The kids were getting a bit hungry due to the "low and slow" cooking approach, and were quite ravenous when the chicken was finally ready. To ensure quality, we sampled the first breast to come off the grill.
Imagine if you will the afterburner of an F-15 going off in your mouth. Momentarily blinded, I nearly went into convulsions; what appeared at first to be tears was, in fact, my eyeballs sweating. It was indeed fortunate that I was near a sink with a spray attachment; this allowed me to direct the necessary volume of water directly into my mouth. As John had simultaneously sampled the Chicken of Pain, he too was feverishly scrambling for the sprayer, but I fought him off bravely.
So now, you're probably thinking well, the chicken was ruined, big deal, just run to the store and get more.
Ah, gentle reader, if that's what's going through your mind, then you haven't experienced the Labor Day holiday in Darkest Vermont. Stores aren't open. Heck, they close down the ER at the hospital. There was no way to obtain replacement chicken; we'd have to play the hand we'd been dealt.
- making up a new sauce, this time with appropriate supervision, oversight, and proper attention to the 'to taste' clause
- washing the Sauce of Pain off of the chicken, then re-flavoring it with the new sauce
So we washed the chicken, relathered with sauce, and tried again.
The second test was an improvement much in the way that merely being clubbed with a lead pipe is an improvement over being hit by a train. Down to just incredibly hot, but still inedible. Clearly, a more serious scrubbing was in order.
We obtained a scrub brush normally used to remove the skins from potatoes, and proceeded to carefully sand the outer 1/8th of an inch from the nuclear chicken. We then, yet again, relathered with sauce, and rewarmed the chicken in the oven.
I'm not sure if the final result wasn't actually all that bad, or if we were by then hungry enough to have eaten anything.
It was quite some time before we were allowed to do our "men in the kitchen" routine again.
The recipe became known as "Al and John's Twice-Washed Chicken".