There must come a time in every marriage when you scream at each other while preparing dinner. This doesn’t happen to my husband and me too much because, honestly, we don’t cook that much. But when it does, it usually involves very hot oil.
Let me back up and say that anything with “blackened” in the title should make me run the other way. Someone, somewhere has figured out how to make things blackened properly. It is not me. So, because I am stupid and a glutton for punishment, I decided to try blackened chicken tenders.
Now I can handle mixing ingredients– even when the ingredients involve, like, handfuls of pepper.
I can even handle dredging chicken tenders.
But when it comes to throwing things in a really hot cast iron pan, I am apparently very, very chickenshit.
Here’s how it went:
Me: How hot should this pan be?
Husband: I don’t know. Hot but not too hot.
Me: What the fuck does that mean?
Him: Get out the thermometer.[I get out the fancy shmancy thermometer thing that he bought that you can point at any surface and it tells you the temperature. Trust me, we pointed it at everything when we first bought it. I now know the regular surface temperature of my tongue.]
Me: It’s like 450.
Him: 450?! You’re gonna crack the pan!
Me: Well come help me! I don’t want to crack the pan! GAH!
And it went on like this for some minutes, with me alternately freaking out that I was going to ruin something and him grudgingly “helping” me (which meant him taking over because I was too scared to do anything). There was popping oil, there was smoke, there may have been a comment along the lines of, “Blackened doesn’t mean burned, OMG!” It was basically carnage.
Add on top of that the fact that burning chicken dredged in three kinds of pepper makes a throat-searing smoke that gets into the tiniest mucus membranes of your face. So, screaming at each other, choking on pepper smoke, and potentially burning down the house, all in one night. Marital bliss, guys.
Luckily, my husband saved the day. He finished cooking the chicken while I rage-cleaned the kitchen. (You guys rage-clean, too, right? No? Just me? Carry on then.)
Was it all worth it? As we ate in silence, glaring at each other intermittently, we decided it didn’t suck that bad. In fact, Robbie actually liked it. I thought it was a little too obnoxiously spicy.
But here’s your warning: If you make it, be sure your marriage is strong.