not worry about it, if it were cooked thoroughly and didn't smell bad after cooking, I'd think it would be fine.

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Elmer J Fudd

I wouldn't eat it and I'd never give my dog something I wouldn't eat. To each, their own view.

Heck, my dogs have never had human food anyway. But to think that it's okay, it's only a dog, runs crosswise to my thinking. And yeah, if you look at what dogs may pick up and chew, many of those innocent things can make them quite sick.

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Jasdip

Yes, I've cooked it in a cast iron skillet. The downside is that the grease spatters all over the oven. Since I don't have a self-cleaning oven, I don't cook it this way often.

But a dutch oven/chicken fryer will work too.



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maire_cate

We use our cast iron skillets frequently for roast chicken or turkey. I like to place thick slices of onion on the bottom and place the turkey on top. By the time the turkey is done cooking the onion has caramelized and that helps flavor the gravy. I don't have a problem with grease splattering all over.

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Alisande

Elmer, I've been cooking and freezing food for the shelter dogs for many years. If the chicken had been rotten, I wouldn't even have put it in a pot, much less set it to simmer on my stove. Ugh. It smelled a little "off." It didn't smell off after I rinsed it, and my house smells good because it's cooking in the kitchen. It will be fine. The dogs will be fine. They'll love it.

Thanks, everyone! I had no idea cast iron skillets were used in this way. I've been reading cookbooks for a long time, so I'm surprised I didn't know this. Maybe the answer is I hardly ever watch cooking shows on TV. If I were able to get reception on CreateTV I'd probably catch some of those, but that's a rare occurrence.

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matti5

Sorry that happened! I recently had the same issue with a pork tenderloin I was getting ready to cook. Opened the package and yuck it smelled awful and in the garbage it went.

I have volunteered for several years at two animal shelters and both do not accept raw or cooked food donations, only canned and dry bagged. Other shelters might be different, however I would strongly encourage you to please let the staff know the chicken was questionable and let them decide.

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Elizabeth

I would have bundled the chicken back up in it's wrappings and brought it back to the butcher shop. You paid for a chicken for human consumption and did not get one that was. They should be made aware that their meat was not fresh.

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Alisande

Unfortunately, returning the chicken would have been more trouble than it was worth. The store is about 15 miles from me, and off my beaten path. Plus a nasty "wintry mix" is in the weather forecast until Thursday. I could follow Olychick's suggestion to photograph the label, but I don't know when I'll get there. If I were a regular customer I suppose I could show up any time, no matter how long after the fact, but I'm not.

However, I did get a refund on $5 worth of oat bran last week. Weevils.

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Elmer J Fudd

I'm sorry alisande but I'm shocked that as careful and caring a person as you seem to be you would have such a callous attitude about what's fed to dogs. A chicken was apparently spoiled. You didn't want to take a chance eating it yourself. Fine.


Throwing it away would have been a suitable outcome. Giving away garbage or worthless things to a charity isn't charitable giving.

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graywings123

I would have fed it to my dog. After seeing the disgusting things my dog managed to glom onto and swallow before I could get them out of his mouth, some cooked chicken past its prime would have been haute cuisine for him. My dog had a cast iron stomach.


This is a good question to ask your vet friend/relative, Elmer. Is a dog's digestive system less sensitive to spoilage than a human's?

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patriciae_gw

Since a dog can safely wash their own butt with their tongue obviously dogs can eat things that humans cant. Dogs routinely eat dead fish and other carrion. They appear to enjoy it. I would think that some breeds are not so cast iron though. Those tiny delicate types. I think Alisande is a good judge and it was cooked.

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Alisande

You're not sorry, Elmer, and I'm not callous.

I just looked up the shelter's "wish list" for donations, but didn't see it. I know they used to encourage donations of meat that had been freezer-burned, but that's different.

The chicken is cooked, and it looks and smells fine. However, I will take the suggestions here seriously and check with the shelter before I pack it up to freeze and donate. I have a good and longstanding relationship with them.

Incidentally, I came close to dying from salmonella 25 years ago, but that was from eating undercooked beef liver.

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Elizabeth

I see your point in not taking it back to the butcher shop if it is a 15 mile drive in bad weather. I wouldn't either. But I would contact them about it. Disappointing when you had such a nice meal planned.

