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 43

Dinner This Week: Roasted Chicken Breasts

By Keith Dresser Published

This week’s menus include Roasted Bone-In Chicken Breasts, Beef Stir-Fry with Bell Peppers and Black Pepper, and Penne Arrabbiata 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: Roasted Chicken Breasts and Green Bean Salad

Roasted Bone-In Chicken Breasts start with an application of salt under the skin to season the meat and help it retain moisture. Gently roasting the chicken at 325 degrees minimizes moisture loss and results in even cooking. A final sear in a hot skillet is all that is required for crackly, burnished skin. To ensure that the beans in Green Bean Salad with Shallot, Mustard, and Tarragon are tender, bright green, and deeply flavored, we boil them in highly concentrated salt water (¼ cup of salt to 2 quarts of water). This quickly softens the pectin in the beans' skins, so they become tender before losing their vibrant color; it also seasons them inside and out.

Printable Shopping Lists: Roasted Chicken Breasts and Green Bean Salad

Dinner 2: Beef Stir-Fry with Bell Peppers and Stir-Fried Bok Choy

Beef Stir-Fry with Bell Peppers and Black Pepper Sauce starts with flank steak, which delivers rich, beefy flavor. Soaking the steak slices briefly in a mild baking soda solution and then in a soy-based marinade yields supertender, flavorful results. For crisp-tender Stir-Fried Bok Choy with Soy Sauce and Ginger, we separate the leaves and stalks and cook them separately. Small amounts of soy sauce and fresh ginger accent the bok choy’s fresh, vegetal flavor without overwhelming it. 

Printable Shopping Lists: Beef Stir-Fry with Bell Peppers and Bok Choy

Equipment Review Large Dutch Ovens

Dutch ovens do it all. But which pot makes “it all” easiest?

Dinner 3: Penne Arrabbiata and Bibb and Frisée Salad

For Penne Arrabbiata with complex flavor—not just searing heat—we look beyond the tradition of using only red pepper flakes and include three different types of pepper. By supplementing the pepper flakes with paprika and pickled pepperoncini, we build depth while keeping the spiciness in check. Our Bibb and Frisée Salad uses a combination of frilly, crunchy frisée and soft, buttery bibb lettuce. Thinly slicing the celery and apple allows them to combine cohesively with the salad greens. Toasted walnuts add crunch and nuttiness. 

Printable Shopping Lists: Penne Arrabbiata and Bibb and Frisée Salad


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.