On Thursday I Killed the Chicken (so I took pictures)


Of course I got excited when I found antibiotic-free, hormone-free, happy-happy chicken marked down for quick sale on Wednesday. I bought a sack full and planned to throw it on the grill to have with salads at lunch the next day. It would be easy, delicious, and nourishing. It was bone-in, so I could cook the chicken slow and low while still getting little bits of work done around the house. Yep. I had it all planned out.

Around 11:45 I fired up the grill. The chicken soon started to sizzled happily. I went back into the house for a few minutes. After all, the chicken didn’t need a babysitter.

Except that apparently it did.

When I went back outside after “letting the chicken cook low and slow” for several minutes, I noticed that the outside of the grill looked slightly discolored. Weird. I also noticed that the air didn’t smell like yummy chicken. It smelled…burned. Weird.

I opened the grill. WHAT????? Noooooooo!

Check it out. I killed the chicken.

burned chicken

I don’t know what actually took place in the few minutes between placing the chicken on the grill and going back to check on it, but judging from the looks of things, I’m thinking the entire interior of the grill caught fire. (I guess the fat from the skin of the chicken was just too drippy?)

Score none for Mom. (I mean, I didn’t burn down the entire house, so I guess I’ll take a half a point for that.)

I immediately got mad at the burned chicken. I got mad at the grill. Mad at myself. Mad at the kids (because when I apologized to them and told them what happened, a couple of them came back at me with attitude about “having to eat leftovers again.” Then I got mad at myself again for raising children who would actually complain about leftovers.

It was my finest hour.

I even went so far as to decide not to take any stupid pictures or write a stupid post about it. (As you can see, I’ve chilled out since Thursday.)

Sometimes I can burn chicken and laugh about it. Thursday was not one of those days. I had too much to do, not enough time, and I needed lunch to cook itself. When it didn’t – I snapped.

I know life isn’t perfect and I’ll never arrive at perfect homemaker, perfect mom, perfect wife, perfect chicken cooker. I know this. But I guess I still want the status of practically perfect. Why is that? Why is it that I ruin lunch and get mad? Why is it that after running around for three days this weekend serving people, loving people, and being with my family – I look at my filthy kitchen and get frustrated that I can’t do it all?

I guess where I land is that I constantly need truth checks. What is truth? Am I failing or not doing enough? Most importantly:

What does God ask of me?

Truth tells me that my dirty kitchen and burned chicken are a tiny piece of my daily puzzle and that other pieces are bigger and carry more weight. Truth tells me that many of my daily puzzle pieces fit together perfectly, even without me trying. Truth tells me that I don’t have to do all and be all because Jesus already is. Truth tells me that I’m rocking this job even when I don’t – because Christ’s power is made perfect in my weaknesses.

These thoughts are brought to you today by completely blackened chicken and a sink full of crusty pots and pans with a side of crumbs and sticky counter-tops.

I had to pray over my mess, and these are the truths that rose to the top. I guess it’s a good thing I decided to take a picture of that chicken.


  1. Carmen says

    It’s not funny now, but I’m sure several years from now you’ll all be able to laugh and say “remember the time Mom tried to feed us black chicken?” :)


  2. says

    Ha-ha! My hubby did that once upon a time as well! Almost the exact same scenario, he walked away from the grill for just a few minutes (literally) and when he went back to give the chicken a flip he found charcoal.

    Dinner that night became broasted chicken purchased from the grocery store. That has to have been at least ten years ago now, and we still talk about it often. Just yesterday, actually, he went out to cook something on the grill and on his way out the door my exact words were “don’t burn it”. He seldom walks away from the grill now.


  3. Lynne Willis says

    Thanks for that post. I can literally relate on every level having been on the burned end of a chicken dinner myself. It may have happened with bratwurst as well. I have to say it made me laugh which is totally welcome on this Monday morning at work :) I always step back when things like that happen…really unexplainable…and thank Jesus for saving me from something?? Who knows, maybe the chicken was bad??


  4. Shelley says

    I can certainly relate to that! Just the other day I put all of my first picking of asparagus into a steamer on the stove, turned it up and got side tracked until I noticed an awful burning smell. The water burned out and the pan was black. I couldn’t sleep that night because I couldn’t get the smell out of the house!


  5. carrie says

    Thank you for all your wonderful posts. This one hit me at the end of your post because it’s been a rough day. When you mentioned “Truth tell me that I’m rocking this job even when I don’t, because Christ’s power is made perfect in my weakness.” It’s encouraging because even when I struggle I’m still the one that God chose as mom to my children. And even when I blow it there’s better days.

    Thank you for blogging so that you can spend time encouraging us mom’s that need it.

    Praying for you!


  6. says

    Bless you for sharing so honestly! It happens to all of us, and I personally get upset any time I do something that wastes food. When we don’t eat the leftovers soon enough (even though we do about 95% of the time), I HATE throwing out food so much that I tend to feel badly and judge myself too harshly. We sure do need that grace!

    The free mom videos are great. I watched them and shared them on my blog. Something we all need to be reminded of, especially on “food waste” or other imperfect days. :)


  7. says

    Oh no! Mitch did something similar with some riblets we got on sale recently. He’d made an amazing dry rub and sauce for them. He was quite upset. They tasted good underneath the burned layer . . . ;) It is discouraging though because meat is so expensive! The risk of grills! I love this video series fyi–so good!


  8. Katy says

    The EXACT same thing happened to us last night. I saw your post, thought about it as hubby was grilling chicken legs, and didn’t say anything. He stepped in to look for a meat thermometer and went back out and it looked exactly like the picture you posted. Since I am frugal, and was hungry for chicken, I just picked all the black off and we all ate it. I wonder if I would have told him your story if the same thing would have happened, or if he would have been more careful – or if I would have been blamed for bringing it up and then it happening. He snapped too. I guess burned chicken can get the best of us. :)


  9. Tosha says

    That looks like my chicken every time I grill! I have a real knack for melting grills! And I’ve had some of those finest moments too. Ruining food brings out the worst in me!


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