Teriyaki Chicken with Bacon, Potatoes, Spinach and Carrots
Going back to school has been a surreal experience: you not only need to wake up at ungodly hours, look somewhat presentable, and shave and shower daily, you also have to function properly and behave as though you know what’s up. These are skills that I haven’t had to employ since high school, although back then I didn’t nearly shower as much as I do now.
High school was a whole other animal in more than one sense. To begin with, you’re completely dependent on you parents and your freedom to do as you please is basically non-existent. Clearly my parents will be reading this, so let me elaborate further: in terms of your education, you are as willfully at school as a prisoner is at prison – and it sucks. What sucks most about high school, though, is that lunch-times are segregated between two groups of people: those who brought lunch and those who bought it.
The segregation was very real and the former group had a pissing contest among who’s mom could make the best lunch for their kid. There was no fancy lunch swaps or anything like that – you ate the cards you were dealt and you didn’t get to complain. I clearly never competed because my lunch was made by myself, and never consisted of more than 2 or 3 ingredients: bread, peanut-butter, and sometimes jelly.
Times have changed though, and the tables have turned. Law school isn’t like high school anymore; for one thing there’s much less drama and much more debt. It’s basically the Hunger Games for young professionals, where you either make your own food or you watch others as you starve. They don’t give out pizza for no reason every second day.
With that in mind, here’s one of the lunches that I’ll be preparing over the course of the next term, something that’s super tasty and easy to make in a rush. More importantly, it keeps well and tastes good when cold, too. Because you never know when the urge for brainfood kicks in. So here it is, my very own déjeuner nutritif – Teriyaki Chicken with Bacon, Potatoes, Spinach and Carrots.
Less is more when you’re aiming for food that’s going to be stuffed in a locker for a couple of hours – so try to chose ingredients that are fresh and keep well when refrigerated/kept out. Here’s what I used:
- Chicken (ain’t nobody got time to defrost)
- Red Onion
- Gymp Carrots
- Teriyaki sauce (totes optional)
If you’ve got these things ready, we can move on to the next step – preparing the goods.
Preparing the Goods
Here’s a short summary of what I did:
- Boil the potatoes in lightly salted water
- Boil the chicken in water with teriyaki sauce
- Cook the bacon until it becomes pale, then add the onion
- Pan-fry the ugly-ass carrots
- Quickly pan-fry the spinach
- Quickly brown the chicken in a pan
Boom, you’re done. Here’s some pictures:
Obviously, your first step should always be to preheat all your pots and pans, unless you’re boiling water at which point you should boil the water first.
At this point you should start adding things to your pots and pans. You’ll want to boil the potatoes in a pot of boiling (and lightly salted) water, and you should dump your frozen chicken into a pan of boiling water. I’d recommend adding spices and stuff to your chicken water, otherwise it’ll smell nasty.
Anybody that says bacon is bad for your heart is not your real friend, and you should not associate with them – ever. Crack that package open and cut the delicious bacon into small pieces.
At this point you’ll want to cut all your veggies since everything else should be boiling away slowly.
The ugliest carrots the world has ever seen, courtesy of the St. Norbert Farmers’ Market. If you’re ever confused about where to go for expensive vegetables, St. Norberts should definitely be on your list to visit.
I should probably have pointed out that I only used about 5 slices of bacon and only 1/2 a red onion. Trust me when I say that more is never a bad thing. Look at that, lunch for tomorrow. Here we have our bacon, onions, carrots, and spinach ready to cook up.
The first rule of bacon club is that you’re likely going to die early and go to hell because you ate it in the first place. The second rule, however, is that you should preheat your pan properly. Once your bacon has cooked a little, but is not yet golden brown, take the red onions and add them to your pan.
If I were to describe the smell of my kitchen, I’d probably say that it smelled like an orgy of food, with bacon calling the shots. If you can’t relate to that then you need to leave the house more often.You’ll see to the left that I flipped the chicken to cook on the other side as well. Why do I have to point that out? Because you were clearly still ogling at the bacon and onion.You know you’re doing something right when your cat is willing to lose a couple of lives just to get a taste of your bacon.What’s that? A bacon gif? You’re welcome internet.Next you’ll want to drain your cooked bacon and onions and let them sit a little – cool down if you will. This on its own is enough for lunch, but we’re playing in the big leagues now.Liquid gold, otherwise known as bacon grease
The name of the game here is don’t throw away the bacon grease. We’ll be using that to pan fry our chicken, stupid carrots, spinach, and most importantly the potatoes, as you’ll see below.
Cut the potatoes into little disks, and don’t worry about parts of it being uncooked. We’ll be frying them, and you’ll later be microwaving them anyway, so you’re fine!Bacon grease is like tinder (and I don’t mean the dating app). It doesn’t tolerate high heat, so make sure you’re either on simmer or 1-2 degrees above that. When you get a chance, top the potato with some Cajun.Golden brown playyaaaIf these carrots weren’t orange, they would have been in the garbage by now. They’re literally only used to colour my plate.Spinach should not turn another shade of green. Literally 1 minute in and out is enough for it.Got it?Last but not least, pan fry the chicken too, and you’ve got all the elements you need for putting together your perfect lunch.
As you can see in the multitude of pictures, it’s very easy to make and doesn’t require any special knowledge other than common sense and an elementary understanding of what meat and vegetables are. As is the case with all great food, you’ll now need to plate it to make it taste good for your eyes, too, because there’s nothing more depressing than eating ugly lunch after 2 hour classes.
This is one of the easiest and tastiest things that I actually make on a regular basis, so I don’t have to think twice about whether I would make it again or not. From start to finish it took me 20 minutes using on-hand and frozen ingredient, pretty impressive considering you’ll have to thaw for most other dishes.
Before I finish this post, I wanted to take a moment to devote this particular recipe to two of my friends that won’t be joining us for future post. Unfortunately, as I have found out today, half the bacon I got from Costco was tainted and will need to be returned. I only cried a little, but this recipe is to commemorate their bravery in the good times and the bad. I’ll always miss you guys:
As always, feel free to engage in the comment section below and let me know how you liked the dish. As for me, I’ll be showing this bad boy off tomorrow, and even if I don’t – I’ll still have a pretty good lunch!
Tl;dr.: My school lunch is going to be better than yours and you should just give up. Peace.