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Dog food fingers
blame tiktok for this
Davida and I were sitting on the couch the other day, when she received a random text message from our sister-in-law, Mandy. She looked at her phone, turned to me, and read it out loud.
“I made the viral chicken fingers…yeah, they sucked. Lesson learned,” she said.
“Chicken fingers? What the hell is she talking about?” I asked. Davida shook her head. Apparently she had no idea what Mandy was talking about either.
Davida texted back, “What chicken fingers? Tell me about these chicken fingers.”
Mandy then sent over a short YouTube video.
The video was from a content creator known as @thecoreyb on TikTok (the video above is a cross-post from his YouTube channel).
TikTok. It’s always fucking TikTok. The video was only a minute long, but it was the excruciating kind of minute that you spend in the dentist’s chair while getting your teeth cleaned.
Basically, this CoreyB fellow decided he’d try a viral three-ingredient chicken finger recipe he saw (also on TikTok) while documenting his experience. The recipe is simple; it only uses canned chicken, shredded cheese, and an egg. Once the ingredients are mixed, they’re tossed in an oven at 400 degrees for 20 minutes, and that’s it.
This is the frenetic kind of food video where you watch the host scream frantically at you through the camera while using a very particular type of pinchy vocal affectation. Davida and I like to call this phenomenon “YouTube voice.”
In it, CoreyB remains skeptical as he’s making these viral chicken fingers, but once he takes a bite of them, he gets on top of his kitchen island and starts air-humping it. Imagine me doing that after a three-star meal at Alinea.
But based off what Mandy said in her message, apparently these keto-friendly canned chicken fingers were terrible. Mandy is a reasonable person and I had no reason not to trust her judgment.
“This recipe looks dumb,” I told Davida. “I hate canned chicken. It smells like dog food.” Then I thought about all the times I’ve cooked with dog food, and followed that statement with a resigned sigh.
“I guess we should try it,” I said. Then I paused.
It was when I blurted out the words “How about dog food fingers?” that really sealed the deal.
First off, I had to try the original viral chicken finger recipe.
Three ingredients, canned chicken, shredded cheese, and an egg, made it easy enough to shop for. And while we were at the store, we had to pick up that can of dog food too, which is an exhilarating thing to purchase when you don’t own a dog.
When we go to the grocery store, Davida and I like to rummage through this one designated shopping cart that always has 50% off items in it.
The cart is full of banged-up cans of food that are somewhat sad looking, but otherwise fine to buy. While I was off getting the other things, I saw Davida wander over to this magical cart, hunch over, and sort through it. She returned with a situation report.
“There’s a can of dog food in there,” she said. “But it looks ancient. I looked at the expiration date and it doesn’t expire till 2025.”
“I mean, it’s 50% off,” I said, “And nothing tastes better than a deal. Let’s get it.”
Davida dug the can out of the cart and handed it to me. Man, she wasn’t kidding. This can of puppy chow looked like it’d been in a bunker for two decades. But it happened to be made of chicken, which I took as a sign that fate was encouraging me to eat this particular can of dog food.
I started by preparing the original viral chicken tender recipe.
When you first pop open a can of chicken, that initial whiff you get from it is rough. It’s a hit of sulfur to the face, which eventually dissipates after a while, but blech. I dumped its contents into a small mixing bowl, wondering what I’d gotten myself into.
I shredded the chicken finely with a fork, cracked in an egg, and dumped a bunch of shredded cheddar cheese.
Then I mashed the whole mess together with my bare hands, formed it into little logs, and put them on the air fryer tray, which I’d hosed down with non-stick cooking spray.
They looked like pale turds made out of cooked chicken.
In terms of the Bristol stool scale, I’d say these guys would classify as a solid number four. “Yum-O!” as Rachael Ray likes to say. Speaking of yum, it was time to get started on the dog food version.
Something I find interesting about canned pet food is that it always seems to have the same sort of brown color to it, no matter what it’s made of.
There’s no way I would have been able to visually identify this as chicken. I took a big sniff from the can (heh, I sniffed a can), and realized that compared to the regular canned chicken, it was relatively odor free. I walked it over to Davida, who also sniffed it (heh, Davida sniffed my can).
She said, “I like the way this smells better than the real chicken.” What does this opinion say about us as a couple, you think?
The first thing I noticed when I mixed the dog food with the egg and shredded cheese was just how wet it was.
I tried my best to form it into logs using my bare hands, which ended up being sort of a traumatic experience. You’re about to see why.
Feel free to visually linger on this photo for a while.
I took a bunch of pictures, but my camera had no idea where to focus, since it couldn’t get a fix on any definite edges to the dog food fingers I’d just formed (and surprisingly, not with my ass). In terms of the Bristol stool scale, I’d say that these were more like a five or six, verging on diarrhea.
Getting them onto the perforated sheet tray was no fun, and I had to stay vigilant about the dog food and egg mixture that was beginning to dribble out through the holes onto my kitchen island. I felt like something was about to dribble out my holes just looking at it.
The tray went right into the countertop oven on the air fryer setting, at 400 degrees for 20 minutes. Our tiny apartment filled up with a somewhat disturbing aroma, and Davida said from the other room, “I don’t really like that smell.”
Based off this final picture, I’m sure you can guess which chicken finger is which.
Davida had bowed out of the taste test, for which I don’t blame her. And according to what I was smelling, I couldn’t decide which type of chicken finger I was less enthused about eating.
I took a bite into the viral chicken finger first, and I came away with some mixed feelings.
It wasn’t as crispy as the TikTok guy made it out to be, but there were a few crunchy parts where the cheese had caramelized, which was palatable. The inner texture was a bit stringy and also somewhat mushy, and it had an unappealing taste that was a cross between overcooked chicken and canned tuna.
I could see these being perfectly passable for an emergency dinner, but can’t recommend you make them. If you do, it might be fun to pretend like you’d just gone through your local Popeyes’ dumpster and hit the jackpot.
The dog food fingers were easily some of the best things I’ve ever eaten in my entire life.
Just joshin’ ya! They were atrocious. Now, I realize I put all this shit in my mouth of my own accord, but I particularly regretted this particular move. Part of what messed me up was that the dog food finger looked sort of like a tiny meatloaf patty, which gave me the expectation that they’d taste accordingly. Nope.
They had this really odd grainy texture with no specific taste aside from like, “meat.” And as I chewed, my regret swelled into a tidal force. After mostly finishing that bite, I finally forced myself to spit the rest out. But my arduous journey wasn’t over quite yet.
I should have remembered what would happen from my previous experiences of eating things like cat food salad sandwiches. For those of you who are not as well-versed in eating pet food as I am, there’s one aspect about it that’s really difficult to handle, and it’s the aftertaste.
That shit, much like my ample and curvaceous ass, does not quit. Okay, maybe I’m exaggerating a little, my ass is kind of small—but goddamn, this turned out much worse than I’d expected.
I guess I should have known, since this edition of the newsletter was inspired by some assclown on TikTok. What’s funny is, I have a feeling that if I’d turned this into a TikTok video and tried to convince everyone it was good, there’d be an alarming amount of people who’d actually end up believing me. As long as I said it all with exaggerated facial expressions, a scrunched-up voice, and humped my kitchen island at the end, of course.
Oh, and, did I mention that CoreyB has 10.7 million followers?
Ugh, I’m still cleaning my mouth out. I have eaten pet food more often than any human being should at this point. I should get myself checked professionally to see if I have some unique form of pica.
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All right, everyone, I’ve gone way over today, so I gotta cut loose. As always, I love you, and have a fun Halloween weekend. I’ll pop into paid subscribers inboxes next week.