Anyone can screw up while cooking. You forget the salt. You forget to turn it down to a simmer. You don’t read the recipe all the way through, and then you suddenly need a gratin dish or something. It’s okay, no big. That’s on you, you’re an idiot, you move on with your day.
But sometimes, the recipe did you wrong. The recipe did you wrong like a man in a Loretta Lynn song. That happened to me the night before last, and I’m still mad.
This recipe is bullshit.
Look, I’ve made chicken thighs before, this is not my first time at the chicken thighs rodeo. Sear ’em and finish them in the oven, got it. But I’d just made two perfect dishes from said website, and I thought, eh, I’ll do it their way, see how it works.
I’ll tell you how it works: you will destroy the chicken. Then you’ll be so annoyed you’ll just leave your cast iron in the oven, open all the windows in the house, and eat a box of crackers with a thing of pâté left over from a party for dinner (that part is actually great.)
I don’t even know which thing is responsible for the badness of the recipe. Everything?
Olive oil is not really designed to be used at high heat (EDITED: nope, used the vegetable oil in the directions, physically went to scene of crime to make sure the right bottle was out), medium-high heat at twelve minutes is a really long time for chicken thighs, thirteen minutes at 475 degrees is nonsense following what came before, and when I opened the oven to attempt to FLIP these little spitty charcoal briquets that used to be chicken thighs, they were completely glued to the pan and it was a grease storm.
So that’s not on you, is what I’m saying. That’s a recipe being wrong. It would now make me feel better to hear about the recipes which have steered you wrong in the past. Or, if it’s you, those are fun too. When Mallory came for Thanksgiving last year, we had eighty great meals and then I only took out ONE of the two bags of gross things inside the turkey, and I am still filled with shame.
Okay, what are your worst moments as a cook? I’ll be cleaning my oven.
Nicole is an Editor of The Toast.