This was a super quick and delicious skillet dinner that was absolutely packed with flavor. I loved the colorful and fresh tomato topping. We ate it with a green salad but it truly could have been a complete meal on its own.
This recipe was adapted from Half Baked Harvest, contributed by Tieghan Gerard. I used chicken thighs, dried oregano, and capers. I also modified the method and proportions. Next time, I may substitute 10-minute farro for the orzo. Great.
Yield: Serves 6
For the Chicken & Orzo:
4 T extra virgin olive oil
1 3/4 to 2 pounds boneless skinless chicken thighs, cut into 1 1/2 to 2-inch pieces (about 4 large)
1 T dried oregano
2 tsp smoked paprika
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 T balsamic vinegar
8 cloves garlic, sliced
1 bell pepper, sliced (I used a yellow pepper)
2 cups dry orzo pasta
2 T capers, drained
For the Tomatoes & To Serve:
2 1/2 cups mixed heirloom grape or cherry tomatoes, halved
2 T extra virgin olive oil
1/3 cup fresh basil, chiffonade
2 cloves garlic, grated or put through a garlic press
1-2 pinches/dashes red pepper flakes, to taste
1 cup crumbled feta cheese, for serving
In a large skillet, toss together the olive oil, chicken, oregano, paprika; season with salt and pepper. (I used an enameled cast iron pan.)
Cook over medium-high heat until the chicken is browned all over and cooked through, about 5 minutes.
Stir in the balsamic vinegar and garlic, cook another minute. Using a slotted spoon, remove the chicken from the skillet.
Add the bell peppers to the drippings in the skillet. Cook until soft, 2-3 minutes.
Add the orzo and 2 1/2 cups water. Season with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring often until almost all the water is absorbed, about 5 to 10 minutes. Taste the pasta for doneness; add water and continue to cook until tender, if necessary. (I added 1/2 to 3/4 cup additional water after 5 minutes.)
Stir the chicken and capers into the orzo. Allow the chicken to warm through, about 3 minutes.
Meanwhile, toss the tomatoes with olive oil, basil, and garlic in a bowl. Season with salt and red pepper flakes.
To serve, spoon the tomatoes over the chicken and gently toss. Top with feta cheese.
Everyone loves butter chicken. This recipe was adapted to make sous vide from a viral Instant Pot recipe. The original recipe by “The Butter Chicken Lady,” Urvashi Pitre, was even published in The New Yorker.
This version was simple to prepare and resulted in perfectly cooked, ultra tender and moist meat. The sauce was amazing too. My husband declared that it was the best butter chicken I’ve ever made! Easy and delicious.
The recipe was adapted from How to Sous Vide: Easy, Delicious Perfection any Night of the Week by Daniel Shumski. We ate it with roasted asparagus and warm naan.
Yield: Serves 4 to 6
2 tsp garam masala, divided
1 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp turmeric
1 tsp smoked paprika
1 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp sea salt
1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
1/2 tsp ground ginger
2 to 2 1/4 pounds boneless, skinless chicken thighs (about 5 or 6)
1 stick (8 T) unsalted butter, cut into small cubes, divided
1/2 cup heavy cream, divided
1/2 cup fresh cilantro leaves, packed, plus more for garnish
1/4 cup (4 T) tomato paste
brown Basmati rice, for serving
warm naan, for serving
Set the water temperature to 165 degrees F. (It took a little bit shy of an hour for 10 quarts of room temperature water to reach the temperature with my Anova machine.)
In a small bowl, mix 1 tsp garam masala, the garlic powder, turmeric, paprika, cumin, salt, cayenne pepper, and ginger.
Dust both sides of each chicken thigh evenly with the spice mixture. Pour any remaining spices into the sous vide bag.
Place the chicken in the bag and evenly distribute 4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) of the butter.
Seal the bag, removing as much air as possible. Place in a second bag; remove as much air as possible.
Place the bagged chicken in the preheated water. (I clip the top of the bag to the side of the water bath container.)
After 1 hour 30 minutes, remove the bagged chicken. (Near the end of the cooking process, I cooked the rice and vegetables.)
Remove the chicken from the bag and set it aside.
Pour the juices from the bag into a blender. (I used a Vitamix.)
Add 1/4 cup (4 T) cream, the cilantro, the remaining 1 tsp garam masala, and the tomato paste. Blend until smooth, about 10 seconds.
Pour the blended sauce into a medium-size skillet or sauté pan over medium heat. Add the remaining 4 T (1/2 stick) butter and the remaining 1/4 cup cream. Cook, stirring gently, until the butter is melted and the sauce becomes homogenous, about 1 minute.
