Harissa Honey Chicken with Blistered String Beans

Grilling in the summer is difficult when you don’t have a grill. We had a communal one in our fourplex’s backyard, but I haven’t seen it in a while. Maybe I just don’t want to see it. I don’t really love our backyard, though I love our apartment in general; the backyard’s just not a place I want to spend much time. That’s my big realization about grilling: grilling is only fun if you like the environment in which you’re grilling.

So until we have a house with a pool surrounded by citrus trees and male models, I’m staying inside and using my broiler. It’s funny to me how many people don’t know about their broilers. When I interviewed the amazing Kate Berlant on Instagram Live, she said she didn’t even know if her oven had one. People! Your broiler can be your best friend in the kitchen. Let me tell you why.

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Fear of Broilers

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My favorite childhood movie was “The Phantom Tollbooth,” which most people know as a book, but I only know (and insist on knowing) as a movie. Milo, the young protagonist, must travel through Dictionopolis and Digitopolis to make his way to the Castle in the Air to rescue Rhyme and Reason. Only, whenever he says the words “the castle in the air” thunder claps and the sky explodes with lightning.

Which is precisely what happens in my head whenever a recipe says: “use a broiler.”

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