Don’t shake the can of coconut milk before opening it—you’ll use the layer of cream on top in this sweet and spicy dressing, which is mellowed by the cooling iceberg lettuce and rich dark-meat chicken. Transfer the unused coconut milk to a clean jar and refrigerate it for making soup or a curry (it will hold for several days).
This salad is perfect over mixed greens, spinach, or arugula or served in lettuce cups for a quick easy lunch. It keeps well for five to seven days in the fridge. I adore using Homemade Avocado Mayo (recipe follows), or Primal Kitchen’s avocado mayo if you’re short on time, in this recipe.
For as long as I can remember, it has been a tradition to organise a family barbecue each summer. We marinate the meat together the night before and the final result is beautifully tender, succulent, charred and feverishly smoky. This dish uses a Mughal cooking technique called dhuandaar to impart the flavour of smoke into cooked chicken. While not essential for this dish, it is a really simple and effective way of bringing the barbecue flavour to your dishes any time of the year. All you need is a small piece of coal… intrigued?
Smothered—or choked—chicken is made using the age-old technique of slow cooking. The latter name comes from the actual act of wringing a bird’s neck and the former from smothering the bird slowly in a heavy-bottomed pot with onions, celery, and bell pepper. You can add garlic, if you like, or if you want heat, add fresh or dried hot peppers. Add fresh or dried savory, marjoram, thyme, or any herbs you like to enhance the flavor, or try it with rosemary and potatoes. Throw in one or two tomatoes. The options are endless. Have patience with this meal—it will take nearly two hours to make, but it’s worth the wait.
This is a classic roast chicken—herb-scented and bronze-skinned—that’s been vamped out with crispy mushrooms cooked in the same pan.
While working at Food & Wine magazine in my early twenties, some of the editors were raving about Hatch green chillies as we chatted, and, not wanting to seem like a total idiot, I nodded enthusiastically and then immediately went to search what these things were. They are, in fact, pretty awesome, and come from a town called Hatch in New Mexico, USA. You can add them to soups, stews, salsas or use as toppings for burgers or pizzas for a great depth of flavour. They range in heat level (and also offer a subtle sweetness to them), so buy whichever are better for your palate.
This dish is easy: marinate chicken thighs in a bit of olive oil, garlic, lemon, and red pepper flakes, then sauté and finish off in a mixture of clarified butter and hot sauce, which is a Magic Elixir of its own. The leftovers are amazing alone, or on a salad the next day.
I know what you’re thinking: “Oh wow, chocolate milk and chicken are finally coming together and now my life is complete.” For all two of you not thinking that right now, let me tell you why the combo works:
I pretty much always want something braised for dinner, and as much as I love braising the legs of a cow, pig, or lamb, they take a few hours to get tender and thus aren’t always the best option for a weeknight. A chicken’s legs, on the other hand, braise in less than an hour, so you can have a righteous braised dish any night of the stupid week! This super simple stew is inspired by autumn flavors, using bacon, fennel, and apples (both fresh and in hard apple cider). You could totally swap out the hard cider if you’re not into the alcohol, but I would use chicken stock or water rather than apple juice or fresh cider, either of which would make it a little too sweet. There’s something about the smoky, salty, sweet, and slightly bitter elements of this dish, cooked down with chicken that is just starting to fall apart, that makes me want to smoke cigars and write a novel, but I don’t actually like cigars, and if I wrote a novel, it would just be a fictional cookbook, so it’s probably better to stick with cooking chicken for now.
Pot-au-feu is the absolute funnest way to serve boiled food (not necessarily always the funnest food). It is traditionally made by boiling tough cuts of beef, maybe some marrow bones, and a bunch of vegetables all together in water, and then serving the resulting broth as an appetizer followed by a second course of the meat and vegetables with exciting sauces for dipping. For this chicken pot-au-feu, I use the Chinese “white-cut” method, a traditional poaching technique that involves simmering the chicken in water for a relatively short period of time and then turning off the heat, covering the pot, and letting the chicken sit and poach and get all silky and juicy. After pulling the chicken meat off its bones, put the bones back in the broth to mingle with the vegetables, which can be whatever you like, really. We’ll serve it with some crusty bread, a creamy mustard sauce with the surprise additions of Thai sweet chili and dill, and a Chinese scallion-horseradish sauce that I stole from my friend Francis Lam and then tweaked a little. This fairly hands-off project does take a couple of days, but it makes for a totally manageable, still super-impressive party.