Ha! Milk Street Magazine published these two flavor-packed dishes on the same page so I served them together. We ate the chicken and rice with roasted cauliflower. Delicious. 🙂
The avocado-cilantro sauce was amazing and would compliment any meat or chicken. It was inspired by a standard accompaniment to grilled meats in Venezuela called guasacaca. The recipe was adapted from Milk Street Magazine, contributed by Courtney Hill.
The rice was inspired by an everyday dish in Pakistan and India called jeera (or zeera) rice. The recipe was adapted from Made in India by Meera Sodha, via Milk Street Magazine, contributed by Dimitri Demopolous. The original recipe notes that it is ideal for pairing with any roasted or grilled vegetables or meat as well as with curries or dal.
To prepare these dishes together, I began by making the rice dish. While the rice cooked and rested, I prepared the chicken and the sauce.
For the Chicken & Avocado-Cilantro Sauce:
Yield: Serves 6
2 1/2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken thighs (about 10) OR 3 pounds bone-in, skin-on chicken thighs OR breasts OR a combination, trimmed and patted dry
4 T extra-virgin olive oil, divided
Kosher salt and ground black pepper
2 ripe avocados, halved, pitted and peeled
1 1/2 cups lightly packed cilantro OR flat-leaf parsley, plus extra chopped, to serve
1 jalapeño chili, stemmed and seeded
1/2 medium white or yellow onion, roughly chopped
3 T white vinegar
optional garnish: Lime wedges OR crumbled queso fresco OR chopped pickled jalapeños OR a combination
Heat the oven to 425°F with a rack in the middle position and another rack in the highest position. (I set my oven to convection roast.)
On a foil or parchment paper-lined rimmed baking sheet, toss the chicken with 2 tablespoons of the oil, then season with salt and pepper. (Using foil is a better choice if broiling the skinless meat after roasting.)
If using skinless meat, arrange thighs “skin side down” and roast about 10 minutes. Flip over and roast an additional 5 minutes. Remove pan from oven and adjust oven to the broil setting.
Place pan on the top rack and broil to finish browning the meat, an additional 2 to 3 minutes. Meat should reach an internal temperature of 165. (Alternatively, if using skin-on, bone-in meat: Arrange skin side up and roast until the thickest part of the breast (if using) reaches about 160°F and the thickest part of the largest thigh (if using) reaches about 175°F, 30 to 40 minutes. Remove from the oven and let rest for 10 minutes.)
Meanwhile, in a food processor, combine the avocados, cilantro, jalapeño, onion, vinegar, remaining 2 tablespoons oil and 1/4 teaspoon each salt and pepper. Process until smooth, 1 to 2 minutes. (I used a Vitamix which made the sauce incredibly creamy.)
Transfer the chicken to a platter and pour over any accumulated juices. (If serving with cumin rice, plate chicken over the rice and pour over any accumulated juices.)
Sprinkle with chopped cilantro (or other optional garnishes listed above) and serve with the sauce.
For the Cumin Rice with Caramelized Onions:
Yield: Serves 6
3 T ghee OR salted butter, cut into 3 pieces, divided
2 medium yellow onions, halved and thinly sliced
kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 teaspoons cumin seeds
2 cardamom pods
1 1/2 cups basmati rice, rinsed and drained
chopped fresh cilantro, to serve, optional
In a large saucepan over medium-high, melt the ghee. (I used a 4-quart stainless steel pot.)
Add the onions and 1/2 teaspoon salt. Cook, stirring occasionally to start and more often once browning begins, until the onions are deeply caramelized, 10 to 15 minutes; reduce the heat if the onions brown very unevenly or too quickly.
Meanwhile, rinse the rice. Drain and set aside.
Add the cumin seeds and cardamom pods to the browned onions; cook, stirring, until fragrant, about 1 minute.
Stir in the rice, 2 cups water and 1 teaspoon salt. Bring to a simmer over medium-high, then reduce to low, cover and cook without stirring until the rice has absorbed the liquid, 15 to 18 minutes.
