I have two wonderful chicken and rice dishes to share. This dish was part of The New York Times’ List of The Best of 2022- I’m surprised that I missed it when it was first published. It was fresh, delicious, and can be enjoyed in every season. I prepared the chicken in a cast iron skillet on the stove, but it could also be grilled in warmer weather.
The recipe was adapted from The New York Times, contributed by Ali Slagle. I omitted the olives and modified the method and proportions. I served the chicken over white Basmati rice with the cucumber salad and roasted broccoli on the side. Great.
Yield: 6 servings
2 cups plain whole milk Greek yogurt
6 garlic cloves, finely grated or pushed through a garlic press
Kosher salt (Diamond Crystal)
freshly ground black pepper
1 1/4 tsp dried oregano or mint
2 1/2 to 3 pounds (about 10) boneless, skinless chicken thighs, trimmed and patted dry
1 1/2 pounds cucumbers (preferably Japanese, Persian or mini, seedless cucumbers)
1 pound ripe tomatoes (I used grape tomatoes, halved)
2 T extra-virgin olive oil, plus more as needed
4 ounces feta, crumbled (about 3/4 cup)
1/2 cup Kalamata olives, pitted and halved (I omitted them)
white or brown Basmati rice, for serving, optional (I used 2 cups of rice with 1 tsp salt)
If serving chicken over rice, prepare the rice according to the package directions. (I used a rice cooker.)
In a large bowl, stir together the yogurt and garlic; season to taste with salt and pepper. Transfer 1/2 cup of the yogurt to a medium bowl and reserve.
Coat the chicken: To the large bowl, add the oregano and stir to combine. Season the chicken all over with 2 teaspoons salt and a few grinds of pepper. Add the chicken to the large bowl and turn to coat; set aside.
Start the salad: Smash the cucumbers with the side of your knife until craggy and split. Rip into 1-inch pieces and transfer to a colander placed in the sink. Slice or chop the tomatoes into bite-size pieces. Add to the cucumbers along with 1 1/2 teaspoons salt. (It may seem like a lot of salt, but most will drain away.) Toss to combine and leave to drain.
In a large nonstick or well-seasoned cast-iron skillet, heat the olive oil over medium. (I used a 12-inch cast iron skillet.)
Scrape excess marinade off the chicken, then cook the chicken in batches, adding oil to the pan if necessary, until it’s well browned and releases from the pan, 5 to 7 minutes. Use a splatter screen! Flip and cook until cooked through, another 5 to 7 minutes, or until the internal temperature reaches 165 degrees. Transfer to plates to rest. (For grilling info, see Tip.)
To the medium bowl of yogurt, add the feta and mash with a fork until a chunky paste forms.
Shake the cucumbers and tomatoes to get rid of any excess moisture. Add to the feta yogurt along with the olives (if using) and stir until coated. The balance is dependent on your produce and feta, so season to taste with salt and pepper until flavors are vivid.
Serve the chicken over rice with the cucumber-feta salad on the side.
Tip: To grill the chicken: Heat a grill to medium and clean and grease the grates. Grill the chicken over direct heat until it’s well browned and releases from the grates, 5 to 7 minutes. Flip and cook until cooked through, another 5 to 7 minutes. (For a gas grill, close the lid between flips.)
4 long green bell peppers (CSA), poblano, or Anaheim chiles (10 to 12 oz)
10 to 12 shishito peppers (6 to 8 oz)
1 bunch scallions, trimmed
1/2 cup hot pepper jelly
Basmati rice, for serving
Preheat a grill to medium-high (400°F to 450°F).
Cut limes in half. Squeeze 1 lime into a small bowl to equal 2 tablespoons juice; set juice aside and discard juiced lime halves.
Sprinkle chicken all over with coriander, 1 1/2 teaspoons salt, and red pepper flakes; rub evenly with 2 tablespoons oil. Set aside.
Brush long peppers/poblano/Anaheim chiles, shishito peppers, scallions, and cut sides of remaining 4 lime halves evenly with remaining 2 tablespoons oil. Sprinkle evenly with remaining 1 teaspoon salt.
Whisk together pepper jelly and reserved 2 tablespoons lime juice in a small bowl.
Arrange long peppers/poblano/Anaheim chiles, shishito peppers, scallions, and limes, cut side down, on un-oiled grill grates. Grill, uncovered, turning scallions often, chiles and peppers occasionally, and leaving limes undisturbed, until gently charred, 3 to 4 minutes for scallions and limes, 4 to 5 minutes for shishito peppers, and 6 to 8 minutes for chiles. (It took even longer on my grill to char the vegetables.)
Transfer charred chiles, peppers, scallions, and limes to a baking sheet, and cover with aluminum foil to keep warm.
Arrange chicken thighs on un-oiled grates; grill, covered, until nicely browned and a thermometer inserted in thickest portion of meat registers 165°F, 4 to 5 minutes per side.
Brush tops of chicken thighs generously with some of the pepper jelly glaze, and grill, uncovered, until glaze is sizzling, about 1 minute.
