Living in an apartment during college is like a training program to become a functional adult. The hope is that by the time I graduate, I’ll have enough knowledge to sustain myself without eating popcorn for dinner at least two nights a week.
So at some point it’s time to think outside the Easy Mac box.
The best advice I can give to every budding chef with no time, money, or experience is to get yourself a giant bag of frozen chicken breasts from Wal-Mart. Chicken is the blank canvas of cooking. Once you can make chicken, you can make a variety of cheap, easy, fast meals that actually have nutritional value. What’s the catch, you ask? Chicken is tasteless AF. Some creativity (or Pinterest) is required here if you want to actually enjoy eating. I present to you, the first chicken recipe I discovered that doesn’t take forever AND actually tastes like it could’ve been made by someone other than myself:
Savory Balsamic Chicken
So, funny story: I got this recipe from the Lea and Perrins website. If you aren’t familiar with Lea and Perrins, it’s worcestershire sauce. What was I doing on a website for worcestershire sauce? Researching for my advertising class. Yes, ladies and gentleman, I had to create ads for Lea and Perrins Worcestershire Sauce for homework. And wouldn’t you know it, they had some decent recipes on their website. Here goes:
6 boneless, skinless chicken breats
1/2 cup Worcestershire Sauce
1/3 cup Flour
Salt + pepper
1 tbsp vegetable oil (I used olive oil)
1 1/2 tbsp balsamic vinegar
1 1/2 cups chicken broth
2 tbsp butter
Step 1. Defrost your frozen chicken in the microwave. Or at least I’m assuming it’s frozen, since you’re taking cooking advice from a college student.
Step 2. Prep your chicken by dipping it in flour and seasoning with salt and pepper.
When the chicken is done (you’ve cut through it enough and confirmed that it’s reasonably safe to eat, if you’re terrified like me), put it on a plate and set it aside. KEEP THE SAME PAN for the next part. You’ll want all that good chicken stuff at the bottom.
Step 4. Reduce heat and dump in the rest of the ingredients– the butter, the broth, the vinegar, the worcestershire sauce, all that good stuff. Mix it up and bring to a boil. Keep it boiling for 5 minutes.
Step 5. Pour the sauce over the chicken and add the sides.
That’s a mom-quality meal if I’ve ever seen one. Frozen chicken and microwavable potatoes: One small step for my cooking career, one giant leap for my future well-being once I can no longer get away with making frozen taquitos and egg rolls every night.