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.)
I love an amazing sauce. In this dish, the creamy and velvety yogurt-herb sauce is used as both the marinade and the condiment served with the finished meal. Yogurt-based marinades always result in such tender meat- delicious!
This recipe was adapted from the Bon Appétit “healthyish” issue, contributed by Shilpa Uskokovic. The original recipe also suggests serving the sauce with meatballs, zucchini fritters, roasted mushrooms, or turkey burgers.
I served the chicken with roasted potatoes and broccoli- which were also both delicious drizzled with the creamy chimichurri sauce.
Yield: Serves 4 to 6
For the Marinade & Sauce:
9 large garlic cloves
2 1/2 cups (packed) cilantro leaves with tender stems
2 cups (packed) parsley leaves with tender stems
4 T red wine vinegar
1 T plus 1 tsp Diamond Crystal or 2 1/4 tsp Morton kosher salt
2 tsp Diamond Crystal or 1 1/4 tsp Morton kosher salt
roasted broccoli and potatoes, for serving, optional
To Make the Sauce:
Pulse garlic cloves, cilantro, parsley, red wine vinegar, salt, dried oregano, red pepper flakes, and 1/4 cup (4 tablespoons) extra-virgin olive oil in a food processor until combined and herbs are very finely chopped but not puréed.
Transfer mixture to a medium bowl and add the Greek yogurt and remaining 1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil. Whisk vigorously until emulsified (makes about 2 1/2 cups).
Do ahead: Sauce can be made 3 days ahead. Cover and chill. Whisk just before using.
To Make the Chicken & To Assemble:
Place the chicken, backbone removed, patted dry, breast side up, on a cutting board; open up against surface as much as possible. Using your palms, press firmly on breastbone to flatten breast (you may hear a crack).
Transfer chicken to a large bowl and rub all over with salt and 3/4 cup yogurt-herb sauce.
Cover and chill at least 2 hours and, preferably, up to 12 hours (no need to bring to room temperature before roasting).
Place a rack in middle of oven; preheat to 375°. (I set my oven to convection roast.)
Transfer chicken to a wire rack set inside a large parchment paper-lined, rimmed baking sheet; spread any marinade left in large bowl over skin.
Roast chicken, rotating baking sheet halfway through, until skin is deep golden brown and an instant-read thermometer inserted into thickest part of a thigh registers 165°, 50–60 minutes. (I used the oven probe and then confirmed the internal temperature with a separate thermometer.) (I roasted the potatoes in the same oven.)
Let rest 10 minutes. (This is a good time to roast additional vegetables.) Cut into pieces and transfer chicken to a platter.
If it has separated, whisk remaining sauce in medium bowl; drizzle chicken with sauce and serve remaining sauce at the table.
I loved everything about this beautiful salad. We ate it with Turkish Grilled Chicken– such a wonderful meal. It was one of the best zucchini dishes I’ve ever made.
This recipe was adapted from Milk Street, contributed by Elizabeth Mindreau. It was re-created from a salad served at Coal Office, a modern Middle Eastern restaurant in London.
Yield: Serves 4 to 6
about 3/4 to 1 cup plain whole-milk Greek yogurt
2 T tahini
zest from 1 large lemon, plus 1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
1 1/2 tsp plus 2 T extra-virgin olive oil, divided, plus more to serve
Kosher salt and ground black pepper
15 1/2 ounce can chickpeas, rinsed and drained
1 small shallot, halved and thinly sliced
2 T red wine vinegar
2 tsp za’atar
2 small/medium zucchini (12 to 16 ounces total), quartered lengthwise and thinly sliced on a steep diagonal
1/4 cup lightly packed fresh mint, finely chopped
1/4 cup lightly packed fresh dill, finely chopped
1/4 cup lightly packed fresh cilantro
ground sumac, to serve, optional
In a medium bowl, whisk together the yogurt, tahini, lemon zest and juice, 1 1/2 teaspoons oil, 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper; set aside.
In a large microwave-safe bowl, stir together the chickpeas, shallot, vinegar and za’atar. Cover and microwave until the shallot is wilted, 1 1/2 to 2 minutes. Uncover and cool to room temperature, stirring occasionally. (see Tip)
When the chickpeas have cooled, stir in the remaining 2 tablespoons oil, the zucchini, mint, dill and cilantro. Taste and season with salt and pepper.
Transfer the chickpea-zucchini mixture to a platter, spooning it around the edge.
Scoop the yogurt mixture into a mound in the center of the chickpea-zucchini mixture.
Drizzle with additional oil and sprinkle with sumac, if using.
Tip: Don’t forget to cover the bowl containing the chickpeas and shallots when microwaving. Covering traps steam that helps wilt the shallots and soften the chickpeas. And remember to occasionally stir the chickpea-shallot mixture as it cools. This helps ensure the chickpeas evenly absorb the seasonings pooled at the bottom of the bowl while also hastening the cooling.
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.
Everyone in my family loves tzatziki. This version incorporates red wine vinegar rather than lemon juice, which is apparently the way it is typically prepared in Greece. I normally use chopped cucumbers but really enjoyed the texture of the grated cucumbers in this dish.
