Why The Internet's New 'NyQuil Chicken' Trend Is So Dangerous

The internet has served as a springboard for some very unexpected culinary creations. According to PureWow, social media has hyped up watermelon topped with yellow mustard, cucumbers sprinkled with sugar, chocolate paired with tomatoes, and much more. While these food combos might not appeal to everyone, they don't necessarily sound like ideas that could land you in the hospital. The same can't be said about the new trend. A TikTok video that is making the rounds features a recipe on how to make NyQuil chicken. The video shows a chicken breast getting poached in a bottle of NyQuil on a stovetop, resulting in a blue piece of poultry.

A Reddit user also shared an alternative recipe for NyQuil chicken. The video walked viewers through this cooking process, which encouraged home cooks to let their chicken sizzle in NyQuil for as little as five minutes, and encouraged viewers to pour the remaining NyQuil that the chicken didn't absorb back into the medicine bottle. The comment section freaked out, and replies poured in like, "I personally like my chicken to look a bit more like rotten flesh, so I'd suggest some more green food coloring to be added to the liquid which replaced the Nyquil the creator of this video probably drank before filming it." While some Redditors suggested that the NyQuil chicken video trend is most likely a joke, an expert has warned against trying to eat one of these poached pieces of chicken.

A dangerous internet trend

The popularity of these NyQuil chicken videos has even inspired a NyQuil pasta recipe, per Mic. While these videos can definitely entertain or horrify viewers, a doctor has recommended avoiding these recipes and says people should not consider them effective cold remedies. Aaron Hartman, a physician and assistant clinical professor of family medicine at Virginia Commonwealth University, told Mic, "Taking medicine with food typically isn't dangerous, since many people do it with their daily dosage of medicine. When you cook cough medicine like NyQuil, however, you boil off the water and alcohol in it, leaving the chicken saturated with a super concentrated amount of drugs in the meat. If you ate one of those cutlets completely cooked, it'd be as if you're actually consuming a quarter to half a bottle of NyQuil."

Hartman also noted that anyone who ate a piece of chicken that only boiled for 5 minutes could suffer from food poisoning, in addition to consuming a dangerous amount of NyQuil. He further explained that anyone cooking this concoction risks breathing in the fumes of boiling medicine. That person would be inhaling the aerosolized chemical cocktail of acetaminophen, decongestants, dextromethorphan, and more. These fumes bypass your liver and enter your bloodstream, possibly leading to liver failure or other health complications. Next time you need a new cold remedy, avoid TikTok NyQuil chicken.