A Recipe for ‘Procrastinating at Life Chicken’

Jeff Simmermon
2 min readMay 4, 2019

I express anxiety through cooking. And between job hunting and generalized comedy anxiety, I’ve really been whipping up the chow.

This is a recipe for what I’ll call “Procrastinating at Life Chicken”:

I took this photo on my iPhone while sweat dripped into my eyes, which stung but flushed out the chili mist.

Get ~ 5–6 pounds chicken legs and thighs, skin on.


  • 1/2 cup kosher salt
  • 1/2 cup brown or unprocessed sugar
  • 1/4 cup gochugaru (Korean chili flakes)
  • 1/4 cup cayenne pepper
  • 1/4 cup Jamaican curry powder

Put the chicken in a large Ziploc bag, then dump that combo over it. Seal the bag and massage the mixture into the chicken until it’s coated with an even red paste.

Forget to put it in the fridge and write two “unique” cover letters for creative positions at tech startups. Realize that tech startups are just looking for their own sort of office drone that feigns excitement about “the mission.”

Discover that you’re trying to write jokes for someone who is genuinely excited to work in an open plan office full of Nerf guns, an HR recruiter who may be ten years younger than you and honestly thinks they are “helping the show” when they heckle standups.

Go do an open mic or two, come home.

Put the chicken in the fridge overnight.

To cook: turn on your broiler and the flame under a cast iron skillet at the same time. The pan has to be HOT, as does the broiler. Drop 4 tablespoons of coconut oil into the skillet. Once it smokes, quickly add all the chicken, skin side up.

Cook it for 6 minutes. Use a spoon to baste the pooling spice oil over the top of the chicken as it cooks. If you feel like you’ve got something to prove to an empty kitchen, use the hot spicy coconut oil to try Gwyneth Paltrow’s coconut oil mouthwash trick.

It won’t work, but it doesn’t work her way either.

After 6 minutes, put the whole skillet in the broiler. Leave it in there for 6–8 minutes. It’s done when there are some black blisters on the surface and the chicken is springy and resilient when you poke it with your finger.

Serve with pickles, maybe noodles.