We ate it with warm naan and grillled chicken kebabs. A perfect summer dinner! This recipe was adapted from Milk Street, contributed by Courtney Hill. I modified the proportions. I also prepared the tzatziki in advance and kept it chilled in the refrigerator until ready to serve. Wonderful.
Yield: about 2 cups
1 European seedless cucumber, halved crosswise
1 cup plain whole-milk or low-fat Greek yogurt (I used 2 percent Greek yogurt)(see Tip)
4 T (1/4 cup) extra virgin olive oil, plus more for drizzling
2 medium to large garlic cloves, finely grated or pushed through a garlic press
1 T chopped fresh mint, plus more for garnish
2 T chopped fresh dill, plus more for garnish
2 teaspoons red wine vinegar
Set a colander in a medium bowl, then set a box grater in the colander.
Grate the cucumber halves on the grater’s large holes, rotating and grating only down to the seedy core. Discard the cores. (Make sure that you don’t shred the cores as the seeds are watery and have a slight bitterness and unappealing texture.)
Sprinkle the shredded cucumber with 1 teaspoon salt and toss. Set aside to drain for 10 minutes.
Meanwhile, in a medium bowl, whisk the yogurt, oil, garlic, mint, dill and vinegar.
A handful at a time, squeeze the shredded cucumber to remove as much liquid as possible, then set on a cutting board; reserve 1 teaspoons of the cucumber liquid.
Finely chop the squeezed cucumber, then stir into the yogurt mixture.
Stir in the reserved cucumber liquid and 1/4 teaspoon coarse salt.
Transfer to a serving bowl, drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with additional mint and dill, as desired.
Tip: Don’t use nonfat Greek yogurt. Without any fat, the flavor of the tzatziki is weak and thin.
Wow. This was the best vegetarian chili I have ever experienced. It was a little bit labor intensive to prepare but the house smelled incredible and the resulting meal was worth the work.
This recipe was adapted from Bobby Flay’s new cookbook, Beat Bobby Flay, via today.com. Even after decreasing and adjusting the chili powders in the recipe, the chili was on the spicy side. It was well tempered with all of the toppings and I also served it over rice to balance the heat. Next time, I may omit one teaspoon of chili powder, noted below.
I loved all of the toppings and garnishes. The cotija cheese was absolutely essential. Healthy and fabulous vegetarian comfort food.
Yield: Serves 4 to 6
For the Cumin-Lime Yogurt: (Makes 1 cup)
1 cup 2% Greek yogurt
1 lime, finely zested and juiced
1/2 tsp ground cumin
kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
For the Avocado-Shishito Relish: (Makes about 2 cups)
2 Hass avocados, cut into large dice
2 T finely diced red onion
1 lime, juiced
2 T chopped fresh cilantro leaves
kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
1/2 tablespoon canola oil
4 shishito peppers
For the Vegetable Chili:
8 tablespoons canola oil, divided
1 large Spanish onion, finely diced
8 cloves garlic, mashed to a paste with 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
2 tsp ancho chile powder
1 tsp guajillo chile powder (I ground a guajillo chile in a spice grinder)
1 tsp chipotle powder
1 tsp chili powder, optional (next time I would omit it)
1 tsp ground coriander
1 tsp ground cumin
2 T tomato paste
1 (12-ounce) bottle dark beer (I used a Fat Tire amber)
1 (28-ounce) can peeled whole plum tomatoes, undrained (I used San Marzano)
kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 T finely chopped fresh oregano leaves
2 large portobello mushrooms (about 11 oz), stems discarded, caps cut into 1/2-inch dice
6 cups 1/2-inch-diced peeled eggplant (1 large or 2 medium, about 2 1/2 pounds)
1 (15.5-ounce) can black beans, rinsed and drained
1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro leaves
2 scallions, green tops and pale-green parts only, thinly sliced
1 tablespoon clover honey
Cumin-Lime Yogurt (recipe above)
Avocado-Shishito Relish (recipe above)
1/2 cup coarsely grated or crumbled queso blanco
1/4 cup finely grated Cotija cheese
fried tortillas strips or crumbled tortilla chips, for garnish (optional)
cornbread or cornbread muffins, for serving, optional
To Make the Cumin-Lime Yogurt:
Whisk together the yogurt, lime zest, lime juice, and cumin in a small bowl.
Season with salt and pepper.
Cover and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes and up to 24 hours before serving.
To Make the Avocado-Shishito Relish:
In a large bowl, combine the avocado, onion, lime juice, and cilantro in a large bowl.
Using a fork, coarsely mash the ingredients together.
Season with salt and pepper to taste.
Heat the oil in a large cast-iron or nonstick skillet over high heat until shimmering.
Add the shishitos, season with salt and pepper, and cook until charred on both sides, about 2 minutes per side. Transfer to a cutting board, let cool for a few minutes, then finely dice.
Gently fold in the diced shishitos into the avocado mixture to combine.
Note: The relish can be made up to 4 hours in advance, tightly covered and refrigerated.
To Make the Vegetable Chili:
Heat 3 tablespoons of the oil in a large Dutch oven over medium-high heat until shimmering.
