Worst Cooks in America

Who else is going to be watching Season 2? It’s on tonight at 9/8 central.

It’s got Robert Irvine, so Tivo already has it programmed.

I really liked the first season, so I am waiting for it to start

I will watch the first episode, but if they haven’t fixed the format, I’m not sure I’ll stick with it.

amarinth, what do you mean by “fix[ing] the format”?

So what did you think? It was interesting seeing the auditions, and amazing seeing just how clueless some people are about cooking, like the woman who blackened her beef and called it Beouf. The spicy chicken didn’t look too bad though, but then again I like really spicy food.

Spicy-chicken-cooker almost caused the evacuation of the kitchen, though! Plus she needs to back off on overspicing as a cover for bad food, since she did it again in the second challenge.

Being a vegetarian who cooks meat for people, I’m usually embarrassed by how wussy the vegetarians on these shows are. I was pleasantly surprised that this veg intentionally went out of her way to make meat in the first challenge, but then disappointed that she was getting nauseated in the second part.

I was impressed at how many contestants did relatively well in the second half. I don’t recall hearing any of them mentioning ever cutting up a chicken before, and then doing that plus making a dish under pressure isn’t too bad at all.

This was better than last year - the male chef last year was far too obnoxious and rude.
But I’m still a bit annoyed at the format - people who cook that badly don’t need to be able to create “restaurant quality” meals. A messy plate is the least of their problems. They do need basic kitchen skills (which do not, IMHO, include butchering a chicken. Who does that? My grocery store will do that for me, for free. Or I can just buy a package of chicken thighs/wings/breasts/whatever.) I’d rather see this show with the Neelys or Rachel Ray or Aarti one of the other “here’s how to cook a family meal” personalities than the restaurant personalities.

I really like this show but missed most of last season due to scheduling conflicts. Plus I didn’t like the male chef either. I’m going to do my best to catch this season because there’s still a ton of things I need to learn as an amateur cook and watching others fail is the best way for me to learn, not watch already established chefs make things I have no chance of even attempting

Not everyone of us have personal chefs to do our personal deboning :wink: I’ve cut the meat from bone many times, sometimes when I wanted a whole chicken with all its parts but not all together, or sometimes when I buy bone-in chicken but changed my mind on what to make.

Plus knowing how to cut a whole chicken into parts is a good skill. Not everyone has a grocer’s butcher counter who will do that for free/quickly. Whole chickens are much cheaper than buying them in parts. Having the knowledge to cut one up yourself builds confidence in the kitchen, and helps you understand that there’s more to chicken than flabby boneless breasts, drumsticks, and Buffalo wings.

raises hand A few times a month, usually. A roasted chicken is an easy, healthy, cheap dinner, and the folks at the grocery store flatly refuse to come to the house and cut it up for us when I pull it out of the oven. I suppose we could get the grocery store to cut up a chicken for us and roast the pieces, but I can disassemble a bird in the time it takes the butcher to come out of the back room and see what I want, and I’m the slow cook in our house. Besides, you can’t make beer can chicken out of pieces.

Granted, my raw poultry butchering is generally limited to butterflying the occasional chicken for faster roasting. But it’s the exact same process, whether the bird is cooked or raw. And a few times a year we break down several pounds of intact wings instead of paying a premium to have someone else do it for us Or I’ll buy leg quarters for soup or pot pies because they’re a fair bit cheaper per pound than just thighs or drumsticks and break them down so they’re easier to get in and out of the stockpot or skillet.

Roast chicken, wings, soup or chicken pot pie, the Thanksgiving turkey–basic feeding a family type meals where being able to butcher a bird can save you time and money. Sounds like a skill these people could use to me.

And honestly, I don’t think they’d have much audience for the show if it was Rachel Ray teaching them how to not fuck up their stoups and sammies. Taking someone from kitchen zero to kitchen utterly average citizen isn’t exactly a gripping watch, if you see what I mean. And there’s not much sense of accomplishment for the contestants to be able to say, “I learned not to be a total fuckup.” (Also, it would be utterly humiliating to be eliminated on the hamburger episode. At least with the current system people can say they got taken out by something hard and fancy.)

