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Volume 76

Dinner This Week: Pan-Roasted Chicken

By Keith Dresser Published

This week’s menus include Pan-Roasted Chicken, Vegetable Curry, and Creamless Creamy Tomato Soup 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 Barley Pilaf

Pan-Roasted Chicken with Sherry-Rosemary Sauce calls for browning the chicken in a skillet and finishing it in a hot oven. The result is moist and tender chicken with crisp skin. After cooking the chicken, we use the caramelized drippings, or fond, left in the pan to make a quick and flavorful sauce. Our Barley with Lemon and Herbs boasts grains with a tender chew that don’t clump together. We cook the barley like pasta—boiled in a large volume of salted water and then drained—to rid the grains of much of their sticky starch, which would otherwise cause them to clump. Once the barley is cooked, we let it cool briefly on a rimmed baking sheet to help it dry thoroughly and then toss it with an acid-heavy dressing (a 1:1 ratio of oil to acid instead of the typical 3:1 ratio).

Printable Shopping Lists: Pan-Roasted Chicken and Barley Pilaf

Equipment Review Colanders

A colander is the go-to tool to use when draining pasta, but a good one can do so much more than that. Which model is best?

Dinner 2: Vegetable Curry and Basmati Rice

Toasting store-bought curry powder in a skillet for our Vegetable Curry turns it into a flavor powerhouse. In addition to the curry powder, a few pinches of garam masala add even more spice flavor. To build the rest of our flavor base, we start with a generous amount of golden sautéed onions and then add potent aromatics like garlic, ginger, and fresh chiles before incorporating cauliflower, peas, and chickpeas. For Basmati Rice Pilaf with light, fluffy, aromatic grains, we first rinse the rice to remove excess starch. Then we sizzle whole spices in oil before toasting the rice itself. A final step of steaming ensures a dry, fluffy texture.

Printable Shopping Lists: Vegetable Curry and Basmati Rice

Equipment Review Large Dutch Ovens

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

Dinner 3: Creamy Tomato Soup and Grilled Cheese Sandwiches

Our Creamless Creamy Tomato Soup is velvety smooth with a bright tomatoey taste—all without added cream. We start with canned tomatoes because they often have better flavor than supermarket tomatoes. Then, we blend in a surprise ingredient—a slice of white bread torn into pieces—to give the soup body without having to add flavor-deadening cream. Our Grown-Up Grilled Cheese Sandwiches with Comte and Cornichon start with flavorful aged Comte to which we add small amounts of white wine and Brie. These ingredients help the aged cheese melt evenly without becoming greasy. A sprinkle of chopped cornichon increases the sandwiches’ complexity without detracting from the cheese, and a smear of mustard butter livens up the bread.

Printable Shopping Lists: Creamy Tomato Soup with Grilled Cheese Sandwich



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.