Remove from the heat and let stand, covered, for 10 minutes.
Using a fork, fluff the rice; remove and discard the cardamom. Taste and season with salt and pepper. If desired, serve sprinkled with cilantro.
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.)
This chicken and noodle stir-fry dish, tallarín saltado, is a classic Peruvian dish. According to Milk Street, simple stir-fry dishes like this are a staple of the Chinese-influenced cuisine known as chifa. Chifa cuisine combines South American and East Asian flavors and ingredients.
This recipe was adapted from Milk Street, contributed by Malcolm Jackson. Jackson uses balsamic vinegar in place of the more traditional red wine vinegar and substitutes a jalapeño or Fresno chile for the ají amarillo chile that would be used in Peru. The dish was fresh, fast and fabulous. We loved it!
We ate the stir-fry with roasted broccoli- a strange combination- but it was ultimately a nice compliment. 🙂
Yield: Serves 6
12 ounces spaghetti (I used whole wheat)
kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
4 1/2 T oyster sauce
3 T light soy sauce
3 T balsamic vinegar
4 T grapeseed oil or other neutral oil
1 1/2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken thighs (about 5), trimmed and cut into 3/4 strips
1 large red onion, halved and sliced into 1/2-inch wedges
6-7 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
1 large red, yellow, or orange bell pepper, stemmed, seeded, and thinly sliced
1 Fresno or jalapeño chile, stemmed, halved, and thinly sliced lengthwise
freshly squeezed juice of 1 lime, plus wedges to serve
1/4 cup plus 2 T lightly packed fresh cilantro leaves
In a large saucepan, bring 2 quarts water to a boil. Meanwhile, prep all remaining ingredients.
Add the pasta and 1 tablespoon salt to the boiling water; cook, stirring occasionally, until just shy of al dente. Reserve about 1 cup of the cooking water, then drain. (I cooked my pasta for 5 minutes.)
In a small bowl, stir together the oyster sauce, soy sauce and vinegar; set aside.
In a 14-inch skillet over medium-high, heat the oil until barely smoking. (I used a stainless steel skillet.)
Add the chicken, onion, and garlic, distributing the ingredients evenly, then sprinkle with salt and pepper. Cook, without stirring, until the chicken is well browned on the bottom and releases easily from the pan, about 4 to 5 minutes. (See Tip)
Add the oyster sauce mixture and cook, stirring and scraping up any browned bits, until the sauce is syrupy, 2 to 3 minutes.
Add the bell pepper and chile; cook, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables begin to soften, about 2 minutes.
Add the pasta and stir to combine. Add 1/2 cup of the reserved pasta water and cook, tossing constantly, until the noodles are al dente, 2 to 3 minutes.
Off heat, stir in the lime juice. Taste and season with salt and pepper.
Place half of the stir-fry in a serving bowl and sprinkle with half of the cilantro. Repeat with the remaining stir-fry and cilantro. Serve with lime wedges on the side, as desired.
Tip: Don’t stir the chicken too soon after adding it to the skillet. Left undisturbed, it forms a fond, or browned bits that stick to the skillet. The dish’s flavor develops when the oyster sauce mixture deglazes that fond. After adding the pasta water, stir vigorously; this helps the sauce come together.
I have another tasty cast iron skillet dish to share. I made this one-pot (skillet) chicken pot pie for our Valentine’s Day dinner. ❤
This recipe was adapted from epicurious.com, contributed by Sahara Henry-Bohoskey. I loved how the biscuit topping was crumbled and scattered over the top. The filling bubbled over and oozed over the sides of the pan- I was very happy that I placed the skillet on a baking sheet in the oven! Next time I would garnish each serving with fresh herbs to add a pop of color.
The original recipe notes that 1/4 cup of aged cheddar or one teaspoon of dried thyme, parsley, or rosemary could be added to the biscuit topping, if desired.
