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12/25/2008

Lost in Translation on Christmas

Today is Christmas, yay! I love Christmases. So I prepared some food for me and Brandon earlier today for our Christmas dinner. Since there’s only 2 of us, I only made a cake, 2 loaves of bread, and roasted whole chicken. Actually this was even too much for us but I wanted to have some leftovers for the next day. I wanted the chicken to be fresh from the oven by the time we start eating so I made the pineapple upside-down cake first at about 2 o’clock. The cake turned out really yummy, and it also looked pretty. After the cake was done in a little over an hour, I prepared the loaves of pumpkin bread. I haven’t tasted them yet but Brandon has and he told me that they’re really good. But the problem is, the center of both loaves collapsed haha. They probably weren’t done yet when I decided to take them out of the oven but the sides were already very brown, I was worried about burning them. Maybe I’m just not lucky at making anything that has pumpkin because the same thing also happened to the pumpkin pies I made on Thanksgiving and Halloween. Anyways, after the bread, I put the 3-pound chicken in the oven for roasting after marinating it with some spices for 30 minutes. I set the baking time to 1 hour and 15 minutes because that’s what the recipe says. After waiting that long, I checked the chicken to see if it was done or if it needed to be cooked a little longer. It was still very raw and didn’t look like it had been in the oven for more than an hour. So I set the timer again, this time to 1 hour and 45 minutes. When the timer went off, the result was the same, the chicken was still not cooked. In fact, it was still white. I was wondering what was wrong. This wasn’t my first time to bake, and I have cooked meat in the oven many times before. Even before I started cooking the chicken, my guts told me that I misunderstood a direction in the recipe but just ignored it. It was already 8 o’clock and both Brandon and I were already starving so I decided to show the recipe to my husband and read the directions to him.

Me: The first direction says, preheat the oven at 350 deg. F. Then the 3rd direction says bake the chicken to a minimum internal temperature of 180 deg. F. Which temperature should have I baked the chicken at? 350 degrees or 180 degrees?

Brandon: The 350 degrees is the baking temperature and the chicken is done if it’s meat temperature is 180 degrees. Don’t tell me you’ve been baking the chicken at 180. It’s only a warming temperature.

So yea, I was just warming the chicken the entire time. I haven’t in my entire life used a cooking thermometer so I didn’t know that 180 degrees was for the meat temperature. Of all the recipes I’ve used, this is the only one I misunderstood (well, by far haha). The cooking directions in most recipes say “bake at ___ (temperature follows)”, so I figured 180 was the baking temperature. I baked the chicken again for another hour, this time at the right temperature :P. This is the longest time I’ve cooked something in the oven…4 hours total man! We planned to eat dinner at 6 but we ended up doing it at 9:15. Well, at least it still was not too late. Good thing I started preparing for dinner very early. But the chicken came out very juicy and tasty, so I guess it was worth the long wait.

The chicken that took 4 hours to cook :D



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