Despite Chef Pii, the mastermind of Pink Sauce, not knowing what the acronym “FDA” stands for or what they do, the agency’s plate has been full of disgusting TikTok food lately–including her questionable condiment that probably wasn’t safe for consumption before its recent journey to legitimacy. Like Whac-A-Mole, when one stupid food viral trend dissipates another arrives, and this time the Food & Drug Administration has had to step in to warn against the cooking and eating of chicken breasts marinated in NyQuil. The recipe’s called “Sleepy Chicken” or “NyQuil Chicken,” and while it’s definitely been cooked by someone on TikTok to get a reaction, it’s unclear if anyone has been dumb enough to actually eat it to sleep, perchance to robotrip.
The original video was posted on TikTok back in September of 2020 and seems like a parody since the chef says he likes to use “four-thirds of a bottle” of the medication and to cook the chicken for “5-30 minutes” as he uses a miniature straightening iron as tongs to flip the breasts. Here it is:
Somehow it recently resurfaced, and while most of the TikTok search results for “sleepy chicken” or “NyQuil chicken” are just people expressing their horror at the dish or showing off their actual pet chickens in need of a nap, TMZ says that the FDA felt the need to address the “viral challenge” because, on top of it being vomitous, it’s also dangerous. Since we live in a time where youths once clamored to get their hands on Tide Pods to chow down on, the concern is probably warranted.
It sounds as disgusting as it is dangerous … “sleepy chicken” is what it’s called … some people say it helps with cold symptoms … duh.
Thing is … it’s also unsafe. Meds that are boiled can be dangerous because they’re much more concentrated and powerful and change properties … so says the FDA.
What’s more … just smelling it can be dangerous. Folks at the FDA say inhaling vapors during the cooking process causes the drug to enter the cook’s system, causing potential lung damage.
And here’s the FDA’s full warning:
A recent social media video challenge encourages people to cook chicken in NyQuil (acetaminophen, dextromethorphan, and doxylamine) or another similar OTC cough and cold medication, presumably to eat.
The challenge sounds silly and unappetizing — and it is. But it could also be very unsafe. Boiling a medication can make it much more concentrated and change its properties in other ways. Even if you don’t eat the chicken, inhaling the medication’s vapors while cooking could cause high levels of the drugs to enter your body. It could also hurt your lungs. Put simply: Someone could take a dangerously high amount of the cough and cold medicine without even realizing it.
So find something less revolting and perilous to slather on your breasts (ew no, that wasn’t your cue, Mario Batali). And since no one is sure if anyone has actually tasted “Nyquil Chicken,” it’s unclear if it’s any worse than Paula Patton’s sad fried chicken.