Yield: 8 servings
For the Biscuit Topping:
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp Diamond Crystal or 1/4 tsp Morton kosher salt
6 T chilled unsalted butter, cut into pieces
1/2 cup plus 2 T heavy cream
For the Filling & To Assemble:
1 T vegetable oil (I used canola oil)
1 1/4 to 1 lbs skinless, boneless chicken thighs (about 4 or 5)
1 tsp Diamond Crystal or 1/2 tsp Morton kosher salt, divided, plus more
2 T unsalted butter, divided
1 small or 1/2 large yellow onion, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
1 medium carrot, scrubbed, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
1 medium (5–8 oz) waxy potato (such as red), cut into 1/2-inch pieces
2 celery stalks, any leaves coarsely chopped and reserved, cut on a diagonal into 1/2-inch pieces
4 large garlic cloves, finely chopped
1 tsp dried thyme
1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper, plus more
2 T all-purpose flour
1/2 cup dry white wine
1 cup chicken stock or water
1/2 cup heavy cream, plus more for brushing
1/2 cup fresh or frozen peas
flaky sea salt
fresh parsley, for garnish, optional
To Make the Biscuit Topping:
Whisk flour, baking powder, and salt in a large bowl to combine.
Add chilled unsalted butter, cut into pieces, and toss to coat.
Work in butter with your fingers or a pastry blender until mixture resembles coarse crumbs.
Add heavy cream and stir with a fork until a shaggy dough forms and no dry bits of flour remain.
Chill 20 minutes. Do ahead: Dough can be made 2 days ahead. Cover tightly and keep chilled.
To Make the Filling & To Assemble:
Place a rack in middle of oven; preheat to 450°. (I set my oven to true convection.)
Heat oil in a 10″ cast-iron skillet over medium-high.
Pat the chicken with paper towels to dry. Season both sides with salt.
Arrange chicken thighs in pan in a single layer and cook, undisturbed, until golden brown underneath, 5–7 minutes. Turn over and cook until almost cooked through, about 4 minutes. (Chicken will finish cooking through in the oven.)
Transfer to a cutting board; let cool slightly, then cut into 1-inch pieces. Reserve any accumulated liquid.
Reduce heat to medium and melt butter in pan (no need to clean).
Add chopped onion, carrot, and salt; stir to coat. Cook, stirring often, until onion is translucent, about 3 minutes.
Add chopped potato, celery, garlic, thyme, pepper, and remaining tablespoon of unsalted butter. Cook, stirring, 1 minute.
Add flour and stir to coat vegetables. Cook, stirring often, until flour coating is golden and nutty-smelling, about 3 minutes.
Add white wine, scraping up any browned bits from bottom of pan. Bring to a boil and cook until wine is reduced by half, about 1 minute.
Add chicken stock or water and bring to a simmer. Reduce heat to low, cover pan, and cook until mixture is thickened a bit, about 4 to 6 minutes.
Uncover pan and stir chicken and any accumulated juices, coarsely chopped celery leaves (if using), heavy cream, and peas into filling.
Taste and season with more kosher salt if needed.
Scatter pieces of dough over filling. Brush with cream and season with pepper and flaky sea salt.
Place skillet on a parchment paper-lined rimmed baking sheet to catch any drips and transfer to oven.
Bake until biscuits are golden brown and filling is bubbling, 20 to 30 minutes.
Let cool slightly before serving. Garnish with parsley, if desired.
I received a rice cooker for Christmas! I had to make some sort of chicken dish to serve with my perfectly cooked rice. 🙂
This comforting chicken curry was very thick and hearty. The recipe was adapted from Made in India: Recipes from an Indian Family Kitchen by Meera Sodha. I also included some of Sam Sifton’s adaptations from The New York Times.
The dollop of yogurt on top was essential. We also ate it with warm naan, roasted cauliflower and steamed spinach.
