Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Drunken Master Chicken

I've been eating out a little more than I should lately, mostly out of laziness about cooking at home.  I decided to focus on my cooking skills this evening to unwind from a long day at work, since that third class of the day makes me want to bang all of my students' heads on their desks.  (Is there some device that expedites this process for the busy professor?)  Anyway, I had bought some chicken breasts, and I've recreated my usual kitchen-sink-style spice cabinet in my new place, so that seemed the thing to work on. 

The last time I cooked chicken breasts, I tried for a nice soy-lime marinade, and only half-succeeded: too salty, too acidic, and not enough depth of flavor.  I was puzzling over what else I could add to dilute the negative qualities of the soy sauce and the lime juice, and after a while a brilliant idea struck me: WHISKEY.  A few internet searches later, I had an idea what I would do.  And, I am pleased to announce, my latest improvisatory recipe was wildly successful!


1.5 pounds or so of chicken
soy sauce (don't go overboard here)
lime juice (don't go overboard here, either)
1 tbsp. allspice
1 tbsp. ground ginger
rye whiskey (what the fuck, go a little overboard here!)
green onions
garlic cloves (overboard!)
spinach or other greens

Mix the green onions, garlic, spices, lime juice, soy sauce, and whiskey together in a bowl wide enough to marinate all the chicken at once.  Trim the fat and gristle from the chicken and marinate it for at least an hour, turning it over halfway through.  After marination, cook it in a big frying pan with a lid, along with the spinach.  Once everything is laid out in the pan, cover it and check it every five minutes or so.  You want all the veggies and chicken to steam a bit more than they fry, so the moisture isn't all boiled off.  Thick pieces of chicken, like split breasts, may take about half an hour of this, being turned over now and then, before they're cooked all the way through.

Serve with either a glass of the same whiskey used in the marinade, or a red wine light enough to let you savor the delicate balance of the marinade/glaze.


  1. Have the students line up and march past your lectern so you can bang their heads on that instead of on their desks. Much more efficient.

  2. So that is chicken that knows every style of Kung Fu?

  3. @Dame Eleanor: I was rather hoping for some old-fashioned steampunk contraption that would descend from the ceiling and seize all of my students' heads in one fell swoop-bang. Why off-load the work on myself?

    @Sis: And prefers to spend its time boozing it up in a corner of the local tavern, yes.

  4. That does look tasty, I say as a vegetarian. It has gotten freakishly, horribly cold up here, so last night I busted out my desi lentil soup recipe in defense. And I spent the previous night putting up local corn for the winter as a way of Not Thinking about my students' terrible grades on their geography quizzes. (Can your students identify what continent Moldova is on? Mine cannot.)

  5. @Ajnabieh: I'm afraid even to speculate on my students' geographical knowledge. I haven't instituted any quizzes about that, although I may experiment with something in that vein if they keep botching elementary quiz questions.

    Also, I totally see students now wearing hot pants and sweatshirts, just like you said. The thought process that drives that ensemble completely misses me.

  6. I also do not understand hot pants and sweatshirts.

    Or Uggs with shorts.