Selena’s Emergency Pantry Raid: Damn Fine Chicken

My dislike of cooking and cooking-related activities is known far and wide, and has nothing to do with my identification as a person of feminist principles. I just don’t enjoy it. I like baking, I like making any number of sweet things, I’m just not very good at making meals.

As a result, I have a recipe box full of shit that:

  1. Doesn’t take long.
  2. Doesn’t dirty many dishes. And
  3. Takes advantage of multiple food groups/nutrition requirements at once.

Today’s recipe will take you a grand total of 30 minutes from start to finish, including most of the clean up. And it’s delicious.

Tools you’ll need

  • A sharp knife
  • A portable indoor grill, a stove top griddle OR a strong-ass, durable pan like a cast iron skillet
  • A small dish
  • A set of measuring spoons or a couple of soup spoons
  • Two cutting boards – one for meat and one for veggies
  • A large salad or serving bowl


  • Chicken breasts – one for each person.
  • Salad veggies
  • Grated cheese
  • Your favorite salad dressing that will compliment Southwest flavors.
  • A collection of stuff from your spice cabinet. I use paprika, garlic, onion powder, cumin, chili lime seasoning, good salt, fresh ground pepper, mustard powder and dried parsley, mostly because it’s what I know I always have. You can experiment with your own flavors with reckless abandon.


  1. Start by mixing your rub. I usually begin with a couple of heaping soup spoons of paprika. Paprika is mostly for show, and it will bulk up your rub while adding great color to your chicken breasts. Add a decent amount of onion powder, garlic powder and parsley – for two people I’d use maybe 3/4 of a soup spoon each.  Add slightly less than half a soup spoon’s worth of mustard powder, chili powder and salt, then a pinch each of cumin and ground pepper. Swirl the container around to mix all the dry ingredients together, and break up any clumps with your spoon.
  2. Rinse and pat dry your completely thawed chicken breasts, and heat up whatever you’re going to use to cook them. I have an indoor grill that I treat like family, and it’s perfect for chicken breasts. You can also use a griddle or a cast iron skillet with a whisper of oil in the bottom. Pat the breasts all over with the rub until every surface is covered.  Let them set while you chop the salad veggies.
  3. Grill or pan fry your chicken breasts until the meat in the center is at least 180° F and the inner juices run clear. (Don’t be fooled by the paprika.)  When they’re completely cooked, let them set on a heat-proof surface for 5-10 minutes before slicing into thin strips and adding to the salad.
  4. While the chicken is cooling, wash all the preparation dishes and put away your ingredients, then BAM! all that needs to be washed after you eat is the plates and utensils.

Enjoy! This is a great low-fat meal with a ton of flavor, for the days you want something light that still leaves you feeling really satisfied.

By [E] Selena MacIntosh*

Selena MacIntosh is the owner and editor of Persephone Magazine. She also fixes it when it breaks. She is fueled by Diet Coke, coffee with a lot of cream in it, and cat hair.

8 replies on “Selena’s Emergency Pantry Raid: Damn Fine Chicken”

I was reading the headline blips on the mobile page version & I read “panty” over & over. The link wouldn’t let me expand the story and I could not for the life of me figure out what Selena was doing with panties & chicken & I really wasn’t sure I wanted to read about it! Teehee!

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