Yield: 6 to 8 servings
2 T unsalted butter or ghee
1 T neutral oil, like canola
1 tsp cumin seeds
2 cinnamon sticks, approximately 2 inches long
2 large white or yellow onions, peeled and finely chopped
1 2 1/2-inch piece of ginger, peeled with a spoon and grated or minced
6 cloves of garlic, peeled and crushed
2 green cayenne or jalapeño peppers, stemmed, seeded and minced (or 1 tsp chili powder)
kosher salt, to taste
3/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons strained or puréed tomatoes (I used Pomi)
2 T tomato paste
1 1/2 tsp ground cumin
1/2 tsp ground turmeric
3 T whole-milk yogurt, plus 1 cup to serve with the meal
2 to 2 1/2 pounds skinless, boneless chicken thighs, cut into 1-inch chunks
3 T ground or slivered almonds
1 tsp garam masala
pinch ground cayenne pepper, or to taste
1 1/2 cups brown Basmati rice, rinsed and cooked per package directions
Melt the butter or ghee in the oil in a large Dutch oven set over medium heat, and when it is hot and shimmering, add the cumin seeds and cinnamon sticks. Cook for a minute or two, stirring often, to intensify their flavors.
Add the onions. Cook, stirring occasionally, until they are golden, approximately 10 to 15 minutes.
Meanwhile, put the ginger, garlic and chilies into a mortar and pestle with a pinch of salt; smash them together into a coarse paste. (You can also do this on a cutting board, with a knife.) (I had a bit of a struggle with this! May try the cutting board method next time.)
Add the paste to the onions, and cook gently for 2 minutes or so, then pour in the tomatoes, and stir. Allow to cook for an additional 2 to 3 minutes, until the mixture thickens.
Add the tomato paste, ground cumin, ground turmeric and 1/2 teaspoon of salt; stir to combine.
Add the yogurt slowly to the mixture, using a wooden spoon to whisk it into the sauce. It may be quite thick. When it begins to bubble, add the chicken.
Lower the heat, put the lid on the Dutch oven and allow the curry to cook gently for 30 minutes or so, or until the chicken is cooked through.
Add the almonds and the garam masala, along with a pinch of cayenne, and cook for 5 minutes more or so. Taste and adjust seasoning, as needed.
Serve with basmati rice and/or naan, and the additional yogurt for topping at the table.
I have a couple more chicken and rice dishes to share. 🙂
This wonderful one-pot dish was included in The New York Times’ Best Recipes of 2022. I was surprised that I missed it when it was first published!
The recipe was adapted from The New York Times, contributed by Kay Chun. I modified the proportions. I cooked it in a large enameled cast iron Dutch oven. Although it cooked perfectly, I may use a shallow and wide pan next time to be able to serve it directly from the pan at the table. We ate it with roasted cauliflower on the side.
Flavorful and fabulous comfort food! Easy to prepare too. The hot sauce garnish balances the richness of the finished dish.
Yield: Serves 6
2 1/2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken thighs, each thigh cut into 2 equal-size pieces, patted dry
5 T neutral oil, such as safflower or canola, divided
1 1/2 cups arborio rice (or other short-grain white rice), rinsed until water runs clear
1 3/4 cups chicken stock
1 (13.5-ounce) can full-fat coconut milk
1 yellow bell pepper, cored, seeded and chopped into 1/2-inch pieces
1/2 cup roasted cashews
4 scallions, green and white parts, thinly sliced
3 T coarsely chopped cilantro
hot sauce, for serving, optional
Heat oven to 375 degrees. (I set my oven to true convection.)
Rub chicken with 2 tablespoons of oil, and season with 1 1/2 teaspoons of salt and 1/2 teaspoon of pepper.
In a large Dutch oven, heat 2 tablespoons of the oil over medium. Working in two batches, brown chicken, turning halfway, until no longer pink, around 5 minutes on the first side and an additional 3 minutes after flipping. Transfer to a plate.