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Alisande

Good idea, Elizabeth. They normally have good meat, and I would think they'd want to know.

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arcy_gw

I find that is the issue most of the time--not worth the bother/no time to return the spoiled food. sigh. At least you made the best of it for the pups. I am sure they appreciated it. Cast iron cooking is very much a THING right now. Everything old is new again as they say. My #1DD is really into it and those pots and pans are not cheap!! She is getting one as a surprise for Christmas.

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Lucille

So Alisande what are you going to eat? I agree with Elizabeth on contacting the shop, they may just credit you, and I'm sure they would want to know.

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bpath

DH uses the cast iron pan for chicken, omg it is good.

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Olychick

I think that's a good idea about contacting them and explaining that you won't be back in for a while because of the weather/distance and then maybe email them the photo of the label. Perhaps they will issue a credit you can use next visit.

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Alisande

Lucille, I ate a big salad of spinach, arugula, and spring mix with red onion, black olives, and smoked sardines . . . and I expect to be hungry in an hour or two. :-) But my fridge and pantry are well stocked.

I've been tempted for over a year by Lodge's deep cast iron skillet, and I'm thinking this could be a nice excuse to buy it. But I'm also aware that I really, really don't have a place to put it. Yet.

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Ladydi Zone 7A NW BC Canada

For what it's worth, I had a chicken from Safeway that spoiled before it's best before date and it stank so bad I had to wrap it in several layers of plastic and put it outside immediately. Not, It didn't smell quite right ... it was putrid. I phoned Safeway and asked if they'd like me to bring it in and they politely said, "No Thanks"! I think you'd have noticed if it was spoiled enough not to feed it to a dog. :-)

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lily316

I know you cooked the chicken and wouldn't have wanted to have a smelly thing laying around till you get to the store but I'd save the receipt and maybe the wrapper and next time would inform that it was past its prime. It's disappointing to plan on a dinner that doesn't work out. I just got a rock-solid frozen chicken from the freezer to have for dinner tomorrow night. I buy my chickens from Aldi now since they have small five pounders which are perfect. I roast them with those tiny little purple and yellow potatoes, onions and carrots and then I make chicken soup for husband who loves it for lunch.

I have three inherited old cast iron pans. Since it's the rage, I probably should use them. But not for chicken...I need a roasting pan for all the ingredients.

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joyfulguy

In the mid-years of our marriage, my ex- fell in love with a miniature Dachsie.

When she visited the beach of Lake Erie with us, she loved to lie down and roll in dead fish that had washed up on shore, so she could be located from quite a distance.

Can't remember whether she ate any, though, before we caught her: don't recall her suffering and throwing up.

ole joyful

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FlamingO in AR

My husband would eat that chicken, no problem. And he’d probably slip little bits if it to his beloved dog.

I think some of us are cursed with an exceptional sniffer. I can smell things much “better” than he can. The other day I was kind of freaking out because I could smell something bad in the kitchen, like decomp. I took the yardstick and went scraping around underneath the refrigerator, nothing. Maneuvered it under the stove and swept out a tiny dead shrew. After disposing of it, the smell was gone. He was astonished because even though he picked it up to carry it outside, he still couldn’t smell it.

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mama goose_gw zn6OH

I've used my big iron skillet to roast a spatchcocked chicken, with very good results.

If something I buy smells or looks off, I call the store (or the mfgr) back immediately and give details. They usually tell me to bring in the receipt for a refund. The only time they asked to see the product was when I cut into a block of store-brand cheese and found a black, fuzzy/moldy, dime-sized lump of something in the middle. Unfortunately, my son-in-law threw it away before I had a chance to take it back. I was hoping to find out what it was.

I would also feed the rinsed, cooked, deboned chicken to my dog, or any other dog. My DD's dogs eat poop--chicken poop, even cat poop, so I doubt cooked, slightly past its prime, chicken would hurt them.

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schoolhouse_gwagain

Do you put grease or oil in the cast iron skillet before adding the chicken (or layer of veggies)? or maybe yours is seasoned pretty good. I might try roasting a chicken this way next time.

