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.
We may have a new favorite pasta dish in my house! I have already made this dish a couple of times. We didn’t even miss the garlic. 😉 It is an incredible version of the classic- a perfect weeknight dish.
The recipe was adapted from a Food and Wine “staff favorite” recipe, inspired by sommelier Arjav Ezekiel, co-owner of Birdie’s in Austin, contributed by Anna Theoktisto. We ate it with our favorite garlic bread and green salad, of course.
Yield: Serves 4 to 5
2 T olive oil
1 medium or large yellow onion, finely chopped (about 1 1/2 cups)
1 (4 oz) package chopped pancetta
1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper
1 (28 oz) can whole plum tomatoes (I used San Marzano)
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1 pound uncooked rigatoni pasta
1 1/2 ounces Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, finely shredded (about 2/3 cup), plus more for serving
3/4 ounces pecorino Romano cheese, finely shredded (about 1/4 cup), plus more for serving
2 T unsalted butter
finely chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley, for garnish
Heat oil in a large, deep skillet over medium. (I used a large enameled cast iron pan.)
Add onion, and cook, stirring often, until softened, about 4 minutes.
Stir in pancetta; cook, stirring often, until pancetta begins to render, about 4 to 5 minutes.
Stir in crushed red pepper.
Using your hands or a wooden spoon, crush tomatoes; add tomatoes and their juices to skillet. Bring to a boil over medium; reduce heat to medium-low, and simmer, stirring often, until flavors meld and mixture thickens, about 20 minutes.
Stir in salt. Remove from heat.
While sauce cooks, bring a large pot of salted water to a boil over high. Add rigatoni, and cook according to package instructions for al dente, about 13 minutes. Drain, reserving 1 cup cooking liquid.
Add rigatoni, 1/2 cup of the reserved cooking liquid, Parmigiano-Reggiano, pecorino Romano, and butter to sauce in skillet.
Cook over medium, stirring constantly, until sauce thickens and coats pasta, about 2 minutes.
Remove from heat, and garnish with parsley. Serve with additional Parmigiano-Reggiano and pecorino Romano cheeses, as desired.
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.
As soon as I saw Mexican chef Pati Jinich prepare this dish on her PBS show, I had to make it. 🙂 I bought beautiful purple cauliflower and purple broccoli at the farm stand to make it extra special. We ate it with Mexican-Style Chipotle-Lime Pork Cutlets.
The salty, cheesy sauce was absolutely incredible. I loved how the vegetables were sliced into steaks instead of florets as well. I trimmed the tough outer portion of each stem but would remove even more next time to make that portion more tender.
This recipe was adapted from Pati’s Mexican Table and patijinich.com, via kcet.org. It was on an episode featuring dishes inspired by Isla Mujeres. I substituted creme fraiche for the Mexican crema. I also modified the method and proportions. Amazing!
Yield: Serves 6
For the Vegetables:
1/2 cup freshly squeezed lime juice (I used 2 limes)
1/2 cup freshly squeezed orange juice (I used 1 large naval orange)
3 chopped chiles de arbol or 1/2 to 1 tsp red pepper flakes
1/2 cup olive oil, plus more for brushing/drizzling
1 tsp kosher salt
1/4 tsp freshly ground black pepper
2 pounds broccoli, cut into 1/4″ vertical slices, including thick part of stem (I used 2 large heads)
2 pounds cauliflower, cut into 1/4″ vertical slices, including thick part of stem (I used 1 large head)
For the Queso Cojita Dressing:
1/2 cup crumbled queso cotija
2/3 cup Mexican crema or creme fraîche
1/2 cup vegetable oil (I used Canola oil)
2 tsp sherry vinegar
2 T water
2 medium garlic cloves
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt, or to taste
To Prepare the Vegetables:
Preheat oven to 475 degrees F. ( I set my oven to convection roast.)
Line 2 rimmed baking sheets with parchment paper.
In a glass measuring cup with a spout, mix the lime juice, orange juice, olive oil, red pepper flakes (or chile de arbol), 1 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper.
Place the cauliflower and broccoli steaks on the prepared baking sheets in a single layer, making sure that they are not crowded.
Evenly pour the orange juice mixture all over the vegetables.
Place in the oven and roast for 25 to 30 minutes, flipping halfway through, until well roasted and considerably charred. Remove from the oven and set aside.
To Make the Dressing & To Serve:
While the vegetables are roasting, combine the queso cotija, Mexican crema (or creme fraîche), vegetable oil, sherry vinegar, water, garlic, and 1/2 teaspoon salt in the jar of a blender or mixer. Puree until smooth. (I used a Vitamix.)
Serve the broccoli and cauliflower on a large platter and ladle the queso cotija right on top, or let your guests spoon sauce onto their plates and dip their vegetables in the sauce to their liking. (I served the sauce in a bowl on the side.)
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.