"You should always let your meat rest after it's been cooked," they say. That's what she said!

Last weekend, I pulled a golden brown free range chicken off the BBQ for our dinner guests and my wife said, "You can't cut it now. Leave it for a bit, it has to rest."

Every time I cook some meat, I want to tear into it right away. Preferably the way my ancestors did, with fingernails and teeth, not knives and forks.

"Don't open the oven door, my chicken is on vacation. It needs the rest."

Isn't it me that should get some rest? I'm the one turning on the BBQ, flipping the chicken, watching for excessive flame, poking with a meat thermometer and lifting the beer bottle. For god's sake, the hopes and dreams of all my dinner guests are in my tongs.

And I haven't even started tearing and chewing.

The meat just lies there.

Does the chicken really need to rest after complete inactivity for two hours? Isn't being dead rest enough? I think there's another term for resting your cooked chicken; it's called "letting it get cold."

What about my dinner guests? They're starving. I've prepared the plates with potatoes and veggies and the meat is still missing.

"Where's the chicken?" asks a guest.

"It'll be out in a minute, it's just napping."

"Okay. How often does it nap? Will it need another one before I finish eating it? Maybe I should eat it really fast before it gets drowsy. I hate when my chicken nods off during the meal."

What if the chicken has narcolepsy? I guess a good poke with a fork should wake it up.

"Pay attention, I'm eating you," explains another guest, to the chicken.

"My chicken tastes bland. Is that because it's asleep? Is the flavor asleep too?" asks a guest.

Let's compare a chicken before and after it's cooked. If you ask me, the chicken needs a rest before it's cooked.

If you looked in the mirror and saw a raw chicken instead of your face, wouldn't you feel the need for a day off? Hey, did you go to Michael Jackson's doctor for that complexion? You need more like a full-blown vacation, I would say.

And that's pretty much what a chicken gets when you prepare and cook it. It's a spa vacation for meat.

It starts off with a relaxing rub down of scented oils and herbs. There's probably some nice music in the background and the liquor is flowing.

Chicken rub down

After marinating (aka resting) for a few hours while reading an exciting set of cooking instructions, the chicken goes in the "tanning booth," the oven or BBQ. Two hours of relaxing warmth in your own private tanning pan with a nice window view? I'll take that.

"Don't open the oven door, my chicken is on vacation. It needs the rest."

Then the chicken gets a free medical checkup. Insert the thermometer. Is this chicken getting the flu?

Take it out of the oven and the chicken looks like Wayne Newton, a tan people pay thousands for.

The mashed potatoes are insanely jealous of the chicken. "Hey man, you just back from Barbados? Nice tan. We never tan. Sometimes they'll add a yam or two, but we end up with one of those fake orange tans."

The chicken is moved to a cutting board, but really it's a Pilates mat for meat. You bend the chicken in all kinds of twisted ways to make sure it's cooked.

Time for the chiropractor to give the chicken a bone adjustment. All included.

By this time the chicken is so relaxed the meat just falls off the bone. Have you ever been that relaxed?

When the chicken is served, the dinner guests go out of their way to gather around and fuss about it. This is no time for a nap. This is your time in the spotlight, Mr. Chicken.

On second thought, forget the chicken. I want some of that treatment.

I wish I were a nice piece of chicken.


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