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Volume 45

Dinner This Week: Easy Roast Chicken

By Keith Dresser Published

This week’s menus include Weeknight Roast Chicken, Eggs Pipérade, and Garlicky Shrimp Pasta 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: Easy Roast Chicken and Boiled Carrots

Weeknight Roast Chicken boasts rich flavor and juicy meat in about an hour. Placing the chicken breast side up in a preheated skillet gives the thighs a jump-start. Starting the chicken in a 450-degree oven and then turning the oven off while the chicken finishes cooking slows the evaporation of juices, ensuring moist, tender meat. Boiling is the quickest, simplest way to produce tender, well-seasoned carrots. For our Boiled Carrots with Fennel Seeds and Citrus, we cook the carrots in just 2 cups of well-salted water, which not only adds seasoning but the small amount of liquid also helps the carrots retain some of their natural sugars as well as helps them cook faster. After draining, we add a little butter for richness and some lemon juice and orange zest for brightness. 

Printable Shopping Lists: Easy Roast Chicken and Boiled Carrots

Equipment Review The Best Digital Instant-Read Thermometers of 2021

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Dinner 2: Eggs Pipérade and Quinoa Pilaf

Eggs Pipérade, a Basque classic, features rich, tender scrambled eggs paired with mix of tomatoes and sautéed peppers. We use a combination of red bell peppers and pale green Cubanelle peppers, which offer sweetness and delicate fresh flavor, respectively. To prevent the vegetables from turning the eggs stringy and wet, we precook them to evaporate excess moisture, and we also keep the pipérade and the eggs separate until they hit the plate. Our Quinoa Pilaf with Herbs and Lemon uses an almost equal ratio of quinoa to water (about half that of other recipes) to ensure tender grains with a satisfying bite. We toast the quinoa in a dry skillet to develop its natural nutty flavor and finish our pilaf with fresh herbs and a splash of lemon juice. 

Printable Shopping Lists: Eggs Pipérade and Quinoa Pilaf

Equipment Review Mixing Bowls

This most basic piece of cooking equipment might not seem worthy of scrutiny—until you have one that wobbles when you whisk, slips in your hand, or traps food in its crevices.

Dinner 3: Garlicky Shrimp Pasta and Arugula Salad

Garlicky Shrimp Pasta features al dente pasta and moist shrimp bound by a rich sauce. To infuse the shrimp with deep garlic flavor and keep them juicy, we marinate them in a mixture of olive oil, minced garlic, and salt. To build a complex sauce, we use bright, herbal vermouth and briny bottled clam broth. A little bit of flour in the sauce ensures that it clings to the shrimp and pasta. For our Arugula Salad with Pears, Almonds, Goat Cheese, and Dried Apricots, we found ingredients to temper the assertiveness of the arugula while accommodating its lively flavor. Fruit and cheese add sweet and salty notes to balance the peppery greens. For the dressing, our surprise solution was to add a spoonful of jam, which adds fruity sweetness that pulls the flavors into line.

Printable Shopping Lists: Garlicky Shrimp Pasta and Arugula Salad


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

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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.