You have no idea the sense of absolute calm and serenity that has washed over me after seeing Kenny – obviously I was not shocked! Ever since I met him, I have felt peace unknown.
He is such a doll – no pun intended – and even though we never got to experience a lengthy love affair, we’ve been friends for such a long time that I never held that against him or tried to absolutely destroy his life. You know, like I usually do.
To catch you up, as I didn’t go into much detail when sharing my relationship with Kim, I was a part of The New Christy Minstrels. I wrote the classic song This Land Is Your Land in the 40s – obvs Stockard Channing was 50 – so I was kind of a big deal in the group and seeing their talent, took young Kenny and Kim under my wing and mentored their early careers.
We lost touch for a decade or so – when they both achieved more fame than me – but were thankfully reunited by Dolly who wanted us (read: me) to bury the hatchet. The rest is now history – we made up, wrote The Gambler and have remained friends ever since.
I have been so busy lately with my reality TV coverage. Between the time spent in LA for RuPaul’s Drag Race All Stars, Samoa for Australian Survivor and Fiji for Survivor: Millennials vs. Gen X, I am almost running on empty so just having the chance to spend time with such a close friend gives me the strength to persevere.
What a hero, amirite?
Anyway, Ken surprised me with a big proposal – no, not marriage – that we collaborate with Dolly and Kim to record his tenth Christmas album. While we probably won’t get it into stores this year, I immediately said yes – stay tuned for next year and got to work whipping up a celebratory Kenny Rogerk Chicken
Like Ken, this is hot, spicy and fills even the most insatiable of holes. The succulent chicken, the sweet cinnamon and fiery chillies dance together and really sing – think the culinary equivalent of Islands in the Stream.
Kenny Rogerk Chicken
1 tbsp sea salt
2 tsp black pepper
2 onions, diced
2 tbsp fresh thyme, chopped
3 tbsp olive oil
1 tbsp allspice
2 tsp ground cinnamon
½ tsp ground nutmeg
thumb of ginger, finely grated
2 tsp muscovado sugar
⅓ cup lime juice
¼ cup rice vinegar
3 habanero chillies, chopped
4 cloves garlic, minced
4 chicken breasts
lime wedges and natural yoghurt, to serve
Start by blitzing everything but the chicken – and obviously the lime and yoghurt for serving – in a food processor until it forms a paste. Decant it into a large bowl, add the chicken and coat generously – make sure to avoid touching it, habaneros are hot, yo.
Cover and place in the fridge to marinade for a couple of hours, take it out to come to temperature for ten minutes before you want to cook it.
Heat a griddle over high heat, reducing to medium when searingly hot, brush the pan with a bit of extra olive oil and fry for about 20 minutes, flipping once, or until cooked through.
Remove, allow to rest for five minutes and devour with lime wedges, yoghurt and a shit tonne of rice and beans.