Eat Like An Intern Volume 1

Jul 8, 2011 2:01 pm

Alison's random chicken marinade

A scene from Alison's real-life kitchen
A scene from Alison's real-life kitchen
Even interns are eating better than the Unemployed Gourmand
Even interns are eating better than the Unemployed Gourmand

It’s funny how inspiration strikes. Sitting in my ad agency cubicle recently, musing on cheap eats while staring into the abyss of a blank Word doc, I happened to glance over at one of our interns, Alison, who sat smiling into her laptop with the life-affirming glee of someone who’s only spent six months in advertising. Eureka!

And so without further ado, I present the first installment of Eat Like An Intern. Direct from her unbelievably tiny kitchen in Clinton Hill, Brooklyn: Alison’s Random Chicken Marinade! Note: Alison’s commentary appears throughout in italic; my dialogue with her in bold.

My Mom refused to eat anything I cook, until I randomly threw these ingredients together. First, I read a couple of different recipes and pulled out ingredients I thought looked good.

You mean from totally unconnected recipes?

Yeah, I just took stuff I liked and then threw them together.

Huh. I didn’t know you could do that.

I guess so.


  • Fancy mustard

College students and interns will know what “fancy” means. I usually go for something grainy or Grey Poupon.

Because it’s French?

No, I just like its reputation.

  • Olive oil
  • Lemon
  • Capers

I put capers on everything.

I haven’t really gotten into capers.

They’re great.

  • Horseradish

Like, in a jar. Or freshly grated?

In a jar. Pre-grated.

The Jewish kind.


  • Chopped Onions
  • Chicken

Boneless chicken?

Yes. I spent, like, 4 hours trying to cut all the fat out.


  • Throw everything in a bowl

Don’t measure anything. Just dump some in.

  • Place in fridge

How long do you let it marinate?

Until my homework’s done. Or as long as I’m at the laundromat.* (*edit note: this is questionable advice; read our marinating basics courtesy of grilling expert Adam Perry Lang)

  • Coat pan with olive oil
  • Plop everything in
  • Cook until it’s done

Sounds easy. Do you serve it with anything?

I made a salad of chopped tomato, onion, cucumbers and more capers. Oh, lemon juice, too. I put lemon on everything.

You can afford to cook this on class credit?

Almost. But they pay me a little.

Yeah. Me, too.

[I can say in all honesty that not only have I never made a marinade from scratch, but back when I was Alison’s age I’m not sure I even owned a bowl. I really like her ad hoc cooking style and the refreshing way she mixes and matches ingredients and recipes. On the rare occasions I attempt to cook something, I tend to feel intimidated while attempting to follow a recipe. Are they written in a scolding tone, or is that my imagination?]

Any other cooking tips?

Get a fancy jar of anything with pretty packaging and dump it on anything.

I like it.


Give Alison’s recipe a try, and let us know what you think. It’s cheap, it’s easy, and it’s delish. Now, I wonder what all the other interns are eating…

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