Add the remaining 1 tablespoon oil, the ginger and the garlic to the empty pot, and stir until fragrant, 30 seconds.
Add rinsed rice and stir until evenly coated in the oil.
Add stock, coconut milk, bell pepper, cashews, scallions and the remaining 1 1/2 teaspoons salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper. Stir to lift up any browned bits on the bottom of the pot. (I had a lot of browned bits!)
Arrange chicken on top, add any accumulated juices from the plate and bring to a boil over high.
Cover and bake until all of the liquid is absorbed, rice is tender and chicken is cooked through, 25 minutes.
Scatter cilantro over the chicken and rice, then divide among bowls. Serve with hot sauce, as desired.
Yes, it’s true… My husband and I could eat some sort of chicken and rice dish on a daily basis. This version was amazing!
This recipe was inspired by the rotisserie chicken from the now closed Uncle Boons in NYC where the chicken was roasted on rotating spits with heads of cabbage to catch all of the juices. The recipe was adapted from Bon Appétit, contributed by Diana Yen. I used boneless, skinless chicken thighs instead of skin-on and bone-in.
I was able to incorporate my CSA cabbage in the dish- it was the impetus behind selecting the recipe. In this version, cabbage is used to line the skillet, allowing it to absorb all of the seasonings and pan drippings. I will definitely add this dish to my arsenal of favorite cabbage recipes to make in the future.
We ate the chicken and rice with roasted beets, kohlrabi, carrots, and fennel from my CSA share. I garnished the finished dish with CSA cilantro and served sautéed broccolini from my share on the side as well. A feast and a true celebration of my CSA box! 🙂
Yield: 4 to 6 servings
zest and juice of 1 lime
1 1″ piece ginger, peeled with a spoon, finely grated, plus 3 peeled slices, divided
3 large garlic cloves, finely chopped
1/3 cup coconut palm sugar or (packed) light brown sugar
4 T fish sauce
1 13.5-oz. can unsweetened coconut milk, divided
2 T extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for brushing
2 tsp freshly ground black pepper, plus more
2 lbs boneless, skinless chicken thighs
1/2 medium head of green cabbage, stem trimmed, sliced into 1″-thick wedges
1/2 tsp Diamond Crystal or 1/4 tsp Morton kosher salt, plus more
1 cup white jasmine or Basmati rice, rinsed until water runs clear
cilantro leaves with tender stems and lime wedges, for serving
Whisk lime zest and juice, grated ginger, garlic, sugar, fish sauce, 1/2 cup coconut milk, 2 T oil, 2 tsp pepper in a large bowl to combine.
Set 1/4 cup marinade aside for serving.
Place chicken in remaining marinade and toss to coat. Cover and chill at least 1 hour and up to 12 hours.
Preheat oven to 400°. (I set my oven to convection roast.)
Generously brush cabbage wedges on both sides with oil; season with salt and pepper. Arrange, a cut side down, in a 12-inch cast-iron skillet.
Remove chicken from marinade and set, “skin side up,” on top of cabbage; season with salt and pepper. Roast 15 minutes.
Increase oven temperature to 450° and continue to roast, rotating pan halfway through, until chicken thighs are browned and crispy, 7 to 10 minutes more, or until the internal temperature is 165 degrees.
While the chicken is roasting, bring rinsed rice, ginger slices, remaining 1 cup coconut milk, remaining 1/2 tsp Diamond Crystal or 1/4 tsp Morton kosher salt, and 1 cup water to a boil in a medium saucepan over medium-high heat. Reduce heat, cover, and simmer until liquid is absorbed, 15–20 minutes. Remove pan from heat. Fish out and discard ginger slices. Re-cover pan and let rice sit until ready to serve.
Arrange chicken on a platter; drizzle with reserved marinade and top with cilantro leaves. Serve with coconut rice and lime wedges for squeezing over. (I served the chicken on individual plates over the coconut rice.)