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Elmer J Fudd

I think you can put a layer of cut veggies - onions, carrots, celery- on the pan as a base for the chicken to sit on. Other herbs and aromatics added will similarly flavor the chicken as it cooks.

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Cherryfizz

I roast a small whole chicken in the oven using my stainless steel skillet. I put the empty pan in a preheated 500 degree oven for about 10 minutes, oil and season the chicken and put it in the hot skillet, roast for about 35-40 minutes or until bird temp reaches 165

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ldstarr

I roast all varieties of meat in my Cast Iron "Double Skillet" or the big Dutch Oven. It works great and I consistently have juicy, tender roast whatever.

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hallngarden

Use cast iron for all my cooking. Guess I have about a dozen pieces, skillets different sizes,and pots with lids. This was the rage when we married over 60 years ago and all of mine are over 60 years old. Have two that mother used and they have been used for 80 years. I bake all my biscuits, roast all meats, fry chicken, peach pies , cook vegetables make soups in cast iron. Bought many high dollar cooking sets during these years. Last year I took everything to the Goodwill and now have only cast iron. Will last for years to come. My favorite skillet to use is 80 years old.

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Zalco/bring back Sophie!

For anyone looking for a great roasted chicken recipe using a cast iron pan, this version from Zuni Cafe is classic. Here is Smitten Kitchen's write up.


https://smittenkitchen.com/2008/12/zuni-cafe-roast-chicken-bread-salad/

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hallngarden

We used this recipe from Smitten on Thanksgiving. Oh so good.

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Angela Id

I roast everything in my cast iron skillet. Lay down a bunch of vegetables (carrots, onion, celery, garlic) sprinkle with herbs, add about 1/2 a cup of broth and 1/2 a cup of wine, depending on what type of protein I am cooking and what type of sauce/gravy it will go with. Discard the vegetables and make my gravy while the meat is resting.

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gardengal48 (PNW Z8/9)

Hmmmm.....it has always been my understanding that roasting is a dry heat cooking process. If you add liquid, you are either steaming or braising but not roasting. Is this not correct?

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maire_cate

Alisande - you really need to get that deep cast iron skillet. I checked your link and it "comes with free Amazon tech support" - you have nothing to lose. They'll walk you through set-up, trouble-shoot issues - for 90 days!



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Elmer J Fudd

gardengal, I think it depends if it's covered. If raw meat is covered and put into an oven, it's steaming/braising for sure even if no liquid has been added. If uncovered but a small amount of liquid and raw veggies are added, I think you're right that it may at best be a humid hybrid and not a dry roasting. The part with water on it is braising and the stuff up higher is in a humid oven.


Although, as I think about it, even dry chicken on a rack, uncovered in an oven, will give off liquid that sits in the bottom of the pan.

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gardengal48 (PNW Z8/9)

LOL!! The corollary to my previous remark is that if it is covered it is also not a true roasting process, even if no liquid is used. One of the reasons I would never use an oven bag - I don't want a steamed prime rib or chicken/turkey - I want a roasted one! And steaming can occur with or without a lid. Or so that was how I was trained.

And why in the world would you need 'tech support' for a cast iron skillet? Is that a joke?

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maire_cate

Gardengal - that's why I thought it was funny. Check the link.

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DawnInCal

I was alone on Thanksgiving once (hubby working in Singapore) and cooked a cornish game hen in a cast iron dutch oven on top of the wood stove. I used the dutch oven cover to cover the dutch oven it to make it more oven like rather than letting all the heat escape. My hen turned a beautiful golden brown and was delicious. After the hen was done, I also baked a pumpkin pie in the dutch oven on top of the wood stove. It was the best pumpkin pie I've ever made.

Why did I do all that cooking on top the wood stove rather than on my perfectly good gas range/oven you ask? Because I was alone, had plenty of time on my hands and I was thinking about how the pioneers cooked their food over a fire and I wanted to see if I could do it. Turns out I could and did.

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Lucille

why in the world would you need 'tech support' for a cast iron skillet

If one of y'all buys one please call in for support and tell us what happens. I think the entertainment would be worth the price of the skillet lol.

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Alisande

I reached the shelter manager today, and she said they'll be happy to accept the chicken (frozen since Sunday.

Maire_cate, that's so funny! "Hello? Is this tech support? How do I get the lid off?"

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