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Volume 80

Dinner This Week: Poached Salmon

By Keith Dresser Published

This week’s menus include Poached Salmon with Bourbon and Maple, Fast All-American Beef Chili, and Crispy Pan-Fried Chicken Cutlets 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: Poached Salmon with Bourbon and Maple and Couscous with Shallots

Our Poached Salmon with Bourbon and Maple features tender fish accented by the delicate poaching liquid flavored with bourbon, maple syrup, whole-grain mustard, and cider vinegar. Placing the fillets on lemon slices prevents the bottom sides from overcooking. Our Couscous with Shallots, Garlic, and Almonds uses the pilaf method to yield couscous that cooks up fluffy and separate. We bump up its flavor by using a combination of chicken broth and water, and we add toasted almonds for crunch.

Printable Shopping ListsPoached Salmon with Bourbon and Maple and Couscous with Shallots

Equipment Review Chef's Knives

One chef’s knife has been a champ in our kitchen for nearly two decades. Can any other blade come close to offering what it does—and at a bargain price?

Dinner 2: Fast Beef Chili and Cornbread with Jalapeños

For our Fast All-American Beef Chili, we double up on pots to reduce the simmering time by half. In one pot, we simmer beans, chipotle chiles, and canned diced tomatoes. In a second, we brown ground beef to develop a rich fond, and then add aromatics and spices. After each pot has developed its own flavor, we combine the two and simmer them together for a mere 15 minutes before serving. Golden Northern Cornbread with Jalapeños has a rich corn taste and a handsome golden color. We found the best flavor, texture, and rise resulted from a 1:1 ratio of cornmeal to all-purpose flour. A combination of half milk and half buttermilk makes for cornbread with a wonderful taste and light texture.

Printable Shopping Lists: Fast Beef Chili and Cornbread with Jalapeños

Equipment Review Large Saucepans

Most of us use a large saucepan daily, so it’s important to own one that performs flawlessly and will last for years. But how much does high quality have to cost?

Dinner 3: Crispy Pan-Fried Chicken Cutlets and Skillet-Roasted Sugar Snap Peas

For our Crispy Pan-Fried Chicken Cutlets, we ditch the usual homemade bread crumbs in favor of drier, crunchier panko. For a more delicate crust, we omit the flour in the breading process. To know when the frying oil is at just the right temperature, we add a pinch of panko to the skillet with the oil. When the crumbs turn golden brown, it's time to start frying. Skillet-Roasted Sugar Snap Peas start in a hot skillet in a single layer, and we cook them without stirring so they can brown. Once the peas are crisp-tender, we add garlic and soy sauce and give them another couple of tosses to ensure that they are uniformly flavored. Toasted sesame seeds add texture and visual appeal.

Printable Shopping Lists: Crispy Pan-Fried Chicken Cutlets with Skillet-Roasted Sugar Snap Peas


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.