Not denying cutting up a chicken is a useful skill, but this is rarely true. The cheapest cut of chicken is usually leg quarters or thighs on the bone. I often see quarters or thighs for 69 cents a pound, and as low as 49 cents a pound, and that’s in New York City, where food generally costs more than elsewhere in the US. By comparison, 89 cents a pound is a VERY good price for whole chicken.

Also, where do you live in where there isn’t an entire case of cut up chicken at the grocery store? The grocer doesn’t wonk it up – it comes that way from the chicken processing plant, in 1-2 lb branded packages.

I’ve been cooking a long time, and never found the need to cut up a chicken before it was cooked. Cut it up after it;s cooked, sure, but that’s just getting the meat off it, not taking it apart, and the legs & wings you can basically rip off with your hands.

Wow that is astonishing. Whole chicken at a good price here is around .89. But I have never seen quarters near that cheep. About the best price you can expect here if you find the sales.

Whole .89
Leg Quarters, 1.29
Thighs/Drums 1.49
Breasts 3.59.

I’d call that carving, not butchering. The chickens they were cutting into pieces were raw. I’ve carved roast chicken - I’ve never needed to cut up a raw one, if I want to cook chicken pieces, the grocery store has done that for me.

And while I can see that going just to kitchen average is less compelling, for me, hearing the chefs say “you haven’t balanced the meat on the vegetables at a 45-degree angle, and what is that? a spot of sauce? you must not care.” makes me want to roll my eyes at the whole thing. In their “signature dish,” one made a baloney and spray cheese quesadilla and there was the “bœuf.” Successfully cooking a turkey burger that tastes good would be a huge step up for either of them.

Chicago suburbs, and I mean a single chicken broken down into pieces, in one package; yes, there are plenty of parts in separate packages. When you do find one chicken broken down, you pay a premium for the advantage.

If I buy a whole chicken but only want the legs for a dish, say something stewed, then I want pieces. I use the carcass to make stock.

Checking the sales flyers around here - I see the local Jewel-Osco supermarket has on sale their in-house brand of chicken drumsticks, thighs, or leg quarters for $0.89/lb. No other comparable chicken prices for comparison, except the Perdue boneless skinless breasts, again on sale, for $4.99/lb.

I was trying to comprehend the thought processes of some of them during the “make something to impress them for team picking” round.

You’re trying to impress the chefs with whatever tiny little bit of current ability you possess and you decide to try and make something you’ve never done before? Seriously? At least processed-cheese girl stayed with what she knew.

I was also a little depressed by the number of “I need to learn to cook so I can land a man!” type comments

About 3-4 times a year, my local grocery store sells meat at crazy prices. Spare ribs for .99 lb, or whole chickens for .99! The only catch is that you need to butcher both as they wont touch them at that price. It can be a good skill to have. All it really takes is a good knife and patience.

Buy a chicken
Bone it yourself
Boneless chicken and make some stock from the bones

Different ways of doing things, I guess. If you like to cook, I’d consider that a basic skill, personally. If I’m making fried chicken or chicken paprikash or coq au vin or whatever bone-in chicken stew, I buy a whole bird and butcher it up usually into eight pieces (plus the back, which goes into the freezer for stock later on), so there’s a nice variety of different types of chicken meat and everyone can get what they want. Buying it already cut-up is usually a good bit more expensive than buying a whole one, and when cutting up a whole chicken is so easy (and actually enjoyable) for me, why would I want to buy an already cut-up bird?

Chicago, too. Chicken leg quarters can get as low as $0.49/lb (although I swear I’ve seen them at $0.39/lb, possibly even $0.29/lb before). Here’s a current ad, for instance. They’re definitely the cheapest cut. But the ones that are sold at these prices are usually in huge 10-pound-give-or-take-a-couple bags. The regular chicken quarters are more like $0.99/lb typically. Whole chicken will be in the $0.79-$0.89/pound range. Bone-in breasts at around $1.99-$2.49/lb. (This is not at the major grocery stores like Jewel and Dominick’s here, where meat runs $1 or more per pound more than the smaller local chains.) So, when I want a variety of pieces and don’t need a giant sack of chicken parts, one whole chicken is the most economical and practical solution.