I’m all about efficient dinners these days. Long gone are the evenings where I’d toil away at the stove and sit down to dinner after 8pm. Today, dinners heavily involve microwavable rice from Trader Joe’s (a literal godsend!!) and one-pan dishes served promptly at 5:30pm. And, that’s OK.
I’m here to share my latest dinner efficiency, which shortcuts (just barely) a favorite NYT recipe for oven-roasted shawarma. Boneless chicken thighs roast in the oven with shawarma spices, loads of garlic and red onions. Serve with rice or pita, a quick Israeli salad, pickles or olives, your favorite Mediterranean dips (I did a vegan tzatziki and hummus) and you’ve got yourself a Cava-level bowl any working professional would be happy to eat during their lunch break. God, I miss fast casual lunches.
Fixings of your choosing – rice, pita, cucumbers, tomatoes, pickles, hummus, tehina etc.
Whisk together the lemon juice, olive oil, garlic, salt, shawarma spice in a large bowl or Ziploc bag. Add the chicken and toss well to coat. Chill for at least 45 minutes in the fridge.
Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Drizzle some olive oil on a sheet pan. Add the onion to the pan and pour the chicken with all the marinade goodness – toss to combine with the onion and lay everything in even layer.
Put the chicken in the oven and roast for about 40 minutes. Remove from the oven, allow to rest 2 minutes, then slice into strips. Serve with rice, Israeli salad, pita, pickles, olives, hummus, tehina, tzatziki – sky’s the limit!
If you’re looking for a simple roast chicken recipe that hits all the cozy notes of fall, look no further. This is it. Thank you, Colu Henry and the NYT! Maple, rosemary and butter (I used vegan butter because, kosher) join forces to create a juicy bird that is caramelized on the outside and a delight to eat. I threw in carrots and potatoes to roast alongside the chicken and I do not regret that decision. The veggies caramelize in the flavorful maple-y chicken pan drippings making this a complete meal. Littles enjoy this sweet-salty dish too!
2 to 3 rosemary sprigs, plus 2 1/2 teaspoons finely chopped rosemary
4 tablespoons unsalted vegan butter
2 tablespoons maple syrup
3 whole carrots, peeled and cut into 2-inch chunks
3-4 Yukon gold potatoes, cut into chunks
1 onion, quartered
Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Season the outside and inside of the chicken with salt and pepper. Place the chicken (breast-side up) in a large cast-iron skillet or dutch oven and stuff the rosemary sprigs inside the bird.
In a small saucepan, melt the butter over medium-low heat. Add the chopped rosemary and the maple syrup for about 1-2 minutes until it thickens a bit. Spoon all of the mixture over the chicken, making sure it is evenly covered all over. Don’t worry about the mixture landing in the bottom of the pan. Scatter the carrots, onion and potatoes around the chicken, drizzle with olive oil, season with salt and pepper and toss around.
Roast the chicken and veggies, occasionally basting the chicken with the pan juices (if you remember) for about 60-120 minutes until it’s nice and golden. Allow the chicken to rest at least 10 minutes before carving.
What do you make for dinner when your apartment is hotter than a sweatshop but the thought of eating cereal and milk as a meal erodes your soul? Cold rice noodle bowl to the rescue! Full disclosure here – while this has the semblance of being a cool oven-free dinner, I did in fact turn on both my burner and oven to make this dish. But, once those were turned off and I was sitting pants-less in front of the AC unit – it was cool sailing! Aside from the oven usage – this really is the perfect summer dish. The rice noodles keep things light, the mint, basil, and cilantro add a delicious herby-freshness and who doesn’t love a peanut sauce? All you need to do is cook the chicken and some noodles and it’s din din time.