Flip chicken, and repeat with second side. Remove chicken from grill.
Place grilled chicken and vegetables on a platter over a bed of cooked Basmati rice.
Squeeze grilled lime halves over chicken, chiles, peppers, and scallions.
In a large bowl, combine the yogurt, garlic, oregano, thyme, olive oil, salt and pepper.
Zest the lemon over the bowl, reserving the rest of the lemon for serving. Whisk until smooth.
Add the chicken thighs, toss to coat, then cover and refrigerate for at least 3 hours, or up to 24. Remove chicken from the refrigerator 30 minutes before cooking.
If using a grill, clean and oil the grates. Set the grill to medium-high. (Alternatively, heat a grill pan slicked with olive oil on the stovetop over medium-high.)
Grill the chicken for 6 to 8 minutes on each side (depending on the thickness of the thighs), covering the grill halfway through if necessary to retain heat, until cooked through, with an internal temperature of 165 degrees.
Transfer the chicken thighs to a platter and squeeze half the lemon over them.
Sprinkle with salt, pepper and parsley, and serve with lemon wedges or lemon slices on the side, as desired.
We shopped at the farmers market to get beautiful corn and scallions for this summer side dish. I could happily eat corn and basil every day all summer long. 😉
This salad was very fresh and light. It was a perfect accompaniment to our dinner of grilled burgers (and Impossible burgers), pickles, tomato slices drizzled with basil vinaigrette, and potato chips, of course. We even had brownie ice cream sandwiches for dessert. A summer feast.
This recipe is from Bon Appetit, contributed by Zaynab Issa. I incorporated my CSA tomatoes and backyard basil. We ate it immediately but the components can also be made in advance. Perfect.
Yield: 4 to 6 servings
cooking oil spray, for grill grates
5 T extra-virgin olive oil
4 ears of corn, husked
1 bunch scallions (I used 4 huge scallions)
2 T freshly squeezed lime juice (I used 1/2 of a large lime)
2 T sherry vinegar or red wine vinegar
1 1/2 tsp Diamond Crystal or 1 tsp Morton kosher salt
freshly ground black pepper, to taste
12 oz mixed heirloom tomatoes, chopped, and/or cherry or grape tomatoes, halved
1 cup sweet basil, chiffonade, plus more for garnish
Prepare a grill for medium-high heat; oil grate (before heating).
Grill husked corn and scallions, turning occasionally, until very tender and charred and blackened in spots, 10–12 minutes for corn, 5–7 minutes for scallions. (Alternatively, you can cut kernels from cobs in slabs and slice scallions into ¼”–½” pieces; cook together in a dry large cast-iron skillet over medium-high heat, turning and stirring occasionally, until charred in spots, about 4 minutes.)
Transfer to a cutting board and let cool.
Meanwhile, whisk lime juice, sherry vinegar, salt, and olive oil in a large bowl to combine; season vinaigrette generously with freshly ground black pepper.
Cut corn kernels from cobs in slabs and slice scallions into 1/2-inch pieces.
Add corn kernels, scallions, tomatoes, and basil to vinaigrette and gently toss to combine.
Top corn and scallion salad with more basil just before serving.
Do ahead: Corn and scallions can be grilled and vinaigrette can be made 3 days ahead; wrap corn and scallions separately and chill. Cover and chill vinaigrette. Salad (without basil topping) can be assembled 3 hours ahead; cover and chill.
The dish was based on a Mexican dish called cecina enchilada, thinly sliced pork marinated in a chili sauce. This recipe was adapted from Milk Street, contributed by Diane Unger. I modified the proportions. Serving rice on the side was essential to soak up every drop of the wonderful sauce. Simple and delicious.
The grilled pork could also be sliced and used as a taco filling with chopped white onion and fresh cilantro. Rice and refried beans would make this a complete meal as well. Next time!
Yield: Serves 8
2/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil
2 T ground cumin
2 T sweet paprika
4 tsp ground coriander
4 tsp packed brown sugar
8 medium to large garlic cloves, thinly sliced
2 pork tenderloins, about 1 1/4 pound each, trimmed of silver skin
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 chipotle chilies in adobo, chopped, plus 2 tablespoons adobo sauce (can use more, to taste)
2/3 cup lime juice
1/2 cup finely chopped fresh cilantro
In a microwave-safe bowl, combine the oil, cumin, paprika, coriander, sugar and garlic. Microwave on high until the garlic is softened, about 1 minute.
Measure out 6 tablespoons of the seasoned oil, including some of the solids, into a large baking dish.
Cut each tenderloin in half crosswise, then cut each piece in half lengthwise.
Between sheets of plastic wrap, use a meat pounder to pound each piece to an even 1/8-inch thickness.
Place the meat in the baking dish, turning to coat on all sides with the oil mixture. Cover and refrigerate while you make the sauce and prepare the grill.
Into the remaining oil mixture, whisk 1 1/2 teaspoons salt, 1 teaspoon pepper, the chipotle chilies, adobo sauce, lime juice and cilantro. Set aside.
