Skip to main content
Menu
Search
Menu
Close

We make mistakes so you don’t have to.

Try CooksIllustrated.com Free for 14 Days

Email is required
How we use your email address
Volume 39

Dinner This Week: Sichuan Stir-Fried Pork

By Keith Dresser Published

This week’s menus include Sichuan Stir-Fried Pork in Garlic Sauce, Grilled Chicken Souvlaki, and Linguine with Seafood for dinner in about an hour.

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: Sichuan Stir-Fried Pork in Garlic Sauce and Steamed White Rice

To ensure that the meat in Sichuan Stir-Fried Pork in Garlic Sauce is tender and succulent, we soak the pieces in a baking soda solution to tenderize them and help them retain moisture. We serve the stir-fry with Steamed White Rice, which is soft enough to soak up the savory sauce, yet sticky enough to pick up with chopsticks. Rinsing the grains removes some of their surface starch and starting the rice in boiling water provides enough agitation to release the remaining starch, resulting in just the right amount of stickiness.

Printable Shopping Lists: Sichuan Stir-Fried Pork in Garlic Sauce and Steamed White Rice

Equipment Review Fine-Mesh Strainers

These handy tools are useless unless they live up to their names.

Dinner 2: Grilled Chicken Souvlaki and Tomato Salad

For moist, flavorful Grilled Chicken Souvlaki, we quickly brine chunks of chicken breast before tossing them in a bold mixture of lemon, olive oil, herbs, and honey. To prevent the chicken pieces on the ends of the skewers from overcooking, we protect them by threading pepper and onion pieces onto the ends. For our Tomato Salad with Feta and Cumin-Yogurt Dressing, we salt the tomatoes before mixing them into the salad, which brings out their juices and makes a base for the dressing. Sliced scallions and minced oregano add freshness and a sprinkling of feta cheese adds a salty tang. 

Printable Shopping Lists: Grilled Chicken Souvlaki and Tomato Salad  

Equipment Review Grill Tongs

What qualities separate the best grill tongs from the pretenders?

Dinner 3: Linguine with Seafood and Green Beans Amandine

To create a bold sauce for Linguine with Seafoodwe fortify the juices shed by the shellfish with bottled clam juice and minced anchovies. Cooking the seafood in a careful sequence—starting with hardier clams and mussels and then adding the shrimp and squid during the final few minutes of cooking—ensures that every piece is plump and tender. Adding parboiled linguine to the sauce allows the noodles to soak up its flavors while also shedding starches that thicken the liquid. Cherry tomatoes, lots of garlic, herbs, and lemon contribute freshness and complexity. Green Beans Amandine starts with toasted almonds, nutty browned butter, and a splash of lemon juice. We steam the beans in a little water in a covered skillet until they are crisp-tender, then add the sauce right before serving to preserve the texture of the green beans and almonds.

Printable Shopping Lists: Linguine with Seafood and Green Beans Amandine


View more weeknight dinner ideas below, or check out all of the Dinner This Week menus.

Leave a comment and join the conversation!

0 Comments
Read & post comments with a free account
Join the conversation with our community of home cooks, test cooks, and editors.
First Name is Required
Last Name is Required
Email Address is Required
How we use your email?
Password is Required
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.