Hooray! It’s time to Get Bitchin’ In The Kitchen, which means I’ll be sharing a new Random Single Gal Recipe every day for the next two weeks. The only thing that makes these recipes perfect for single gals is that you should feel free to make it for yourself and only yourself, if you so choose. After all, as a single gal myself, that’s how I cook. Today, I am sharing rmy absolute favorite chicken recipe, as well as a recipe for a simple and fresh green bean salad.
First up, the chicken. Alas, I cannot take full or even three-quarters of the credit for this recipe. However, I can take credit for delivering it to you in an easier-to-prepare, slightly altered, single gal portion-size. It’s based on Mario Batali’s recipe for “Pollo al Diavolo” (that’s “devil’s chicken” in Italian), which is featured in his Babbo cookbook. Batali, for those who are not constantly watching the Food Network, is the fat, red-headed chef who wears orange Crocs and rides a Vespa. Anyway, Babbo’s food is sooooo good so the restaurant’s cookbook always intimidated me, until I tried this recipe and realized that simple, delicious Italian food is more about great ingredients than tons of time and sweat. That said, Batali’s original recipe is for a whole chicken (which is still totally doable) and I prefer to cook with individual chicken breasts. So this is my version of Batali’s “Pollo al Diavolo,” but for one hungry, happily single person. (I’ve also left out the salad portion of his recipe, as I’m going to give you my own recipe for a more substantial side.) I call it Hot Ass Chicken.
HOT ASS CHICKEN
Recipe serves one single person, holla!
- 1 chicken breast, bone in, with skin (look, you can make this with boneless, skinless breasts, but it’s not as good — you only live once!)
- 1 1/2 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
- Sea salt
- 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
- Olive oil
- 1/4 tsp. cayenne
- 1/4 tsp. red pepper flakes
1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. While the oven is heating, grind the pepper into a bowl with the mustard, add a drizzle of olive oil (I told you I don’t do exact measurements well!). Mix to combine well. Put the chicken breast in a roasting pan of some sort, pat the skin dry with a paper towel, and season it with salt and a little bit of pepper. When the oven is pre-heated, put the chicken on the middle rack of the oven and let cook for 15 minutes.
2. After 15 minutes, pull the chicken out of the oven and coat the outside with the mustard and pepper mixture. Put it back in the oven to cook for another 15 minutes, for a total of 30 minutes cooking time.***
3. While the chicken cooks, make the spicy oil. Drizzle about 2 tablespoons of olive oil into a microwave-safe cup or bowl and add the chopped jalapenos, cayenne, and red pepper flakes. Heat in microwave for, like, 20 seconds. Leave the jalapenos in there to continue to add in their heat.
4. Also, while the chicken cook, make the green bean salad. (Recipe below.)
5. When the chicken is done, for the love of God, let it rest for five minutes. If you cut that bitch before the juices have a chance to distribute back into the meat, it will come pouring out and your beautiful moist chicken will go as dry as me during a particularly sad dating period.
6. Plate the chicken and then drizzle that spicy oil (leave out the jalapenos unless you really love them) all over the chicken. Plate the green bean salad next to it. Pour yourself a large glass of red wine.
6. Eat, rub belly, burp. Drink remaining bottle of wine.
*** So, here’s the thing. This is how long my oven takes to cook a regular sized bone-in chicken breast. Because chicken is filled with evil things that make you puke unless cooked all the way, you should really base the cooking time on how long your oven usually takes to cook it — when in doubt, check the internal temp with a thermometer. A cooked chicken should register at 175°- 180°F.
GREEN BEAN SALAD WITH GRAPE TOMATOES, RED ONION & ASIAGO CHEESE
- 1/4 pound of fresh green beans or haricots verts (that’s French green beans, fancy pants), ends trimmed. [Note: If you are tempted to use canned or frozen green beans for this, I hereby order you to step out of the kitchen, get down on your knees, and pray to the ghost of Julia Child for forgiveness. Unacceptable.]
- 8-10 grape tomatoes, halved
- 1/4 red onion, sliced into thin half moons
- 1/4 cup asiago cheese (parmesan would be good too, or even feta), shaved
- salt, to taste
- pepper, to taste
- olive oil
- red wine vinegar
1. Bring a small pot of water to boil and blanch the green beans for one minute. No longer!!!! You just want them a tinnnnnny bit cooked. Strain and then stop the cooking process by running cold water over them until they’ve cooled. You can even pop the colander in the freezer for a few minutes while you finish the other steps.
2. Toss the green beans with tomatoes and onion. Season with a bit of salt and pepper and then add the asiago. Drizzle with olive oil and red wine vinegar to your desired level of tang. (I say this because I am a vinegar nut and have been known to eat/drink it with a spoon, so I like my salad vinegar-y.)
3. Eat that yummy green bean salad with your Hot Ass Chicken. You deserve it.