I don't think I'm alone in saying that Gordon Ramsay scares me a little. His famous temper is well-documented on Hell's Kitchen, where botched risottos and undercooked Wellingtons send him into towering rages. Although I wouldn't ever want to cook with him yelling in my ear, there's no denying that he knows food. This recipe for sticky lemon chicken is adapted from the TV series Gordon Ramsay's Fast Food, and the couscous pilaf I served with it is my own recipe. The chicken turned out beautifully and took very little time to make. You get the best of both worlds here: a great recipe from a brilliant chef, cooked in your own kitchen without the pressure of an angry chef bearing over you.

Gordon Ramsay's Sticky Lemon Chicken
*serves 1-2
2 chicken drumsticks, with the connective tissue and skin around the bone scraped off, and the end of the bone chopped off
1 tbsp vegetable oil
1 tbsp soy sauce
1 tsp white wine vinegar
1 lemon, sliced thinly into cross sections
3/4 cup water
1/2 tsp dried thyme leaves
2 tsp honey
fresh mint, shredded to garnish

Heat the vegetable oil over high heat in a small nonstick skillet until it spreads to coat the pan. Add the chicken drumsticks, and brown them on all sides. Add the soy sauce and vinegar, and stir to spread it around the pan. Add the lemon slices, squeezing about a teaspoon of lemon juice from one of the slices. Add the water, and bring the mixture to a boil. Simmer the chicken uncovered, turning it from time to time, for 10-15 minutes until the chicken is mostly cooked. Add the thyme leaves and honey, stir, and simmer for 5 more minutes, until the chicken is fully cooked. Serve immediately over couscous pilaf (recipe follows). Garnish with the cooked lemon slices and fresh mint.

Couscous and Mushroom Pilaf
*serves 1-2
1 tsp olive oil
2 crimini mushrooms, thinly sliced
1/2 cup water
1/3 cup dry couscous
2 tbsp grated parmesan cheese

In a small saucepan, heat the olive oil until it spreads to coat the pan. Add the mushrooms and brown them. Add the water and bring it to a boil. Stir in the couscous, cover, and remove from heat. Allow the couscous to sit off the heat, covered for 5-6 minutes, then stir in the parmesan cheese.