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.
This is a quick and delicious- lemony and garlicky- one-pan dish. I now realize that I prefer pan-seared gnocchi over boiled. It was crispy on the outside and tender on the inside. Great.
This recipe was adapted from The New York Times, contributed by Melissa Clark. I used a 12-inch cast iron skillet, modified the method, and doubled the garlic. It was a perfect meal served with a big green salad. We didn’t have any leftovers!
Yield: Serves 3 to 4
3 T extra-virgin olive oil, divided, plus more for serving
1 pound gnocchi (fresh, frozen or shelf-stable) (I used Trader Joe’s shelf-stable)
2 T unsalted butter
4 to 8 garlic cloves, finely grated or minced
1/2 cup cup dry white wine, clam juice, or stock (I used chicken stock)
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
1/8 tsp red-pepper flakes, plus more for serving
1 pound large or extra-large shrimp, shelled (I used tail-on 21-25 count)
1 cup flat-leaf parsley, chopped (about 1/2 cup chopped)
In a large, preferably nonstick skillet, heat 2 tablespoons oil over medium-high. (I used a 12-inch cast iron skillet.)
Add gnocchi to the pan, breaking up any that are stuck together. Cook for 8 to 12 minutes, tossing every 1 to 2 minutes, so they get golden and crispy all over. Transfer to a bowl or plate. (I reduced the heat to medium half-way through this step.)
In the same skillet over medium-high, add remaining 1 tablespoon oil and all of the butter, letting it melt for a few seconds.
Add the minced garlic and sauté until fragrant, 30 seconds to 1 minute.
Add wine/stock/clam juice, 1/2 teaspoon salt, 1/4 teaspoon black pepper and all of the red-pepper flakes. Bring to a simmer, and let the liquid reduce by half, about 2 minutes.
Add shrimp and sauté until they just start to turn pink, 2 to 3 minutes, depending on their size.
Return gnocchi to the pan and add another 1/4 teaspoon salt. Using a Microplane or other fine grater, quickly grate the zest from the lemon into the pan.
Add chopped parsley, tossing well. If your pan looks dry, add a splash of water, 1 tablespoon at a time, tossing to combine, then remove pan from the heat. (I didn’t have to add any additional liquid.)
Cut the zested lemon in half and squeeze in the juice from one half, gently tossing to combine. Taste and add more salt if you like. Cut the remaining lemon half into wedges for serving.
Drizzle with more olive oil and more red-pepper flakes, if desired, and serve with lemon wedges on the side.
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.
This quick summer dish gobbled up the cilantro from my CSA share. The sauce was silky and fresh.
The recipe was adapted from The New York Times, contributed by Melissa Clark. I reduced the oil and modified the method. Next time I may add some lemon zest and/or toasted pine nuts. Easy and delicious!
1 pound short pasta, such as shells, cavatappi, chiocciole, farfalle, ditali or wagon wheels (I used cascatelli)
about 12 ounces fresh, whole-milk ricotta (about 1 1/2 cups)
3/4 to 1 cup freshly grated Parmesan, plus more for serving (I used Parmigiano-Reggiano)
4 T (1/4 cup) extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for serving
1/2 to 1 tablespoon freshly ground black pepper, plus more for serving
2 1/2 cups soft herbs, packed, such as cilantro, basil, chives, fennel fronds, parsley, mint, tarragon, chervil or dill (try for a combination of at least 3 kinds), coarsely chopped (I used a food processor)
lemon zest, optional
handful of toasted pine nuts, optional
Bring a large pot of well-salted water to a boil over high heat. Add the pasta and cook until al dente, according to package instructions. Reserve 2 cups pasta cooking water, then drain the pasta.
In the same pot, make the sauce: Add ricotta, Parmesan, olive oil, pepper and a large pinch or two of coarse salt, and stir until well combined.
Add 1 cup pasta water to the sauce and stir until smooth.
Coarsely chop the herbs with a food processor, if desired. (I used 1 cup dill, 1 cup cilantro, 1/4 cup parsley, and 1/4 cup basil.)
Add the cooked pasta and herbs, and continue to stir vigorously until the noodles are well coated. Add more pasta water as needed for a smooth, soupy sauce. Taste and add more salt if needed.
Incorporate lemon zest and/or pine nuts, if using.
To serve, spoon the pasta into a serving bowl or individual bowls and finish with more Parmesan, drizzle of olive oil and more pepper, as desired.
I have served this flavorful dish as a vegetarian main dish served over baby spinach and as a side dish with rotisserie chicken, roasted cauliflower and green salad. So versatile! I also love that it is made in one pan.
The recipe was adapted from The New York Times, contributed by Melissa Clark. I used Trader Joe’s Harvest Grain Blend with Couscous with Quinoa, Orzo, and Garbanzo Beans and modified the proportions and method. Nice.
Yield: Serves 4 as a main dish or 6 as a side dish
1pint (2 cups) grape tomatoes, halved (or a combination grape & small Campari- quartered)
1 large shallot, halved and thinly sliced
1/4cup sliced scallions, for garnish (about 2 large)
2 T extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for drizzling
1 T balsamic vinegar, plus more for drizzling
2 to 3 large garlic cloves, finely grated or minced
1 1/2teaspoons kosher salt, plus more as needed
1/2teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, plus more for serving
3oregano, rosemary or sage sprigs
2cups vegetable stock or water (I used 1 cup chicken stock and 1 cup water)
1/3cup chopped cilantro, dill or parsley, plus more for serving
8ounces pearl couscous (1 1/2 cups)(I used Trader Joe’s Harvest Brain blend)
1(15-ounce) can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
1 1/2cups feta, crumbled (about 6 ounces)
1/3cup freshly grated Parmesan (1 1/2 ounces)( I used Parmigiano-Reggiano)
Heat oven to 425 degrees. (I set my oven to convection roast.)
