Cooking Chicken in NyQuil is Trending, and It’s Dangerous

The FDA advises against trying the “Sleepy Chicken” Recipe

Frosties and french fries? Great combo. Cough medicine and raw chicken? The idea is certainly absurd, but per some recent posts on TikTok, “Sleepy Chicken” recipes have been sweeping kitchens across the USA.

The process involves cooking chicken in NyQuil, or another similar OTC cough and cold medication, and then eating it or having someone else eat it, while filming the reaction. Besides the taste, it literally turns the chicken green, while also turning our stomachs. 

Nyquil doesn’t exactly taste good on its own, and a bland piece of meat like chicken is only likely to absorb the gross licorice-like flavor. Why anyone would think cooking anything containing acetaminophen, dextromethorphan, and doxylamine is a good idea is baffling. We have a feeling these are the same people who also thought eating Tide Pods was a good idea, too.

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The FDA has finally had enough, releasing a blog post explaining the dangers of such social media trends and why cooking food with any medicine is a horrible idea. 

The post states: “Boiling a medication can make it much more concentrated and change its properties in other ways…  and cause high levels of the drugs to enter your body.”

You don’t even have to eat the chicken to feel the unwanted effects – simply inhaling the vapors are enough to hurt your lungs, the post adds.

Most people have had enough of this gross trend too, proclaiming on their Twitter feeds that they are muting the words “NyQuil” and “Chicken.” 

So far no reports of serious harm have been released from those who have ingested Sleepy Chicken. TechCrunch has also reported that TikTok isn’t taking any chances, however, with admins removing videos containing the unappetizing trend.

TechCrunch also attributes the origin of Nyquil Chicken back to 4chan, when someone likely posted the “recipe” as a way to troll readers. 

On a more serious note, it could be a good time to chat with your kids about social media trends and peer pressure. The FDA post has some good tips, but keeping cough medicine out of reach is a great start.

Next time you’re looking for a TikTok trend to try, check out this roundup of TikTok Hacks that will definitely make you more productive, and less curious about medicinal cooking.


Katka Lapelosova
Kat is a born and raised New Yorker exploring the world as she writes, eats, and everything in between. Read more
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