Tuesday, May 22, 2012

My very first kitchen explosion.

Dinner literally blew up in my face tonight.

I was looking forward to making it for a long time: chicken with a whole-grain mustard pan sauce. I was going to make it just for myself, seeing as Josh doesn't like mustard (his parents knew this when he was younger and made him wash out his mouth with mustard, not soap, if he swore in front of them. And it was very effective).

There was only one thing that was daunting about the recipe: the little note at the bottom of the page implying that the wine could flame when added to the hot oiled pan. Although I was shaking like a leaf and even had the fire extinguisher standing by, I was prepared for that. I added the first splash of wine: no flames. Whew. So I added the rest of the 1/2 cup and started to deglaze a heavily smoky, boozy smelling pan sauce. It popped once, splattering a bit of grease on my arm. Then it popped again. My cookbook, which was sitting 6 inches away, is a pretty good indicator of just how much grease splattered out:

I was standing as far back as I could from the pan, but since I'm so short, my arms don't stretch as far as most people's and my face was closer to the pan than was probably safe. I got completely splattered with hot grease. I turned off the oven before I ran to the bathroom, surprised that my face didn't hurt as much right away. I ended up with a couple small burn marks on my upper arms and chest, but got a pretty bad one on my face:

So what did I learn? When adding wine to a hot pan, add it slowly. And maybe wear a haz-mat suit. Or get a yardstick to deglaze the pan. All I know is that I'm probably never doing that again unless I can find a non-alcoholic alternative to white wine (hah). But for now, I have plenty of whole-grain mustard in the fridge if Josh feelings like swearing at the baseball game on TV.

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