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Volume 20

Dinner This Week: Nut-Crusted Chicken

By Keith Dresser Published

This week’s menus include Pan-Seared Pork Tenderloin Steaks, New England Fish Chowder, and Nut-Crusted Chicken for dinner in an hour or less.

Every week, Executive Food Editor Keith Dresser pairs each main dish with a side to give you a complete, satisfying dinner without the guesswork. Look for the game plan section to learn tips on how to streamline your kitchen work so dinner comes together quicker.

Dinner 1: Pan-Seared Pork Tenderloin with Sugar Snap Peas

For Pan-Seared Pork Tenderloin, we lightly pound tenderloins to create two flat sides for searing, then halve them crosswise to create moderately sized steaks that are easy to maneuver in the pan. Before searing, we slowly cook the pork in a low oven to ensure that it's rosy and moist from edge to edge. Finally, for great browning, we pat the pork very dry before searing it on the stovetop. To guarantee that our Sugar Snap Peas with Almonds, Coriander, and Orange Zest cook evenly, we use a hybrid method of steaming the peas briefly before sautéing them; the trapped steam transfers heat more efficiently than air does so that the pods cook through quickly. Cutting the peas in half further reduces the cooking time so the pods retain more of their snap, and the pockets capture the seasonings.

Printable Shopping ListsPan-Seared Pork Tenderloin with Sugar Snap Peas

Equipment Review Best Chef's Knives

One chef’s knife has been a champ in our kitchen for nearly two decades. Can any other blade come close to offering what it does—and at a bargain price?

Dinner 2: New England Fish Chowder with Kale Caesar Salad

Many fish chowders are so rich with cream that you can hardly taste the fish. We start our New England Fish Chowder by gently poaching flaky cod in water flavored with salt pork, onions, and herbs, which creates a quick, clean-tasting fish stock. Next, we introduce milk, as opposed to other rich dairy additives like half-and-half and heavy cream. Our Kale Caesar Salad starts by soaking the greens in warm water for 10 minutes to tenderize them. A dressing made with equal amounts of mayonnaise and Greek yogurt boasts a pleasant tang and is thick enough to coat the hearty leaves. A 20-minute rest after the greens and dressing are mixed helps to blend the flavors before serving.

Printable Shopping ListsNew England Fish Chowder with Kale Caesar

Equipment Review Meat Pounders

Flattening a pork or chicken cutlet takes a steady hand and the right tool.

Dinner 3: Nut-Crusted Chicken Cutlets with Broccoli Rabe

To ensure that our Nut-Crusted Chicken Cutlets with Orange and Oregano are juicy and flavorful, we poke the meat with a fork, salt it, and let it rest before dredging it with a seasoned mixture of half nuts and half panko bread crumbs. To enhance the nutty taste, we cook the coating in browned butter. For Broccoli Rabe that delivers less bitterness and a round, balanced flavor, we start by blanching the rabe in a large amount of salted water to tame its harsh edge. We then sauté the blanched rabe with garlic and red pepper flakes, ingredients that complement its bold taste.

Printable Shopping ListsNut-Crusted Chicken Cutlets with Broccoli Rabe


To view more quick weeknight dinner ideas, check out the rest of the Dinner This Week series.

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JC
JOHN C.
16 days

Absolutely the best chicken ever, even the breast meat was moist! It's the only way I'll cook a whole chicken again. Simple, easy, quick, no mess - perfect every time. I've used both stainless steel and cast iron pans. great and easy technique for “roasted” chicken. I will say there were no pan juices, just fat in the skillet. Will add to the recipe rotation. Good for family and company dinners too. I've done this using a rimmed sheet pan instead of a skillet and put veggies and potatoes around the chicken for a one-pan meal. Broccoli gets nicely browned and yummy!

Absolutely the best chicken ever, even the breast meat was moist! It's the only way I'll cook a whole chicken again. Simple, easy, quick, no mess - perfect every time. I've used both stainless steel and cast iron pans. great and easy technique for “roasted” chicken. I will say there were no pan juices, just fat in the skillet. Will add to the recipe rotation. Good for family and company dinners too.

MD
MILES D.
JOHN C.
9 days

Amazed this recipe works out as well as it does. Would not have thought that the amount of time under the broiler would have produced a very juicy and favorable chicken with a very crispy crust. Used my 12" Lodge Cast Iron skillet (which can withstand 1000 degree temps to respond to those who wondered if it would work) and it turned out great. A "make again" as my family rates things. This is a great recipe, and I will definitely make it again. My butcher gladly butterflied the chicken for me, therefore I found it to be a fast and easy prep. I used my cast iron skillet- marvellous!

CM
CHARLES M.
11 days

John, wasn't it just amazing chicken? So much better than your typical oven baked chicken and on par if not better than gas or even charcoal grilled. It gets that smokey charcoal tasted and overnight koshering definitely helps, something I do when time permits. First-time I've pierced a whole chicken minus the times I make jerk chicken on the grill. Yup, the cast iron was not an issue.