Gently place the chicken in the pan and stir to coat.
Cook over medium-low heat, about 1 minute.
Serve the chicken over rice drizzled with additional sauce and garnish with cilantro. Serve with warm naan, if desired.
Note: Any extra sauce can be refrigerated in a covered glass container for up to 5 days. Serve over rice, roasted vegetables, or chicken.
My father-in-law makes jambalaya year round. I always enjoy it! I typically make it once a year after finding a new version to try for our celebratory Mardi Gras meal.
I was drawn to this recipe because it utilizes a slow cooker- and mine is underutilized. I learned that I should stick with my typical cooking methods! I significantly extended the cooking time for the rice, probably because I didn’t use parboiled rice. Oops. It was a little bit of a struggle. In the end, the rice did absorb all of the wonderful flavors of the dish. It was worth the wait!
The recipe was adapted from food52.com, contributed by Kristina Vanni. I used kielbasa instead of andouille sausage, chicken thigh instead of chicken breast meat, and modified the method and proportions. I loved that this version incorporated chicken, sausage, and shrimp.
We ended the feast with our annual King Cake, a family favorite.
Yield: Serves 6 to 8
2 T extra-virgin olive oil, divided
1 large yellow onion, chopped
1 large green bell pepper, chopped
3 celery stalks, chopped
6 garlic cloves, minced
3 T tomato paste
1 T chopped fresh thyme
1 T Creole seasoning (I used Slap ya Mama)
1 1/2 tsp kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
2 bay leaves
3 cups chicken stock
1 (28 ounce) can diced tomatoes, undrained
1 pound boneless, skinless chicken thighs, cut into 1-inch cubes
1 (12 ounce) package andouille or kielbasa sausage, cut in half lengthwise and then into 1/4-inch half-moons
1 1/2 cups uncooked long-grain white rice, preferably parboiled (I used Basmati)
1 pound raw large shrimp, peeled and deveined (I used 21-25 count per pound)
sliced scallions, for garnish
Louisiana-style hot sauce, optional, for serving
In a large skillet or sauté pan over medium to medium-high heat, heat the 1 tablespoon of oil until shimmering. Add the onion, green bell pepper, and celery. Cook until the vegetables are softened. (Alternatively, set the slow cooker to the sauté setting and complete these steps.)
Add the garlic and cook until fragrant.
Add the tomato paste, fresh thyme, Creole seasoning, salt, pepper, and bay leaves. Stir to combine. Remove from heat and transfer to the slow cooker.
In the same pan over medium to medium-high heat, heat the remaining tablespoon of oil. Add the sliced sausage and cook until lightly browned on both sides. Transfer to the slow cooker.
Add the cubed chicken to the skillet and cook until lightly browned; transfer to the slow cooker.
Add the chicken stock and diced tomatoes. Stir to combine.
Cover and cook on low for 4 to 6 hours, or on high for 2 to 3 hours. (I cooked the dish on high for 3 hours.)
If cooking on high and using long grain white rice that is not parboiled, add the rice to the pot after 1 1/2 hours. (I used Basmati rice and it took 1 1/4 to 1 1/2 hours on high to be fully cooked.)(If using parboiled rice, add it to the pot 20 to 30 minutes before the end of the cooking time.)
Once the rice is tender, add the shrimp to the slow cooker, stir, and cook on high for 2 to 5 minutes more, stirring once or twice, until the shrimp are pink throughout and are fully cooked.
To serve, top with chopped scallions for garnish. Serve with Louisiana hot sauce for additional heat, as desired.
In Swahili, wali ya mboga translates to “rice and vegetables.” This upscale version incorporated chicken as well. This dish was similar to a biryani with layered rice with greens, caramelized onions, and yogurt-marinaded chicken in tomato curry sauce. To serve, each serving was also topped with pickled onions, called kachumbar, and salted creamy yogurt. Beyond full-flavored.
I must mention that I really browned my tomato paste during the cooking process. Recently, I have read about the importance of letting tomato paste darken for optimal flavor- apparently, I took this advice to heart! The sauce in my finished dish was much deeper in color than in the original recipe.
The recipe was adapted from Bon Appétit, contributed by Zaynab Issa. I modified the proportions and method. I boiled the rice as instructed in the original recipe but struggled with the method- and wasn’t completely thrilled with the resulting texture. Next time, I would cook the rice using a traditional method or use a much larger pot to boil the rice.
