Cayenne Chicken and Roasted Brussels Sprouts

Say hello to the Dinner of the Devil!

If you’re looking for a meal that will quite literally bring tears to your eyes, a meal that could help you lose friends and alienate people, a meal that will not only stimulate your taste buds, but your nasal passages and your digestive tract as well, THIS is the meal to make.

MG had to stop eating it midway through because it was just too much for his sinuses to take. As for me, I didn’t seem to have the same problem, and finished both my portion and his as well. Some that know me may attribute this to the fact that I have no detectable soul.

So be it.


Of course, you can make this dish without the aid of the red-deviled “capsaicin bomb” known as cayenne pepper if you don’t particulary feel like a dinner that will be preaching fire and brimstone from the anchor of your belly. But without cayenne pepper, really, all you’ve got is a standard old chicken-and-veggies dish that your Aunt Helen might make… something that lacks any sort of punch and won’t photograph nearly as well. So take my advice… make this recipe, strap yourself in firmly at the dinner table, crank up a good Tito Gomez album and pray for daylight.

Cayenne is crawling with health benefits.  It stimulates digestion and muscle movement in the intestines, which helps restore deficient digestive secretions and aids absorption of food nutrients. Stomach acid tends to decline with age, and some cases of poor digestion are related to a lack of this acid.

Cayenne also stimulates circulation and blood flow to the peripheral areas of the body. Because it stimulates digestion and circulation, cayenne is often added to a wide variety of herbal remedies; it improves the absorption and circulation of the other herbs throughout the body.  It’s great for your heart and your cardiovascular system as well.  It helps heal ulcers and vericose veins, and it has anti-bacterial properties that can help heal wounds when applied.

If you’re not used to the taste, start out slow!  Add about a 1/4 tablespoon to your meal as you’re cooking it, and build your way up.  Once you’ve achieved Master Cayenne Status, come over to my place.

For the chicken:

  • 2-3 chicken breasts
  • 1/2 white onion, diced
  • 1/2 – 1 green bell pepper, diced
  • 1 jalapeno pepper, diced
  • 2 tablespoons cayenne pepper
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 2 cups water

Toss your chicken and diced vegetables into a skillet and, once warm, reduce heat, pour in the water, put on a cover and let simmer.  Stir every few minutes. Approximately ten minutes in, cover the exposed sides of the chicken with a tablespoon of cayenne pepper and return the cover.  Wait another ten minutes, turn the chicken over and cover the newly exposed sides with the other tablespoon, and return the cover.  When all but approximately 1/2 cup of water has evaporated. remove from heat.

For the Brussels sprouts:

  • 1 pound of sprouts
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 3/4 teaspoon Kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.  Cut off the brown ends of the Brussels sprouts and pull off any loose or yellow leaves.  Mix them in a bowl with the olive oil, salt and pepper.

Pour them onto a sheet pan and roast for about 35-40 minutes, until crisp on the outside and tender on the inside.  Be sure to shake the pan from time to time to make sure the sprouts brown evenly.

Remove your chicken from the skillet, add the Brussels sprouts and pour the remaining cayenne mixture from the pan over both.  Serve immediately.

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