A Good Cooking Cycle - Tropical Jerk Chicken

by Tricia Gillespie

Either I’m a good cook or a bad cook, but never anything in between.  Tracking my cooking cycles is almost as difficult as tracking my hormonal cycles, maybe worse.  Unfortunately for our guests, I never know in advance whether I’ll be a good cook.

Eating at my house is much like playing Russian roulette with slightly less risk.  No one has died from my cooking. Yet.  A lack of organization and planning is my number one problem in the kitchen.  Being a positive person, I view myself as spontaneous.  Spontaneity doesn’t work in a kitchen unless your kitchen happens to be right smack in the center of a grocery store.

I often find myself scrounging through the kitchen cabinets around five-thirty wondering what in the world I’m going to create for dinner.  By then my kids have been feigning starvation and grumbling so loudly I pray the Lord will send manna from heaven and rescue me from wandering in the wilderness of domestication.

What does a person make with 3 cans of varied beans, pasta with no sauce, and salad dressing?  I always have salad dressing and not a person in my family uses it.  Other people tend to bless me with rather large bottles of Italian, Caesar, and if we’re all lucky, Ranch.

At times, I peruse cook books, gather delicious looking recipes (only ones with pictures) and make indulgent grocery lists; however, 3 aisles into shopping and realty strikes. I realize my budget is blown and I only have food for one meal.  I then abandon any ideas of feeding my family fancy food and reapply my lip-gloss just in-case the Take Home Chef happens to be in my store. 

If I am ever in the same supermarket as Curtis Stone, there’s no way he’s going home with anyone else.  My daughter thinks “he’s cute and may marry him when she grows up.” As his potential future mother-in-law, he’d have to pick me.  His marital happiness depends it.
Anyway, the whole point is that I’ve created a great recipe and I want to share it.  Don’t be scared, I’ve been having a few good cooking days. 


1 can papayas (don’t ask me what size can, I have no idea)
1 can Libby’s tropical papaya mix
3 large chicken breasts cutlets (you can cut in half to make 6 or use 6 individually frozen cutlets)
Jamaican Jerk Rub

Drizzle olive oil in an oven safe fry pan (I used a square griddle) and place chicken breasts in the hot pan. Generously sprinkle the chicken with Jamaican Jerk rub and sear.  After you have nice brown marks on either side of the chicken, dump both cans of fruit (with liquid) over the chicken and bake uncovered in oven at 375 degrees for about an hour or until your chicken is cooked.  Serve over rice.

I made this recipe up, but don’t let that stop you from trying it.  I promise I had an epiphany between defrosting cutlets and emptying the dishwasher.

Happy cooking!

Tricia Gillespie is a wife, mommy, and blogger who tries to stay out of the kitchen as much as possible.  Her husband eats most of her food, but banned fish-stick-casserole after only one taste.  Although she realizes her daughter will probably never marry Curtis Stone, she still hopes that she can take him home so he can cook dinner for her one day. If you want to chance trying more of her recipes, visit her on The Domestic Fringe and search the 'Food' category.


  1. As long as you never confuse the last two...it's all good.
    I'm a one hit wonder. Usually the first time I make something new it's fantastic...but never twice!

  2. I'm highly impressed. I have such a good track record in the kitchen that, when we have a church fellowship, they usually ask me to bring the ice. : )

  3. Well... have any of you ever been voted "Most Likely to be Killed by Your Own Cooking"?

  4. Jill, that's not such a bad deal. Just think of all the time and effort you are not wasting in the kitchen. Potlucks really put on the pressure! ;-)

  5. Marytoo, say it isn't true! I cannot claim that award yet, but my domestic life is still young.

  6. I'm a cooking cycler, too. :) On rare occasions I actually attempt "gourmet" recipes (with pictures)--the only problem is that my kids aren't so impressed. We're trying a new family policy that if you don't like what has been prepared you can prepare your very own PB&J (and we're reading Bread and Jam for Francis to try to get them to try new things.). Fingers crossed that it works. :)

  7. I would've ended up making "Chicken ala chicken."

    Ya take the chicken, cook the chicken, eat the chicken, then complain a few hours later that you haven't eaten enough.

    I'm not a very good chef. :(



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