Let's stuff popcorn up a chicken's ass and see what happens
because why not
Roll call. Is everyone doing all right? We’re in one collective piece over here in our little hobbit hole for the moment. I’m getting used to working from home, but my ass feels like it is steadily fusing to my chair. My coworker, Nugget, likes to come over to my desk every now and then to try and chat with me, but sometimes he steps on my keyboard, messing up my work. I’m thinking about reporting him to Feline Resources.
What a weird time to be thinking about Thanksgiving, but here we are. Davida and I are taking this whole pandemic thing seriously, so we’re not going to see my family for the holiday. It sucks a big fat pair of swollen donkey balls, but it’s the right thing to do.
Now, the idea of cooking a big Thanksgiving dinner for just the two of us doesn’t particularly sound appealing to me, plus I want to support some local places we love. So we’ve placed an order at our friend’s restaurant, Jeong, for a big array of sides that look amazing.
Now, all we need is some turkey.
Good thing I have a lot of Internet friends to help me out.
My friend Rachel, whom I’ve known for a long time now, notified me of this recipe that’s been making the rounds on the Internet and shared it to my Facebook wall. Rachel’s great. If you’re in the Minneapolis area and you need your iPhone or iPad screen fixed, she does repairs. Davida’s sister in law, Mandy, also sent this our way, so thanks, you guys!
Initially, I didn’t think I wanted to cook a whole turkey. But this recipe, that appears as if it was part of a spiral-bound book, involves shoving a bunch of popcorn inside a turkey’s ass, then cooking it to the point where the popcorn “blows the ass off the turkey.”
“Dannis Ree,” I said to myself, reading this recipe out loud, “This thing not only involves Thanksgiving, but it involves shoving popcorn into a turkey’s empty anal cavity, and then baking it off until it potentially shoots popcorn all over the inside of your oven, ruining your night.”
I looked at Nugget, who just so happened to be trying to erase my hard work for the day by mashing his paws all over my laptop again, and said, “You’re such a handsome boy. You’re so soft and big and handsome. What was I doing again?” He looked at me blankly.
“Oh yeah. Let’s shove popcorn up some poultry ass and bake it for five hours.”
A turkey seemed too big, so I decided to downsize to a chicken.
A chicken is a miniature turkey, right? Whatever, they’re the same shape.
I went to the local supermarket and tried to find a single small chicken to roast off. For whatever reason, I seem to have bad luck when I try to buy chicken. The last time I tried to buy a whole chicken, Aldi was out, then the local store I went to only had enormous shithead chickens and I ended up buying one that was seven pounds. That’s a uselessly big chicken.
In this case, they were only selling double packs of chickens. Who the fuck buys a two-pack of whole chicken? I settled for the twin pack and looked around for a bag of stuffing. The only option was Stove Top.
Before I cook chicken I try to hide Harvey so he doesn’t see me going to town on his cousin’s dead body.
But look into his eyes. He knows.
I prepared the Stove Top according to the instructions, let it cool down, and mixed some dry popcorn kernels into the fluffy mixture.
Stove Top is great. It’s like the instant ramen of stuffing.
I set a small batch aside to experiment with later.
I salted and peppered the chicken, shoved a bunch of stuffing and raw popcorn mixture up its ass until it couldn’t hold anymore, then put it in the oven at the recommended 300°F. This photograph is gross.
The original recipe says that the turkey version is supposed to roast off for five whole hours. Okay!
After about an hour the chicken had gotten a little wrinkly with very little color to it.
As the chicken continued to roast off, I took the small batch of stuffing I’d put aside and put it in the microwave to see if the popcorn would pop at all. I set the microwave for three minutes.
I added another three minutes. Finally, towards the end, I heard some popping. So I kept adding time until the popping slowed down, about seven minutes in total.
This was an interesting sight.
Some of the popcorn popped, but the stuffing was in interesting shape.
Somehow I managed to pop the popcorn just fine (for once), but the stuffing started to burn, resulting in what looked like a corn studded fragment of turd.
I let the popcorn mass cool off and I cautiously ate a kernel. It was actually pretty good! It had the scent of the stuffing with a tiny bit of flavor.
“Here, come try this,” I said to Davida. “It’s like the popcorn has stuffing essence.”
Davida had some and said, “In a La Croix sort of way.”
I munched on some of the burned stuffing. It wasn’t bad at all, and it was very crunchy. A bunch of hard bits floated around my mouth and I wondered if any one of them was a fragment of my teeth.
Around the two-and-a-half hour mark, Davida looked at the recipe that Rachel had shared with me and read a comment that Rachel had written.
“PS google says popcorn doesn’t pop until it’s 355 so idk maybe crank the oven up a lil higher lol,” she said.
Goddammit. I’d been baking this thing at 300°F. There’s no way it was going to work. So I cranked that bastard up to 500°F and let it rip for a while.
Unfortunately, the apartment started to smell pretty smoky from the fat burning up beneath the chicken.
I had to pull it out. Upon inspection, the chicken had shriveled up quite a bit. It looked fine, but when I tapped on the skin of the chicken, it made a hollow papery noise. I tore off a piece of skin and tried chewing on it. It might as well have been parchment paper. I ate a bit of chicken and was highly entertained by the fact that it had gotten so dry that it almost functioned as chewing gum.
Disappointed, I tried one last thing.
I grabbed my kitchen blowtorch and flamed the shit out of that chicken’s ass, hoping to pop at least one kernel.
Instead, the stuffing caught on fire, just like my hopes and dreams did after I graduated college with an English degree. Panicked, I blew it out. At least I got this insane photo that I’ll be able to explain to my grandkids someday. We decided not to waste the chicken and eat it anyway.
Dinner was terrible. But at least I had that other chicken.
I think I’ll be buying my turkey from a restaurant this year too.
If this stupid newsletter brought you any joy this week, please give it a share on social media. Get your friends and family to be part of this trainwreck too.
If you can support the newsletter, please consider a paid subscription for some extra content now and then! Maybe instead of shoving stuff up that second chicken’s ass, I’ll just shove the whole carcass up mine.
I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention the seriousness of the pandemic right now. Thanksgiving is going to be pretty rough, but please stay home for this one so we can all see each other for the next.