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Oregano Pesto with Chicken Thighs

Oregano Pesto with Chicken Thighs

Welp. Well, I guess it’s really fall, even if the temperatures have crept close to the 70s a few days ago, and threaten to do so later this week. You know how I know this? The darkness has been making a hasty return sooner and sooner every day, and as someone who lives in the Northeast and prefers taking pictures of my food in natural light, I hate it. So please bear with me as I once again readjust to the awful artificial light in our apartment. Clearly, I will never take this transition well.

One of the few bright spots about this transition to colder weather is feeling the need to take the shears to my pots of herbs while they are still lush and vibrant. My oregano plant has been left to its own devices all season and has gotten positively unruly; because it’s considered to be really strong in taste, the only amount I’ve needed to use are a few sprigs here and there in recipes all summer. I despaired of finding a proper way to dispatch of it until I found this lovely pesto recipe from Saveur, which called for one and a half cups of packed oregano leaves and only half a cup of basil leaves. A little more than a week ago I trimmed back my plant to make the sauce to pour over pasta, and the results were not only really satisfying, but this pesto felt more autumnal compared to the ones I’ve been making all summer. Read More

 

Momofuku's chicken and egg

Neither Michael nor I said the actual words over the course of the last week of 2011, but in retrospect it was pretty clear we were both missing our tiny kitchen after four days of holiday celebrating with not much opportunity to get behind the stove. Day two of our mini-we-miss-New-York-Week (subtitle: the week we bounced back and forth between Tom Colicchio and David Chang’s cookbooks) was another “let’s take on a Serious Project!” day–although while this is a dish that takes some time to make, with a little planning I could see us enjoying this on a random weekday evening. It was also a great opportunity to break in one of our Christmas presents (although that is a very poor choice of words given what it is): Read More

Garlic Chicken Thighs with Israeli Couscous Casserole

After the escapades of my first foray into adventurous cooking on my own, I resolved to do better; specifically, I resolved to manage my time so that I wouldn’t be eating dinner at 8 once again. So I kept my time out of the apartment to a minimum and got my chicken into its marinade in the middle of the afternoon, because I was really excited about what I was making on Sunday and I really didn’t want to muck it up. This is a recipe that I had in my head for well over a week, and was one of the main impetuses to go to Despana the day before: it called for a cazuela and I love nothing more than a great excuse to hit up my favorite specialty shop in the city.

In any case, this fixation came about because I happened to pay attention to an episode of Secrets of a Restaurant Chef a few weeks ago. She was making this garlicky chicken over an Israeli couscous concoction and it sounded pretty good to me, especially because it called for several vegetables–thereby making it not nearly as “guilty” an indulgence as, say, aglio e olio.

(I know I keep coming back to that particular pasta dish, but really–it is the easiest dish I know how to make and the temptation to break down and make it in the face of more complicated fare was always present in the back of my mind. I even bought a box of angel hair to keep in the pantry for emergencies.) Read More

Kitchen-Sink Chicken over Cheesy Brown Rice

This week I have all about completely purposing whatever I have on hand after a slew of over-blown saucy outings that I have yet to even write about, let alone commend the leftovers to the deep as they are now weeks beyond prime.

So today, I’m going to do something different. This was a mid-week meal I came up with off the top of my head, made entirely out of nothing more than a fresh protein, a piece of fruit, a root and some stuff out of the pantry. So, a brief bit of free-styling… Read More

Moroccan-Style Chicken with Preserved Lemons and Capers

It begins with a mea culpa. I thought that preserving Meyer lemons would be foolish. They’re slightly sweet, I thought, they are too floral to be packed in salt and preserved like yellow pickles. The wife disagreed. I told her to find a preparation or commentary about preserving Meyers and within all of five minutes she had found several, including the one we used from The Gourmet Cookbook.  The tome claims that the floral delicate nature of the Meyers makes them especially apt for preservation.

Who knew? Read More

Chicken Tikka Masala with Brown Rice and Sauteed Spicy Cabbage

[Editors Note: I will admit that I like to bug Michael about what he's making for dinner when I call him from the Westport train station platform, mostly because I like having something to fantasize about during my hour and a half commute (on a good day). Especially with all of the weird smells I encounter on the bus thanks to people bringing their Popeye's chicken and Little Caesar's pizza onto the M60, M100, M101 or Bx15, I like to know that there's something awesome in store for me at home. Onwards after the jump!] Read More

Chile-Smothered Chicken Thighs with Cheesy Brown Rice and Greek Yogurt

“Since I like cutting things up, I typically opt for whole chickens” -AB

I am partial to the whole bird, as we have seen many times here before.  Still, on weeknights there just isn’t enough time, so I opt for the big pack of chicken thighs.  Being a self-proclaimed growed-up man, I usually can pack a lot of these away, but I often get self-conscious about the repetitive preparations in front of the Mrs. (we all know that bachelors can eat the same thing almost every night as long as it tastes good). [Ed.--says the man married to the woman who could eat pasta every freaking day.]

