My friend’s son, who will be off to college this fall, made a request for a simple recipe that he can cook easily in his dorm kitchen. This was his chant to me.
“No more than four ingredients, Auntie Mira, and I mean salt already counts as one.” (This is tough, but not too tough.)
“And not one of your elaborate, two-to-three-hour deals.” (You seemed to enjoy them a great deal.)
“I will be cooking in a ‘dormitory kitchen’, you know. They have less equipment than my mom’s pantry, or your garage. A one or two burner electric stove, a microwave, a sink, that’s it. Do you understand?” (Oh, great to know this, kiddo!)
“I probably won’t have a variety of pots or pans, either. In fact, I probably have to bring my own. No spatula either.” (After all these manners your mother taught you over the years, you are going to end up eating with your hands, like your daddy…oh Lord!)
“I can always invite a girl to my dorm kitchen.” He was so excited! (Wait until you know that girls don’t normally go to the boy’s dormitory unless it’s right after the big cleaning day.)
“Not anything from a jar that you or mom made for me—I can’t impress a girl with s**t from jars—you guys KNOW that!” (Agree, kiddo! “Pie” in the TV show “Ray Donovan” also confirmed this principle!)
So I dedicate this recipe to all the college dudes and anyone who wants a simple but delicious meal.
It’s beyond simple. It’s failure-free and it will look like you know s*** you don’t! Hopefully, boys, you can impress girls with this recipe, but to get pussy with chicken is quite far-fetched. I would suggest waiting three more years and using real alcohol to assist. 😉
Ingredients: (for two)
Chicken breast, with bones in and skin on 1 piece
Salt approximately 1 tablespoon
Tarragon leaves, 1 bunch (You can substitute the tarragon with basil, rosemary, oregano, thyme, sage, cilantro, green onions (scallions), onions, shallots or garlic.
Butter 1-2 tablespoons (Also you can replace the butter with olive oil or vegetable oil, or even mix them together, but you know butter would give the best taste, right?)
1) WASH the chicken and the tarragon leaves. (Not in the tub together!)
2) RUB the chicken breast with the salt, all over every side and under the skin, wherever your finger can go. Rub it throughly. (This is sounding like a porno film.) Spend some time with the rubbing. At least THIS is a breast you can really fondle however you like without risking a slap in the face or a kick in your nuts.
3) Melt the butter in a pot that has a lid cover over medium high heat. You could use a pan if your pan has a lid and, after you place the chicken in it, you can still close the lid tight.
4) Put the chicken in the pot, skin side down, and cook until the skin is brown and crispy, approximately 3-5 minutes, depending on your stove and your pot material. Cast iron with a high-heat gas stove (which usually yields the best result) would take about 3 minutes.
While you’re waiting for the chicken to be cooked, tear the tarragon into pieces, and take the stems off. If you have a knife, you can chop it.
5) Flip the chicken piece so the bone side is down and the crispy skin side is up.
6) Put the herbs on top of the crispy skin and close the lid. Continue to cook over the medium high heat for another 2-4 minutes. Turn off the heat and LEAVE THE POT ON THE STOVE WITH THE LID ON for another 20-30 minutes.
The chicken will continue to cook from the heat inside the pot, the leftover heat from the stove, and the heat in the chicken itself from the fire earlier.
The cooking time varies depending on many factors. I recommend a rehearsal before showing off to a girl so you would know the exact time for your particular pot and stove.
While you wait, I would recommend guarding your pot or the contents might disappear. Dormitory ghosts are quite hungry and shamelessly take unattended food on a regular basis. Some of them even take the pot!
7) After the waiting period is over, use a fork or a knife to pierce the side of the chicken piece and see the juice that runs out. If it runs clear, no pinkish color, you are good. If it is pink, put it in the microwave for 1-2 minutes. This also means you need to increase the initial cooking time next time around.
Why don’t I cook the chicken until it’s cooked through before turning off the heat? Well, technically, you could do that. All you have to do is to reduce the heat to low and continue cooking, but the result will be a drier chicken. I like my chicken juicy and this is the way to keep the chicken juice inside the piece. Try it once and you will understand.
I actually slightly overcooked my chicken here. With my enamel cast iron pot, I should cook the bone side for two minutes and then leave it for only 20 minutes. I let it sit for 30, but it’s okay. As I said before, it’s a failure-free meal. Overcooked chicken is still delicious and when cooking it with this method there’s no way of burning it.
If you don’t eat the skin, peel it off (I’m sure your roommate or dorm mate would be happy to eliminate it for you.) Cooking with the skin and bone make the chicken meat taste better.
Good luck! Text me the pic of the chick 😉
I’m in Vancouver this week for a wedding ceremony, 3 days Indian style. I will be exploring Vancouver and of course the food scene here. You can follow me on Instagram or my Facebook page for unofficial updates of my gourmet investigations.