Cooking with the integrity of Walter White and Jesse Pinkman

Photo: Manchester Evening News

I like cooking but I can be a right lazy bastard, a bit like Jesse Pinkman from Breaking Bad. But the thing I hate the most is washing up, which would piss Walter White right off. It puts me in a dark mood, even though I’m exceptionally good at it after a series of dishwashing gigs in the 90s when I was young and made no plans for the future. But enough of that, let’s take a gander at a quick meal that requires minimal washing up.

My main rule is that everything else should take as long as the base. For example, if the pasta takes 10 minutes everything else should be ready at the same time. If it’s not, give up and order in. There’s enough disappointment in this life without homemade meals letting you down.

Let me hit you with my favourite quick meal, Moroccan spicy chicken cous cous sprinkled with lethargy and some diluted, lonely love. When you cook alone, you’re truly alone, unless you drench it all in cheap whisky and terrestrial TV, and then jump on a random carriage service to bother people who have a functional domestic life. Anyway …

Step one: go to a supermarket for chicken thighs, cous cous, spring onion, fresh chili, garlic, parsley, cherry tomatoes and Moroccan spice.

Step two: come home and smash down a couple of cheap whiskies.

Step three: step out onto your roof terrace and gasp at the sun setting in the west.

Step four: smash down another couple of whiskies.

Step five: splash some olive oil into a frying pan and cook the chicken and garlic.

Step six: put the cherry tomatoes into a wee oven dish, season with salt, pepper and olive oil and put into the oven at 180 degrees for ten minutes.

Step seven: chuck on an episode of Breaking Bad, preferably an early episode featuring Tuco Salamanca.

Step eight: add the Moroccan spice into the chicken and garlic and add in the chili and spring onions aka scallions.

Step nine: cook the cous cous (see the back of the packet for instructions you lazy fucker).

Step ten: crush a Sudafed tablet with your maxed-out credit card (times are tough) and snort, using the shell of a ball-point pen.

Step eleven: remove the cherry tomatoes from the oven.

Step twelve: add the cous cous into the frying pan, along with the cherry tomatoes and parsley and mix through.

Step thirteen: cover the frying pan, smash a few more whiskies, snort another line of Sudafed, send a message you’ll regret in the morning, smoke a spliff, and pass out.

Step fourteen: wake up at 3am, check your sent messages for potential legal problems (death threats etc.), drink some fizzy water, and heat up a serving of the spicy chicken cous cous.

Step fifteen: enjoy your homemade meal in bed, while watching another Tuco-focused episode of Breaking Bad, smash another couple of whiskies and call a mate in a different time zone.

Step sixteen: put all the dishes and other stuff in the sink, cover with water, add suds and fuck off back to bed for the night, which is exactly what Jesse Pinkman would do.

See, a simple 16-step guide to carefree dining, assuring you the kind of demise Jane Margolis (Jesse Pinkman’s girlfriend) experienced because she’d simply had too much and was inadvertently flipped onto her back by Walter White, while trying to wake up Jesse – and we all know what happened next. However, you never heard her complaining about washing up. Maybe she should have been a bit more proactive like Walter, but he had some serious issues with healthcare to attend to. And Tuco Salamanca.