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Photograph 18: Salmonella

The dish above is Chicken Bruschetta.  It takes a little while to prep and to cook, but it is really worth the effort.  The sauce is simmered for an hour and reduced as it thickens.  Ingredients are tomatoes (puree` and diced), garlic, onion, rosemary, basil, green onion, parsley and whatever else I feel like throwing in.  The chicken is marinated in the same concoction and baked in time to be ready with the sauce.  I mix the sauce with pasta, layer the sliced chicken on top, and garnish with fresh, diced tomatoes and parmesan.  The edge of the plate is dusted in cracked black pepper and cayenne pepper. 

I like chicken, but there can be such a thing as too much chicken.  My parents called while they were out to dinner the other night and asked if I wanted anything.  Having not had it in a while, I ordered a simple penne pasta with tomato basil sauce and, you guessed it, chicken.  The sauce was mediocre at best and in short supply.  The pasta was just okay, but the chicken very unappealing.  I ate a small portion of it and put the rest in the refrigerator. 

3am is a rough time to wake up and not go back to sleep.  Nausea woke me this early, nothing else.  This continued for the next 16 hours.  Seeing my parents the next day, I asked them if either had also ordered a dish with chicken.  It turns out my mother did, and suffered a very bad headache all day that she could not suppress.  The only culprit we had in common was the chicken.  That was a day of misery.  I have no idea if it was salmonella, e. coli, but whatever it was made my body very unhappy.  The restaurant was due to get a phone call, although I did not follow-up to find out if this had been done.

I love eating out, but instances like this make me prefer cooking myself.  At least I know what goes in my food, and I know it was cooked long enough.  In this case, my chicken pasta was far superior to their inefficient substitute that made me ill.

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