Table For One

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One weekend a month, The Mistah goes off and does his Army thing.  And as bad as this might sound, I enjoy it.  I enjoy having the house to myself.  I enjoy staying in my pajamas until all hours of the afternoon.  I enjoy hunkering down on the sofa with a book or movie, ignoring all the things that I should be doing.  What I enjoy most is feeling like I don’t have to cook.

Because all the other nights, I’m on dinner detail.  We had been designating one dinner a week where The Mistah was in charge.  But our schedules have been all over the place and that just hasn’t been working out.  Besides, he’s taken on breakfast duties lately so it’s not like he isn’t spending any time in the kitchen.

My point is that when he’s away, and being fed by the Army, I’m off the hook.  I can eat a bowl of cereal if I want to.  Or get take out.  Or skip dinner entirely.  It’s completely up to me.  Usually, I’ll try and scrounge up something easy.  But then I started to wonder why I’m less inclined to cook for myself as I am for other people.  Because if I’ve learned anything from these kitchen adventures, it’s that good food doesn’t have to be complicated.  Easy can still be good.  And just because I’m the only one at the table, I shouldn’t settle for just scrounging something up.

Hopefully you don’t either.  Broiled Chicken Thighs with Chipotle Sauce is a good way to break that habit.

Broiled Chicken Thighs with Chipotle Sauce

Adapted from Fine Cooking

  • 1 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon light brown sugar, packed
  • 3/4 teaspoon ground chipotle powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • Kosher salt
  • 2 bone in chicken thighs, skin removed and trimmed of any excess fat
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 jar roasted red peppers, drained

Position a cooking rack in the top third of your oven and heat to 375 degrees.  Line a sheet pan with aluminum foil and set a cooling rack inside the pan.

Combine 1 teaspoon cumin, brown sugar, 1/4 teaspoon chipotle powder, cinnamon, and 1 teaspoon salt in a small bowl.  Use your fingers to mix the spices together.

In a medium bowl or plastic bag, drizzle chicken with 1 tablespoon olive oil.  Add the spices and toss to coat the chicken.

Arrange the chicken on the rack and cook for 20 minutes.  Flip the chicken over and cook for 10 minutes more.

While the chicken cooks, add the roasted red pepper, remaining 1/2 teaspoon cumin and chipotle, and 1/2 teaspoon salt to a food processor.  With the food processor running, drizzle in the remaining 1 tablespoon olive oil to form a sauce.

Set the oven to broil (Hi if you have that setting), turn the chicken so that the top side of the thigh is up, and broil for approximately 5 minutes or until the spice coating dries and crisps.

Serve the chicken with the red pepper sauce.

{Printable Recipe}

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14 Responses to Table For One

  1. Good for you for cooking for yourself! I eat the worst kind of slop when I’m on my own! Shameful, really.

    • Wendi says:

      TKW, on Army weekends it’s a real effort to resist the urge to boycott using the stove. Sometimes I’m strong. Sometimes not.

      Was it you who had a post about the dreadful things we eat when we don’t have to feed someone else? Some of my favorite guilty pleasures are pretzels and butter, pretzels and cream cheese, pretzels and ice cream, and spaghetti sauce sandwiches.

  2. I do for myself as I would if Roberto and I were eating together. I set the table, prep a nice meal, enjoy wine. I don’t know any other way. I like easy, but it feels nice to take the time for myself in this way.

  3. biz319 says:

    Cooking for myself when the hubs is out of town on business is fun for me and my daughter – we fix all the things he doesn’t like – like having a meatless meal! 😀

    That sounds delicious – while I am not a huge fan of dark meat, I may sub in bone-in chix breasts for this recipe.

    Happy St. Patty’s Day!

    • Wendi says:

      Oh yes, cooking when the partner is away definitely gives you chance to indulge. You’d have to play with the cooking time with a bone in breast but there’s no reason not to use them if that’s what you like!

  4. Emily Revere says:

    chipotle powder? I must look into this..there for a minute I thought you had found a use for th erest of the hot little devils in that little can!

    • Wendi says:

      Well Emily, I think you might be onto something. I bet you could use those chiles in adobo sauce instead of chilpotle powder. Are you feeling adventurous enough to give it a try?

  5. When Noel’s not around I tend to hit up the sushi case at Whole Foods. And then get a lemon bar for dessert. I know it’s sad, but it works!

    • Wendi says:

      Beth, no apologies. If sushi and a lemon bar make you happy then that’s all that matters. And it’s not like you’re eating cereal for dinner….not that there’s anything wrong with that.

      PS – Happy Birthday!

  6. shutterboo says:

    When the hubs did more traveling for work, a co-worker of his told me that travel was good for marriage. I told him he was wrong and that being apart 4-5 days a week is torturous. And then the hubs got a new job, a desk job and now I know that co-worker was right. Love him but it’s nice to have “me” time.
    He’s out of town this weekend for a show so guess who will be eating pasta until the cows come home?

  7. J says:

    All Time Favorite Recipe:

    Take a bowl of Lucky Charms and add milk to taste.

    • Wendi says:

      J, I’m embarrassed to say how often I actually take [insert random cereal name here] and add milk for dinner. And I’m betting that The Mistah will use my trip to Florida as an excuse to do this many nights while I’m gone.

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