Read More

Chicken Enchiladas with Piquillos and Tres Quesos

Elizabeth’s lovely photo makes my enchiladas look like they are nestling in bed on a lovely Saturday morning.  In all seriousness, this was our idea for an enjoyable, simple dinner after travelling home following an Easter weekend with both parents and in-laws like.  We got back to NYC around 1 and I had to go right to work, so I needed a meal composed of ingredients that could be delivered from Fresh Direct (more on this later).

Fast forward to enchiladas.  I had chicken thighs, and we had leftover grated cheese from our Mexican celebration from the Friday before.  The enchiladas were fast and absolutely, completely satisfying.  Get pen and paper, recipe follows:

  • 1-2 lbs chicken thighs
  • One onion, chopped
  • 1.5 cups enchilada sauce*
  • 6-8 tortillas
  • 20 piquillo pepper strips
  • Lots of grated cheese (Australian cheddar, California cheddar, ricotta salata)
  • Chopped cilantro

Salt the chicken or douse in soy sauce for 30 minutes then cook via grill or pan.  Remove from heat and set aside to cool.  Sweat the onion for 3-5 minutes then add most of the sauce.  Bring to a simmer, tear up and throw in the piquillo strips and let cool a bit.  Add some saucy onion and chicken to each of the  tortillas along with a nice handful of chicken and cheese.  Array in a row in the pan and coat with the remaining sauce and save some cheese for the top.  Cook at 400 F for 10-14 minutes until the cheese melts and everything looks irresistible.

Here our boys were topped with a lime cabbage salad and the cilantro instead of regular cole slaw.  With the hot and crazy summer approaching, taking a few shortcuts is a far better thing than abandoning the kitchen altogether.  So stay cool, readers, and until next time, cook on!

*Note, I have made my own enchilada sauce many times in the past, but after the harangue of traveling and having to still make two meetings at work once I got back, I gave myself a pass and reached for the can opener.  You can find our green enchilada sauce recipe here.

Red Cabbage, Cheddar, Onion Relish and Chicken Thighs for Tacos

Red Cabbage, Cheddar, Onion Relish and Chicken Thighs for Tacos

Pasta three posts in a row?  Boo!  I feel compelled to step in and break up the monotony.  I love to make tacos- they are always so much fun to make and eat.  I also am a fan because it’s so easy to change things up each time, and be they subtle or gross, the alterations keep the dishes interesting.

Here, I had grabbed a piece of cave-aged American cheddar from Whole Foods that I was eager to use.  I wanted to do something other than standard grilled/sauted chicken, so I bought a jar of Goya pico de gallo on the cheap from the corner store.  It’s like salsa but a bit more watery, but that makes it perfect for cooking and reductions.  I counter-top grilled some chicken thighs then added them to a skillet with the pico until I had something that mildly resembled some authentic saucy chicken.

Keeping in the spicy vein, I whipped up a bunch of my caramelized onion relish.  I like to add jalapeno normally, but they were selling them by the half dozen at the store downstairs, so nuts to that.   I just used red pepper flakes instead and it was fine.  I have yet to mess with my red slaw, maybe next time.  and until then, friends, cook on!

Chicken Thighs in Red Vermouth with Shallots and Mushrooms

Chicken Thighs in Red Vermouth with Shallots and Mushrooms

So you may have noticed that we’ve moved (and that, much like our new apartment, things aren’t quite all put together here yet).  The reason for our move to New York was simple:  Michael is now a post-doc at Columbia.  As for the blog…well…there were many, one of the main ones being the fact that we have been removed from a city that we knew up and down and plunked into this surreal, fantastic place.  We’ll certainly be still sharing our dinners and recipes, of course, but we’ll also be sharing our food shopping adventures as we try not to eat ourselves out of house and home in one of the most expensive cities in the world, as well as hopefully tempting our friends still living in the Have to hop on the Metro-North and join us for dinner now and again.

Onto this dinner, then.  Michael picked up a few essentials at one of the local markets to make this meal, which also included a light arugula salad and a loaf of flatbread, and turned to our reduced liquor selection to find a suitable simmering liquid to pull the dish together.  The results were utterly pleasing to dive into after hoofing it uphill from the bus stop, of course, but the truly comforting component to the meal was catching a whiff of it simmering in the hallway leading to our apartment.  The moment that aroma touched my nose, the stress, anxiety and general discombobulation that had marked the prior week evaporated–I finally felt like we were home again.

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