Georgetown University’s Newspaper of Record since 1920

The Hoya

Georgetown University’s Newspaper of Record since 1920

The Hoya

Georgetown University’s Newspaper of Record since 1920

The Hoya

Back to Square One

I’ve always loved to cook, but I haven’t exactly found it easy while in college. My first semester at Georgetown, I was a transfer sophomore stuck in Village C East, so my culinary creativity was limited to the ingredients and appliances available at Leo’s. Luckily, in the spring I moved into a Village A apartment, where my roommate and I invented plenty of “signature” dishes in our dilapidated kitchen. Our peppermint schnapps pudding was the stuff drunk dreams are made of.

   This past summer I stayed on campus and worked for housing — finally, I found myself with both a kitchen and the time to prepare nice, formal meals in it. I decided that in my spare time I would teach myself to cook, and I set out to conquer every recipe I could get my hands on.

   From vanilla scented scallops and beef bourguignon to mango panna cotta and lemon lavender pot de creme, no preparation was too complicated and no ingredient was too obscure. In late July, I realized that I had grown so dependent on detailed recipes and so geared toward elaborate dishes that I had completely forgotten how to throw together a quick chicken dinner. Yes, of all things, chicken seemed intimidating.

   Thankfully, a friend came over for dinner one night and brought chicken breasts, green beans and bell peppers with her. Using with a few onions, a box of pasta and some spices I had lying around, we cobbled together a great meal in 20 minutes.

    My roommate and I made this dish a million times together last spring. It’s a quick, healthy recipe if you include a lot of vegetables, and of course, incredibly hard to mess up. There isn’t any set recipe, but here’s how we make it.


Chicken (half a breast per person)

Vegetables (mushrooms, squash, onions, peppers, carrots, et cetera.)

Pasta or rice

2 cloves minced garlic

1 T hot pepper flakes (optional)

2 T fresh herbs (optional)




1.  You should chop your vegetables before doing anything else.  Any veggies will do – mushrooms, squash, onions, peppers, whatever you have on hand.  My roommate and I always left this step until the last minute and then frantically raced to get the veggies in the pan before the chicken overcooked.  But if you don’t appreciate this “controlled chaos” approach to cooking, I recommend that you cut them up first.

2. After prepping your veggies, start your pasta water boiling or your rice cooking on a back burner (depending on which starch you prefer). I like whole wheat penne pasta best, but any rice or pasta will do.

3. Next get your biggest fry pan nice and hot and add a couple tablespoons of oil. 

4. Pat your chicken breasts dry, cut them into bite-sized pieces, season them with salt and pepper and throw them into the pan.  Don’t stir them around immediately —- you want the meat to sear so the sugars caramelize and the juices are sealed in.

5. After a few minutes, flip them around so the other side cooks, then add the veggies to the pan.

6. Add garlic, hot pepper flakes, and fresh herbs if you’ve got them, and then more salt and pepper to taste.

7. Drain the pasta and add it to the pot or serve the chicken and veggies over the rice once it’s done.


Kitt Wolfenden is a junior in the School of Foreign Service. She can be reached at [email protected]. Kitt’s Kitchen appears every other Friday in the guide.

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