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Volume 24

Dinner This Week: Tuesday Night Tacos

By Keith Dresser Published

This week’s menus include Ground Beef Tacos, Roasted Bone-In Chicken Breasts, and Oven-Roasted Salmon 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: Beef Tacos and Mexican Rice

Our Beef Tacos feature a boldly spiced ground beef filling and fresh toppings. For the filling, we start by sautéing onions and garlic, then we add plenty of warm spices including chili powder, cumin, and coriander. Using lean ground beef prevents greasiness, and adding tomato sauce, chicken broth, brown sugar, and vinegar creates roundness and depth. Mexican Rice is a flavorful pilaf-style dish with tender rice infused with tomatoes, chiles, and onion. To keep the rice grains distinct, we rinse them of excess starch before cooking. Equal portions of chicken broth and fresh tomatoes are ideal for a savory liquid base. To further enhance the flavor, color, and texture, we also add a little tomato paste.

Printable Shopping ListsBeef Tacos and Mexican Rice

Equipment Review Paring Knives

For precision cuts, call on the (cheap) little guy.

Dinner 2: Roasted Bone-In Chicken Breasts and Boiled Carrots

For Roasted Bone-In Chicken Breasts with crispy, brown skin and juicy meat, we use a technique called reverse searing. We start by applying salt under the skin to season the chicken and help it retain moisture. We then gently roast the breasts at 325 degrees, which minimizes moisture loss and results in even cooking. The oven time also dries the skin, so that a quick sear in a hot skillet is all that is required for a crackly, burnished finish. For our Boiled Carrots with Lemon and Chives, we start by cutting the carrots into even pieces so they cook at the same rate. We then boil them in 2 cups of well-salted water, which not only seasons them but also helps to retain some of their natural sugars. After draining, we add a little butter for richness and some lemon juice for brightness.

Printable Shopping Lists: Roasted Bone-In Chicken Breasts and Boiled Carrots with Lemon and Chives

Equipment Review The Best Rimmed Baking Sheets of 2021

A rimmed baking sheet is essential for sheet cakes and handy for cookies. But if yours is flimsy or you use it only for baking, you’re not getting your money’s worth.

Dinner 3: Oven-Roasted Salmon and Sautéed Snow Peas

Our Oven-Roasted Salmon has a nicely browned exterior and a silky, moist interior. We start with a 500-degree oven, but then turn down the heat to 275 degrees just before placing the fish in the oven. The initial blast of high heat firms the exterior and renders excess fat. The fish then gently cooks as the temperature slowly drops, keeping the flesh moist. Adding a little sugar to Sautéed Snow Peas with Lemon and Parsley helps to bump up the peas' natural flavor. To keep the pods crisp, we limit the cooking time: Two minutes is enough heat for most peas. Final punches of flavor come from lemon juice, lemon zest, and fresh parsley.

Printable Shopping ListsOven-Roasted Salmon and Sautéed Snow Peas with Lemon and Parsley 


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.