Yield: 6 servings
For the Dish:
1 2/3 cups good-quality white basmati rice (such as Shahzada)
1/4 cup plain whole-milk yogurt (not Greek) (I used whole milk cream-top plain yogurt)
one 1″ piece ginger, scrubbed, finely grated (about 1 T)
8 large garlic cloves, finely grated or pushed through a garlic press, divided
2 3/4 tsp Diamond Crystal or 1 3/4 tsp Morton kosher salt, divided, plus more
1/2 cup plain whole-milk yogurt (not Greek) (I used whole milk cream-top plain yogurt)
To Make the Dish:
Place rice in a medium bowl and pour in cold water to cover. Agitate rice with your hands until water is cloudy. Drain and repeat until water is almost clear (about 3 times). Pour in water to cover rice by 2″; soak at least 30 minutes and up to 12 hours.
Stir yogurt, ginger, half of garlic, 3/4 tsp Diamond Crystal or 1/2 tsp Morton kosher salt, and 1/4 tsp turmeric in a medium bowl to combine. Season with pepper. Add chicken thighs, turning to coat. Let sit at room temperature at least 30 minutes and up to 1 hour.
Meanwhile, heat 2 tablespoons of oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium to medium-high. (I used a large enameled cast iron pot.)
Add onion and sprinkle with 1/2 tsp Diamond Crystal or 1/4 tsp Morton kosher salt. Cook, stirring occasionally, until onion is frizzled and deeply browned, 10 to 15 minutes. Transfer onion to a plate and set aside.
Heat remaining 2 tablespoons of oil in same skillet (still over medium to medium-high).
Working in batches if necessary, remove chicken from marinade and cook until browned and cooked through, about 5 minutes on the first side and 4 minutes on the second side. Transfer chicken to a plate, leaving oil behind.
Add tomato paste, coriander, cumin, chile powder, remaining half of garlic, remaining 1 1/2 tsp Diamond Crystal or 1 tsp Morton kosher salt, and remaining 1/4 tsp turmeric to skillet. Cook over medium to medium-high, stirring often, until tomato paste turns a shade darker in color, about 5 minutes.
Reduce heat to low, stir in 1 cup water, and bring to simmer. Cook, stirring occasionally, until flavors come together and sauce has thickened, 10–12 minutes.
Return chicken to pan and stir to coat in sauce. Remove from heat; cover and keep warm. (I placed the pan in a warming drawer.)
Drain rice and cook in a very large pot of boiling generously salted water 10 to 15 minutes, until tender. (Alternatively, the rice can be cooked traditionally using a 1:2 ratio with boiling water. Cook, covered, over low heat for 15 minutes.)
Stir the Swiss chard, kale or spinach into the rice.
Continue to cook until rice is tender and greens are wilted and bright green, about 1 to 3 minutes more.
Drain in a colander and let sit 10 minutes to allow moisture to steam off.
To Assemble and To Serve:
While the rice rests, combine onion, lemon juice, chiles, tomatoes, and 1/4 tsp Diamond Crystal or 1/8 tsp Morton kosher salt in a small bowl. Toss with a fork to combine, breaking up the onion slices. Let kachumbar sit 5 minutes.
Stir yogurt and remaining salt in another small bowl.
To serve, fluff rice with a fork, making sure the greens are evenly distributed; transfer to a platter.
Scatter reserved caramelized onions over and arrange chicken on top. (Or for a more casual look, return rice to pot and gently stir in chicken and onion.)
My husband was raised on comfort food dishes like this. 🙂 He loved this version, of course, but it was really my son who could have eaten the entire bowl on his own. Egg noodles are definitely a crowd pleaser!
This recipe was adapted from Cook’s Country. I actually doubled the recipe to make sure that we had plenty of leftovers. (The original proportions are included below.) I reduced the amount of butter and increased the amount of garlic.
Yield: Serves 4
12 ounces (6 cups) egg noodles
1 1/4 teaspoons table salt, divided, plus salt for cooking noodles
4 to 6 tablespoons unsalted butter, divided
3 tablespoons all-purpose flour, divided
1 teaspoon dry mustard
1 teaspoon paprika, plus extra for sprinkling
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, divided
1 pound boneless, skinless chicken thighs, trimmed and cut into 1-inch pieces
12 ounces cremini mushrooms, trimmed and sliced thin
1 medium yellow onion, chopped fine
4 to 5 garlic cloves, minced
1 tablespoon tomato paste
2 teaspoons minced fresh thyme or 3/4 teaspoon dried
1 1/4 cups chicken stock
2 tablespoons dry sherry (can substitute with extra chicken broth or water with freshly squeezed lemon juice)
1/3 cup sour cream, plus more for serving
2 tablespoons minced fresh parsley, for garnish, optional
Bring 4 quarts water to boil in large pot. Add noodles and 1 tablespoon salt and cook, stirring often, until al dente. Drain noodles, return them to pot, and toss with 1 or 2 tablespoon(s) of butter. Cover to keep warm.
