Sometimes, just when the news cycle hits a depressing low, or the Twittersphere is at its worst, a video comes along that manages to distract and unify.

A video recipe held the Internet captive in horrified fascination over the weekend, as more than 19 million people watched a demonstration of how to make a deep-fried BBQ chicken stuffed pizzadilla.

On Thursday, Twitter user @_kurlykay posted a recipe video and asked, “okay but I just wanna know WHY?????”

The video was then tweeted on Saturday afternoon by Yashar Ali, an influential journalist with a large following, with the comment, “I’m calling the FBI”.

The recipe, which comes from a British website called, begins innocuously enough, with a typical mix of spices to prep for a chicken rub. Looks tasty, right? The chicken gets shredded after baking, and more ingredients are added. So far, so good. Some may even be tempted to give the recipe a try.

But unexpectedly, the recipe keeps going. And going. As user @blgtylr wrote: “This had more twists than a season of American Horror Story.”

Ali’s post racked up more than 172,000 likes, 38,800 retweets, and 52,000 comments so far, while @_kurlykay’s garnered more than 18,100 likes and 4,200 retweets.

Carl Franzan responded to Ali’s tweet: “More like FDA, HHS, CDC”

Nick Lehmann explained it another way, likening the video to his past relationships. “Starts out, oo interesting, okay no this is great...wait wait wait, you see some ugly s***, try to fix it, gets worse and worse, you just can’t look away/leave, and what was once fantastic is now a complete f***ing disaster”

Not everyone was revolted, however. Justin Kirkland told Ali, “Yashar. I’m going to be honest … I would eat the hell out of this.”

The Guardian estimated the concoction contained about 7,275 calories, based on “hasty calculations” using a meal calculator, and not including the calories that come from deep-frying, and other items.

Shay Spence, food editor for People Magazine, did the internet a favour and decided to make the recipe and document his journey online, from shopping for ingredients (total came to US$79.60, excluding emotional labour) to eating. He started at 6:22 p.m. on Sunday and Twitter followed along - for nearly seven hours - in delight, thanking him for his public service.

When he took the final dish out of the oven, Chrissy Teigan tweeted, “CRAP this looks fantastic to me noooooooo”

Spence took his first bite at around 1 a.m. Monday.

There’s a video clip of him gagging.

“I expected to like it in a gross-good kind of way," he tweeted. "But the mixture of the sweet bbq sauce, the pizza sauce and the dill sour cream....:,,,,,;;; truly one of the most vile things I’ve ever eaten.

I’m not taking any further questions.”