2tablespoons Asian fish sauce (I subbed worcestershire sauce)
1tablespoon soy sauce
1teaspoon sesame oil
1 tablespoons brown sugar
1 teaspoon chili garlic sauce
8ounces dried rice vermicelli
2small cucumbers, cut in half moons
1medium carrot, cut in thin matchsticks
Small handful basil sprigs
Small handful mint sprigs
Small handful cilantro sprigs
4tablespoons slivered scallions
¼cup chopped peanuts
For Peanut Sauce
2tablespoons Asian fish sauce (again I subbed worcestershire sauce)
2tablespoons rice vinegar
5 tablespoons lime juice
2tablespoons soy sauce
11-inch chunk ginger, peeled and minced
4tablespoons natural unsalted peanut butter
2teaspoons sesame oil
Pinch red pepper flakes
Puree the garlic, ginger, fish sauce, soy sauce, sesame oil, brown sugar and chili garlic sauce in a small food processor. Place chicken thighs in a Ziploc bag and pour the marinade over the chicken and toss to coat. Let the chicken marinate in the fridge for at least 15 minutes.
Whisk together the ingredients for the peanut sauce in a small bowl.
Cook vermicelli according to package directions. Drain and rinse with cold water. Set aside.
Grill or broil the chicken thighs until browned. About 5-6 minutes a side. Let cool and slice into strips. Reserve the pan juices.
In a small bowl, place a nice handful of noodles in the bottom of your bowl. Spoon some of the chicken pan drippings on top of the noodles. Top with cucumbers, carrots, and sliced chicken. Add the basil, mint and cilantro. Drizzle peanut sauce on top of everything. Sprinkle with the scallions and crushed peanuts. Serve with lime wedges.
Simple and understated is often the best approach to food, fashion, and reacting to your friend’s horrific new haircut. It always surprises me how delicious a simple whole roast chicken is and it’s one of my absolute favorite foods. This recipe is pretty foolproof, too. Toss the bird in with your favorite veggies and roast for an hour and a half. The trickiest part is carving the golden bird. But, that’s where YouTube comes into play. Hope you enjoy this chicken as much as I do.
Preheat your oven to 425. Rinse your chicken and pat dry with paper towels. Season the inside of the chicken with salt and pepper. Stuff the cavity with the lemon, garlic and thyme. Brush the bird with about a tablespoon of olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Toss veggies with olive oil and a good amount of salt and pepper and any leftover thyme that you have. Put the veggies in a roasting pan or dutch oven and place the chicken on top. Roast for 1 1/2 hours. See YouTube for helpful carving advice.
Thighs are better than breasts. There, I said it. Now that we’ve gotten that out of the way, let’s move forward. These chicken thighs are easy to make and full of flavor. Chickpeas, which pack a protein-rich punch, make this a hearty and filling dish. Feel free to use any spices you like, and if you’re not into spices, that’s ok too, you can just go with good ol’ S and P. You could even turn this into a one-pot (and carb-free) meal by adding veggies to the mix. Carrots, sweet potato, butternut squash or zucchini would be great in this. I served the chicken with bulgur wheat, which soaked up all that yummy tomatoey-chickpea sauce. You’re going to want to add this one to your weeknight repertoire, trust me.
1 small onion (I used 3 green onions and a little bit of red onion)
2 cloves garlic
Ok, let’s be clear. I didn’t really measure my spices, I just sprinkled a good amount of each spice on the chicken thighs. But it would have been around a 1/4 tsp if I had… Preheat your oven to 425. Season thighs on both sides with all the spices and salt and pepper. Heat olive oil in a large oven-safe frying pan over medium-high heat. Place the chicken skin side down in the pan for 5 minutes. Turn over and cook on the other side for another 5 minutes. Remove thighs and put them on a plate. Pour out all but 1 tablespoon of shmaltzy goodness. Throw in the chopped garlic cloves and onions and saute for about 3 minutes. Add tomato sauce, chickpeas and chicken broth and bring to a simmer. Place the chicken back in the pan and finish it in the oven for 25 minutes. Serve with lemon wedges.