Combine 2 tablespoons flour, mustard, paprika, 3/4 teaspoon salt, and 1/2 teaspoon pepper in large bowl. Add chicken and toss to thoroughly coat.
Melt 2 tablespoons butter in 12-inch nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. (I used an enameled cast iron pan.)
Add chicken and spread into single layer, breaking up any clumps. Cook, without stirring, until browned on bottom, about 4 minutes. Stir and continue to cook until chicken is cooked through, about 4 minutes longer. Transfer chicken to large plate.
Melt remaining tablespoon (or 2) of butter in now-empty skillet over medium-high heat.
Add mushrooms, onion, remaining 1/2 teaspoon salt, and remaining 1/2 teaspoon pepper and cook until any liquid has evaporated and vegetables just begin to brown, 7 to 9 minutes.
Stir in garlic, tomato paste, thyme, and remaining 1 tablespoon flour and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds.
Stir in stock and sherry and bring to simmer, scraping up any browned bits.
Add chicken and any accumulated juices and cook until warmed through and sauce thickens slightly, about 1 minute.
Off heat, stir in sour cream until thoroughly combined. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
Transfer noodles to a serving dish or individual shallow bowls and spoon stroganoff over top.
To serve, sprinkle with parsley and extra paprika, if desired. Serve with extra sour cream on the side, if desired.
Enchiladas verdes has been one of my all-time favorite dishes for almost my entire life. So, naturally, I am drawn to every version that I come across! I liked how this version included cheese in the filling rather than melted over the top. These enchiladas were also extra saucy- loved it.
This recipe was adapted from Christopher Kimball’s Milk Street magazine. I used poached chicken thighs but rotisserie chicken meat could be used as a shortcut.
We ate the enchiladas garnished with chopped onion and cilantro with rice and refried beans on the side. I cooked the rice in the chicken poaching liquid which made it extra flavorful. Great.
Yield: 4 servings (8 enchiladas)
3 T extra-virgin olive oil, divided
3 medium-large poblano chilies (about 12 to 14 oz), stemmed, seeded, and chopped
1 pound tomatillos, husked, cored, and chopped
1 medium yellow or white onion, chopped, plus more for garnish, if desired
8 medium garlic cloves, smashed and peeled
1 T ground cumin
1/2 cup chicken stock, plus an additional 2 cups if poaching the chicken
1 cup lightly packed cilantro leaves and stems, rinsed and dried, plus more for garnish
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 pound boneless chicken (I used 3 boneless, skinless chicken thighs) (or 1 1/2 cups finely chopped cooked chicken)
6 oz Monterey jack or whole-milk mozzarella cheese, shredded (1 1/2 cups)
2 T hot sauce, such as Cholula or Tapatío (I used Chipotle Cholula- my favorite)
8 6-inch corn tortillas
lime wedges, to serve, optional
sour cream or Mexican crema, for serving, optional
rice and refried beans, for serving, optional
Place the chicken in a medium saucepan and cover with about 2 cups of chicken stock. Bring to a simmer over medium-high heat, then reduce to low, cover and cook until the thickest part of the meat registers 165 degrees for thighs or 160 degrees for breasts, about 15 to 20 minutes. Let the chicken cool in the liquid until just warm, then finely chop the meat. Reserve the cooking liquid. (Alternatively, 1 1/2 cups of chopped rotisserie chicken meat can be substituted.)
Preheat the oven to 475 degrees with a rack in the center position.
In a large pot over medium-high, combine 1 tablespoon of the oil, the chopped poblanos, cored & chopped tomatillos, chopped onion, and garlic. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables are beginning to soften, 5 to 8 minutes.
Stir in the cumin and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds.
Add the stock and cook, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables have completely softened, about 5 minutes. Remove from the heat and let cool for 5 minutes.
Transfer the mixture to a food processor and process until smooth, about 1 minute.
Add the cilantro and continue to process until smooth, about 1 minute. Taste and season with salt and pepper.
Spread 1 cup of the sauce in the bottom of a 13-by-9-inch baking dish; set aside. (I used 4 individual enameled cast iron serving dishes, placing 1/4 cup of the sauce in the bottom of each dish.)
In a medium bowl, toss together the chicken, cheese, hot sauce, 3/4 teaspoons salt and 1 teaspoon pepper; set aside.
