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Dinner This Week: Cooking from the Pantry - Vol. 4

By Keith Dresser Published

This week’s menus include Sautéed Chicken Cutlets, Crunchy Oven-Fried Fish, and Italian Sausage with Grapes for dinner in about an hour.

Even with the best-laid plans, cooking during these strange times can be a challenge. So we've put together three recipe pairings, each with an entree and a side, that call for ingredients you may already have on hand. But if you don't have a particular ingredient or the supermarket is out of stock, don't worry; we've also provided ideas for subsitutions. 

Dinner 1: Sautéed Chicken Cutlets and Spinach Salad

Sautéed Chicken Cutlets are quick to cook, and because they are mild in flavor, many sauces pair nicely with them.  Try them with Lemon and Chive Pan Sauce or with one of the pantry-based sauces listed below. Spinach Salad with Frisée and Strawberries calls for frilly frisée to break up the spinach leaves, but 4 or 5 cups of any type of green can be used. Tender bibb lettuce works well, as does crunchy romaine. Strawberries add sweetness and texture, but other types of fruit can be swapped in, including pear slices or orange segments. 

Quick Sauces for Chicken: Roasted Red Pepper, Olive-Orange, Sun-Dried Tomato, Tomatillo

Printable Shopping Lists: Sautéed Chicken Cutlets and Spinach Salad


 

Dinner 2: Crunchy Oven-Fried Fish and Toasted Orzo Pilaf

Crunchy Oven-Fried Fish will work with most types of fish, but aim for fillets that are about 1 inch thick. For a simpler breading, the parsley and shallot can be omitted. The horseradish can also be left out, or try adding Dijon mustard instead. Toasted Orzo with Peas and Parmesan uses a risotto-style cooking method to make a hearty side dish. If you don’t have orzo, Israeli couscous or another tiny pasta (sometimes called soup pasta) like acini di pepe, tubettini, or stellini will also work. Cooking times will vary, so check for doneness frequently. 

Printable Shopping Lists: Crunchy Oven-Fried Fish and Toasted Orzo Pilaf


 

Dinner 3: Italian Sausage with Grapes and Creamy Polenta

Italian Sausage with Grapes and Balsamic Vinegar is best with a sweet Italian sausage, but hot Italian or garlic sausage will also work. The grapes add sweetness to the sauce, but they can be omitted in a pinch. If you leave the grapes out, consider adding a little sugar to the sauce to make up for the lost sweetness. One-quarter teaspoon of dried oregano can be used instead of fresh. For our Creamy Parmesan Polenta, we add pinch of baking soda to the pot to cut the cooking time in half. We like a lot of Parmesan stirred into the polenta, but feel free to reduce the amount or try another hard cheese like Pecorino Romano or Asiago.   

Printable Shopping Lists: Italian Sausage with Grapes and Creamy Polenta


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.