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Volume 40

Dinner This Week: Pan-Roasted Chicken

By Keith Dresser Published

This week’s menus include Pan-Roasted Chicken with Shallot and Vermouth Sauce, Garlicky Roasted Shrimp, and Pasta alla Gricia 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: Pan-Roasted Chicken and Warm Farro with Lemon and Herbs

Pan-Roasted Chicken with Shallot and Vermouth Sauce produces juicy, tender meat and crisp, flavorful skin in record time. We start with a brief brine to ensure moist, seasoned chicken. A quick sear creates golden brown skin plus flavorful fond for the pan sauce. Finishing the chicken in a 450-degree oven cooks the meat quickly and evenly. For Warm Farro with Lemon and Herbs, we prefer whole farro, in which the grain’s germ and bran have been retained, giving it a pleasant chewiness and a nutty flavor. The simplest cooking method is best: Just boil the farro in salted water for about 20 minutes until tender. After the grains are drained, we combine them with sautéed onions, a copious amount of fresh herbs, and a sprinkling of lemon.

Printable Shopping Lists: Pan-Roasted Chicken and Warm Farro with Lemon and Herbs

Dinner 2: Garlicky Roasted Shrimp and Napa Cabbage Slaw

To keep our Garlicky Roasted Shrimp with Cumin, Ginger, and Sesame plump and moist, we brine the shrimp briefly and then broil them in their shells. The shells brown quickly in the heat of the oven and transfer roasted flavor to the shrimp. Napa Cabbage Slaw with Snow Peas and Mint offers a more tender, delicate texture and a sweeter flavor than traditional green cabbage slaw. To avoid a bland, watered-down slaw, we make a potent dressing with a high ratio of vinegar to oil. After tossing the cabbage with the dressing and letting it sit for about 5 minutes, moisture from the cabbage dilutes the dressing slightly, so the slaw reaches the perfect level of bright acidity.

Printable Shopping Lists: Garlicky Roasted Shrimp and Napa Cabbage Slaw

Equipment Review Pepper Mills

We were looking for a mill that was easy to fill with peppercorns, had well-marked grind settings, and produced accurate grind sizes. And we found it.

Dinner 3: Pasta alla Gricia and Arugula Salad

Pasta alla Gricia is a simple pasta dish based on cured pork, black pepper, and Pecorino Romano. The fat from the pork (guanciale is traditional, but easier-to-find pancetta works well) combines with starchy pasta cooking water and cheese to create a creamy sauce for the pasta. For consistent results, we cook the pasta to al dente in half the usual amount of water and then add the extra-starchy pasta cooking water to the rendered pork fat and reduce the mixture to a specific volume. For our Arugula Salad with Grapes, Fennel, Gorgonzola, and Pecans, we add ingredients to temper the assertiveness of the arugula while accommodating its lively flavor. Grapes and blue cheese add sweet and salty counterpoints to the sharp, peppery greens; pecans and fennel contribute crunch and freshness. For the dressing, we add a spoonful of jam, which adds fruity sweetness and pulls the flavors of the salad in line.

Printable Shopping Lists: Pasta alla Gricia and Arugula Salad


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

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