Brush both sides of the tortillas with the remaining 2 tablespoons olive oil, then arrange them on a rimmed baking sheet (its fine to overlap them slightly). Cover tightly with foil and warm in the oven just until soft and pliable, about 3 minutes. (This step is important in order to make sure that the tortillas are pliable enough to fill and roll.)
Uncover the tortillas; reserve the foil. Lay the tortillas out on a large cutting board (or 2) or a clean counter.
Divide the chicken mixture evenly among the tortillas (about 3 heaping tablespoons each), arranging the filling in a line along the bottom edge of each tortilla. (I used a 3 T cookie scoop.)
Working one at a time, roll up the tortillas to enclose the filling and place seam side down in a tight row down the center of the prepared baking dish. (or 2 enchiladas per individual baking dish)
Spoon 1/2 cup of the sauce over the enchiladas. (or 2 T per individual baking dish)
Cover tightly with a layer of parchment paper topped with the reserved foil. Bake until the cheese begins to melt out of the ends, about 15 minutes.
Meanwhile, cook 1 cup of rice in 2 cups of chicken poaching liquid, if desired. (I used white Basmati rice.) (I also warmed refried beans at this point.)
Uncover and spread the remaining sauce over the enchiladas. (or about 2 T per individual baking dish) Re-cover and let stand for 5 minutes.
Serve with lime wedges and sour cream or Mexican crema, garnished with chopped onion and cilantro, as desired.
I have a few quick weeknight meals to share- perfect for the busy holiday season. I was drawn to this dish because I had several beautiful leeks from my CSA share. I served it with roasted broccoli and Brussels sprouts on the side.
This recipe was adapted from Bon Appétit, contributed by Deb Perelman. I have saved a million fresh sauce recipes to make someday but, regretfully, seldom make one. The salsa verde added so much to this classic comfort food dish!
Because the original recipe incorporated a lot of rice, I ultimately made a second batch of chicken and sauce to serve with the leftovers. Next time, I would double the chicken (to 3 pounds) and the sauce (2 cups of herbs) from the start. The recipe below is updated for this change.
Yield: Serves 4 (1 1/2 pounds chicken) or 8 (2 1/2 to 3 pounds of chicken)
For the Chicken & Rice:
1 1/2 lbs to 3 pounds skinless, boneless chicken thighs
Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
3 T unsalted butter, divided
2 to 3 large leeks, white and pale green parts only, halved lengthwise, thinly sliced
zest and juice of 1 lemon, divided
1 1/2 cups long-grain white rice, rinsed until water runs clear (I used Basmati rice)
2 cups chicken stock with 3/4 cups water (or 2 3/4 cups low-sodium chicken broth)
For the Salsa Verde: (make 1/2 recipe below for 1 1/2 pounds chicken)
2 oil-packed anchovy fillets
4 large garlic cloves
2 T drained capers
crushed red pepper flakes
2 cups tender herb leaves (such as parsley, cilantro, basil and/or mint)
8 T extra-virgin olive oil
Pat the chicken thighs with a paper towel to absorb excess moisture. Season with salt and pepper. (My chicken thighs were very large, so I cut them in half crosswise.)
Melt 2 tablespoons of butter in a large high-sided skillet over medium-high heat. (I used a large, low and wide enameled cast iron pot with a glass lid.)
Add leeks and half of lemon zest, season with salt and pepper, and mix to coat leeks in butter. Reduce heat to medium-low, cover, and cook, stirring occasionally, until leeks are somewhat tender, about 5 minutes.
Remove lid, increase heat to medium-high, and cook, stirring occasionally, until tender and just starting to take on color, about 3 minutes.
Add rice and cook, stirring often, 3 minutes, then add broth, scraping up any browned bits.
Nestle the chicken thighs (“skin side up”) into rice mixture. Bring to a simmer. Cover, reduce heat to medium-low, and cook until rice is tender and chicken is cooked through, about 25 minutes, or until the internal temperature reaches 165 degrees. Remove from heat.
Cut remaining 1 tablespoon of butter into small pieces and scatter over mixture. Re-cover and let sit 10 minutes.
While the chicken and rice is resting, make the salsa verde. Pulse anchovies, garlic, capers, a few pinches of red pepper flakes, and remaining lemon zest in a food processor until finely chopped.
Add herbs; process until a paste forms.
With motor running, gradually stream in oil until loosened to a thick sauce.
Add half of lemon juice; season salsa verde with salt to taste.
Drizzle remaining lemon juice over chicken and rice. Serve drizzled with salsa verde.