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My First Experience Cooking On My Own

by How She Styles

As you may know, I just moved to a new apartment and I’m all on my own (with roommates), which means I’m cooking 90% of my meals, unless my mom sends me home with leftovers when I visit her. I don’t know about you guys, but cooking is terrifying for me because I don’t have much experience cooking with meats. I’m always worried I’ll make myself or others sick or the worst case scenario, it won’t taste good.


Concerns aside, I knew I needed to figure out this cooking thing, since I wanted to be able to entertain guests with food and really prove to myself that I could do it.


Until recently I had been surviving on pasta and eggs. For my first real meal I went with a chicken dish called Bang Bang Chicken.


Apparently it’s sold at Cheesecake Factory or inspired by a dish there. It’s a slightly spicy chicken dish with only a few simple ingredients.


The first step was to go grocery shopping, which was a painful experience because I had so little in my kitchen that I needed to buy some staple foods and it cost me more than I’d planned.


I made this dish with a friend in the past, but making it by myself was slightly more challenging due to the fact that there were so many variables. A ton of breaded chicken, adding the appropriate amount of oil, and of course a hot frying pan.


The recipe calls for a few chicken breasts cut up into pieces and that makes a lot of chicken bites.  I decided to put the chicken in the pan three batches at a time because I had a lot of chicken and not so large pan.


My first batch was a bit of a struggle because all my cut up chicken pieces were stuck together and my brain and my spatula were disconnected. I couldn’t flip the chicken over when necessary so I wasn’t sure if the chicken was cooking evenly. I was adding a little oil here and there to avoid overcooking the chicken, but I went a little overboard and the chicken in the first batch was a bit too greasy.


After the second batch turned out well, I decided to start making the accompanying sauce while I was waiting for the chicken to cook. This actually went pretty well there was only slight burning on the bread crumb coating, but the flavor didn’t change much. I felt like an expert by the third batch, but some of the pieces of chicken were bigger than others and weren’t cooking at the same rate, so I started took pieces off as they finished cooking.
Who knew cooking could be fun! The rush from making something delicious is awesome! I learned it’s ok to make mistakes, just keep them in mind next time you hit the kitchen.  Next, I’ll have to conquer some beef.

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