Add the onion and cook until soft, about 4 minutes.
Add the garlic and cook for 1 minute longer.
Add all of the chile powders, the coriander, and cumin. Cook, stirring constantly, until the spices are fragrant and deepen in color, about 2 minutes.
Stir in the tomato paste and cook for 1 minute.
Add the beer and cook over medium heat until the mixture is reduced by about half, about 5 minutes.
Add the tomatoes and their juices and cook until the tomatoes begin to soften and break down, about 10 minutes. Using a potato masher or wooden spoon, coarsely mash the tomatoes.
Season with salt and pepper and stir in the oregano. Cook until the sauce starts to thicken, about 20 minutes.
While the sauce is cooking, heat 2 tablespoons of the oil in a large cast-iron skillet over high heat.
Add the mushrooms and cook, stirring a few times, until golden brown and their liquid has evaporated, about 7 minutes. Season with salt and pepper and transfer to a large bowl.
Return the skillet to the heat and add the remaining 3 tablespoons oil.
Working in batches, add the eggplant in a single layer, season with salt and pepper, and cook, stirring a few times, until golden brown and soft, about 5 minutes per batch. Add more oil, if necessary. (I cooked the eggplant in 3 batches.) Transfer the eggplant to the bowl of mushrooms.
Add the eggplant, mushrooms, and black beans to the tomato sauce and stir to combine.
Cook for 15 minutes to meld the flavors and thicken the mixture.
Stir in the cilantro and scallions and season with the honey, salt and pepper.
Ladle the chili into bowls, top with a dollop of the cumin-lime yogurt and avocado-shishito relish.
At the table, pass the queso blanco and Cotija cheeses, as well as some tortilla chips, if desired, to sprinkle over the top of the chili.
Offer cornbread or cornbread muffins on the side, if desired.
According to the original recipe, in Romagna, in Northern Italy, piadine are often served with cured meats, greens and fresh cheeses that soften in the warmth of the freshly cooked bread. They are folded in half and eaten like a sandwich. This version is based on the classic presentation. Yum.
The recipe was adapted from MilkStreetTV.com, contributed by Erica Bruce. I bought lard for the first time in my life to make this flatbread! Christopher Kimball convinced me that lard was the secret to both the optimal texture and flavor in this wonderful bread. In the article, they found that when using lard “the piadine were tender with just the right chew and (had) a deeper, richer background flavor. (They) also tested vegetable shortening, which gave the same supple dough but lacked a bit of flavor. Lard was the clear winner.” The flatbread was perfect.
This special sandwich was a fabulous and fast summer dinner. We hope to try piadine with all sorts of other toppings in the near future. It was dangerously easy to make. 🙂
Yield: 4 flatbread sandwiches (4 servings)
For the Piadina:
1/2 cup water, divided
1/4 cup (4 T) plain whole-milk yogurt (I used Greek yogurt)
311 grams (2 cups) bread flour
1 tsp fine sea salt or table salt
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
63 grams (5 T or 1/3 cup) lard, at room temperature
In a liquid measuring cup, whisk together 1/4 cup of the water and the yogurt.
In a food processor, combine the flour, salt and baking powder. Process 5 seconds.
Add the lard and process until combined, about 10 seconds.
With the processor running, add the yogurt mixture.
With the processor still running, add the remaining water 1 tablespoon at a time until the dough forms a smooth ball, about 1 minute. If the dough doesn’t ball up in the processor, gather it together and briefly knead it by hand.
Divide the dough into 4 pieces. (I used a kitchen scale.)
Roll each into a ball, then cover with plastic wrap. Let rest for 15 minutes. Meanwhile, prepare the topping.
Using a rolling pin, form each dough ball into a 10-inch round. (The round will be approximately 1/16-inch thick.) Poke the surfaces all over with a fork.
Heat a 12-inch cast-iron skillet over medium until a drop of water sizzles immediately, 4 to 6 minutes.
One at a time, place a dough round in the skillet and cook until the bottom is charred in spots, 1 to 2 minutes. (I cooked mine for a little less than 1 minute.)
Using tongs, flip and cook for about 30 to 40 seconds. Transfer to a plate and cover loosely with foil. Repeat.
For the Topping:
3/4 to 1 cup whole-milk ricotta cheese
finely grated lemon zest from 1/2 a lemon (about 1/2 tsp), or more, to taste
2 T freshly squeezed lemon juice (from 1/2 a lemon)
coarse salt and freshly ground black pepper
8 slices prosciutto, at room temperature
baby arugula (about 1 cup per person) (we also used baby spinach)
extra-virgin olive oil, for drizzling, optional
In a medium bowl, stir together the ricotta and lemon zest. Taste and season with salt and pepper. Add the lemon juice to the ricotta, or reserve to toss with the arugula (or spinach).
Spread the ricotta mixture evenly over half of each piadina, then top with 2 slices of prosciutto.
In a medium bowl, toss the arugula with the lemon juice (if not in the ricotta mixture) and a pinch of salt. Mound on top of the prosciutto.
Drizzle with oil, if desired, and fold. (I omitted the oil.)