In a 9×13-inch baking dish, cake pan or gratin dish (I used a ceramic 9×13 baking dish), toss together tomatoes, shallot, 2 tablespoons oil, 1 tablespoon vinegar, garlic, 1/2 teaspoon salt, pepper and rosemary, oregano, or sage sprigs. Roast until tomatoes are tender, about 15 minutes.
While tomatoes roast, heat the stock (or stock and water) until it boils, then stir in remaining 1 teaspoon salt, adding more to taste. (You want a well-seasoned broth here to flavor the couscous.)
Stir in cilantro, lemon zest and cumin.
Remove tomatoes from oven and fold in couscous, chickpeas and hot stock mixture. Cover pan tightly with foil, and return to oven for 20 minutes.
Remove foil and fold in the Parmesan and about 3/4ths of the feta (save the rest for garnish). Bake uncovered until feta starts to melt, another 5 minutes.
To serve, pull out and discard herb sprigs if you like, and spoon couscous into bowls. (I served it in the baking dish as a side dish.)
Top with remaining feta, more Parmesan, scallions, more herbs, pepper and a drizzle of olive oil and balsamic vinegar, 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.
This full-flavored weeknight dish was healthy and delicious. The yogurt sauce was an essential element for my family. Any combination of greens could be used in this dish- I used the ingredients that had just arrived in my CSA box. 🙂
This recipe was adapted from The New York Times, contributed by Melissa Clark. I incorporated sautéed collard greens, bok choy, and leeks. I served the chicken and greens over brown Basmati rice drizzled with pan juices. We also had warm naan on the side. Great.
Yield: Serves 4 to 6
For the Chicken:
2 1/4 to 2 1/2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken thighs (I used 7 thighs)
coarse salt and freshly ground black pepper
4 large garlic cloves, finely grated, minced or passed through a press
1 T finely chopped fresh thyme and/or oregano leaves (I used 1/2 T each) (can substitute 1 teaspoon dried thyme or oregano)
large pinch of red-pepper flakes
3 T extra-virgin olive oil
1 lemon, cut lengthwise into 8 thin wedges
For the Garlicky Greens:
3 T extra-virgin olive oil
1 bunch of collard greens, ribs removed, halved lengthwise
2 baby bok choy
1-2 leeks (I used 1 1/2 large leeks), sliced into 1/4-inch half moons and soaked
5 large garlic cloves, thinly sliced
coarse salt and freshly ground black pepper
large pinch of red pepper flakes, or to taste
1 T sherry vinegar
For the Cucumber-Yogurt Sauce:
1/2 cup plain Greek or other strained, thick yogurt (or substitute labneh or sour cream) (I used 2% Greek yogurt)
1/2 cup coarsely grated seedless cucumber, such as Persian or hothouse cucumbers
1 large garlic clove, finely grated, minced or passed through a press
2 tablespoons chopped fresh mint, parsley, and/or cilantro, for garnish
brown Basmati rice, for serving
warm flatbread, such as naan, for serving, optional
To Prep & Roast the Chicken:
Heat oven to 425 degrees. (I set my oven to convection roast.)
Pat the chicken dry with paper towels and season generously with the salt and pepper.
In a large bowl, combine 4 of the grated garlic cloves, thyme and/or oregano, red-pepper flakes, and olive oil.
Add chicken and lemon wedges, and toss until well coated. (If you want to work ahead, you can refrigerate the chicken for up to 12 hours before roasting.) (I marinated the chicken in the refrigerator for 6 hours prior to cooking.)
To Prep the Greens: Cut the ribbed collards into 1/4-inch ribbons. Slice ribbons in half; set aside. Cut the leafy portion of the bok choy into 1/2-inch ribbons. Rinse and dry the collards and leafy bok choy. Cut the bok choy stems into 1/8-inch pieces, cutting larger pieces in half to make relatively equal-sized pieces. Soak separately from the leafy greens to clean; rinse, dry, and set aside.
Arrange chicken and lemons on a parchment paper-lined, rimmed sheet pan in a single layer.
Roast until chicken is cooked through, 20 to 25 minutes in a convection oven, or up to 27 to 35 minutes in a standard oven. The internal temperature should be 165 degrees on an instant read thermometer.
After placing the chicken in the oven, cook the rice, the greens, and make the sauce. (see below)
To Cook the Garlicky Greens:
In a large skillet, heat the olive oil over medium to medium-high. Add the soaked and strained leeks, sliced garlic, and chopped bok choy stems. Season with salt, pepper, and red pepper flakes and cook until beginning to soften, about 5 minutes.
Add the washed leafy greens, 1 to 2 handfuls at a time, and stir until wilted. Continue until all of the greens have been added to the pan. Cook until tender, 3 to 5 minutes.
Season with the sherry vinegar as well as salt and pepper, to taste.
To Make the Cucumber-Yogurt Sauce:
Stir together yogurt, grated cucumber and clove of minced garlic in a small bowl.
Season to taste with salt and pepper. Cover and keep in refrigerator until ready to serve.
Layer the sautéed greens over the rice on a platter or other serving dish.
Top with the roasted chicken. Squeeze roasted lemon wedges all over chicken, and sprinkle with mint/parsley/cilantro and more red-pepper flakes, if desired.
Drizzle some of the accumulated pan juices over the top of everything.
Serve chicken accompanied by cucumber-yogurt sauce and warm flatbread.