Prepare a charcoal or gas grill. For a charcoal grill, ignite a large chimney of coals, let burn until lightly ashed over, then distribute evenly over one side of the grill bed; open the bottom grill vents. For a gas grill, turn all burners to high. Cover and heat the grill for 5 to 10 minutes for charcoal or about 15 minutes for gas, then clean and oil the cooking grate. (I used a gas grill.)
Place the pork in a single layer on the grill (on the hot side if using charcoal) and cook until well browned, about 2 minutes.
Using tongs, flip each piece and cook for 1 minute. Transfer browned side up to a platter. (See Tip)
Stir the sauce to recombine, then drizzle 1 tablespoon over each cutlet. Tent with foil and let rest for 5 minutes. Serve with the remaining sauce on the side.
Tip: Don’t grill the second sides of the cutlets for more than about 1 minute or they will overcook. Aim to get charring on only the first sides, then serve the pork charred side up.
This dish is absolutely perfect for entertaining. It is not only quick to prepare, but also needs to rest at room temperature prior to serving. By placing the warm grilled chicken over the raw corn kernels, as well as the thinly sliced tomatoes and red onion, the juices and seasonings enhance every layer.
This recipe was adapted from The New York Times, contributed by Ali Slagle. I modified the proportions. Next time I would consider adding even more corn, noted below. We ate it with roasted potatoes and green salad. Healthy and delicious. A great summer dish!
1 1/2 pounds large ripe tomatoes, thinly sliced (I used 3 large tomatoes plus 1/2 pound Campari tomatoes)
3 ears of corn, kernels cut from the cob, plus more, if desired
1 large red onion, thinly sliced
fresh oregano leaves, for garnish, optional
In a medium bowl, coat the chicken with 4 tablespoons olive oil, chili powder and 1 teaspoon salt; set aside. (You can do this step up to 1 day ahead; covered and refrigerated. Bring to room temperature before cooking.)
Thinly slice the tomatoes. Season with salt and pepper; set aside. Drain excess liquid before using.
Hold each ear of corn upright over a bowl; slice off the kernels. Repeat with remaining ears.
Using a mandoline, slice the red onion into 1/8-inch rounds.
On a large platter, layer the corn kernels, red onion, and (seasoned and drained) tomatoes. Drizzle with the remaining 2 tablespoons olive oil, if desired. (I omitted the additional oil.)
Heat the grill to medium-high.
When ready to grill, clean the grates with a grill brush, then lightly grease the grates.
Grill the chicken until browned and cooked through, and it releases easily from the grates, 5 to 7 minutes per side.
Transfer the chicken to the prepared platter; let rest for 5 to 20 minutes. Garnish with fresh oregano before serving, as desired.
I loved the idea of transforming one of our absolute favorite comfort food dishes into a summer dinner made on the grill. The burgers were very moist and packed with flavor. We ate them on potato rolls with coleslaw, potato chips, pickles, and watermelon. Perfect!
This recipe was adapted form The New York Times, contributed by Ali Slagle. We grilled the burgers, increased the amount of garlic, and used sliced fresh mozzarella. Cheesy and delicious.
Yield: Serves 4
olive oil or cooking oil spray
1 pound ground chicken or turkey, preferably dark meat
1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons finely grated Parmesan, divided
1/4 cup chopped basil leaves
2 tablespoons tomato paste
4 garlic cloves, finely grated or pushed through a garlic press
4 (1/4-inch thick) slices from a large ripe tomato
4 (1/-4 inch thick) slices fresh mozzarella or 1/2 cup grated fresh or low-moisture mozzarella
4 potato rolls, burger buns or ciabatta rolls
baby spinach or arugula, for serving
Lightly grease a large plate with olive oil or cooking oil spray and set aside.
In a medium bowl, combine 1/2 cup Parmesan, basil, tomato paste, garlic and 1 teaspoon salt.
Gently incorporate the ground meat into the cheese mixture.
Working the meat as little as possible, form 4 patties that are each about 4 1/2 inches wide and about 1/2 cup or 135 grams.
Transfer to the greased plate, cover, and refrigerate. (This helps maintain the shape and also prevents the juices and fat from leaking.)
On a rimmed plate, sprinkle the tomato slices with salt.
If using grated mozzarella, stir together the mozzarella and the remaining 2 tablespoons Parmesan.
Preheat a grill to medium heat. (I used a griddle on the grill and preheated it at this time too.)
Toast the buns on the preheated grill, if desired. (I omitted this step.)
Oil the grill griddle and add the patties. Cook until browned underneath, 3 to 5 minutes. (Reduce heat if the patties are burning.)
Flip the patties, top each with 1/2 tablespoon of the grated Parmesan cheese followed by a slice of fresh mozzarella cheese (or with the combination of grated cheeses, if using).
Cover the grill with the lid and cook until the cheese is melted and the patties are cooked through, 3 to 5 minutes. Turn off the heat.
Pat the tomatoes dry.
To each bottom bun, add a handful of baby spinach or arugula, followed by a slice of tomato, a chicken patty and its top bun. Serve hot with chips and coleslaw, as desired.