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Volume 121

Dinner This Week: Potato-Leek Soup

By Keith Dresser Published

This week’s menus include Country-Style Potato-Leek Soup with Kielbasa, Cioppino, and Apple-Maple Glazed Chicken Breasts 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: Country-Style Potato-Leek Soup and Biscuits

For Country-Style Potato-Leek Soup with Kielbasa with a chunky, hearty texture, we start with creamy, lower-starch Red Bliss potatoes. Removing the pot from the heat allows the potatoes to finish cooking in the hot broth, thereby preventing them from overcooking and getting mushy. A relatively small amount of lightly smoked kielbasa adds heartiness without overwhelming the flavor of the soup. Easiest-Ever Biscuits combine the ease of cream biscuits (no cutting fat into flour) with the ease of drop biscuits (no rolling and cutting). For a dough with a droppable consistency that isn’t greasy and doesn't spread too much, we increase the fluidity of the cream. Warming the cream to between 95 and 100 degrees melts the solid particles of butterfat dispersed throughout, and makes a dough that is moister and scoopable and that rises up instead of spreading out in the oven. 

Printable Shopping Lists: Country-Style Potato-Leek Soup and Biscuits

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 2: Cioppino with Romaine and Watercress Salad

Equipment Review Slotted Spoons

We rounded up eight dishwasher-safe nylon, silicone, and stainless-steel spoons, and used them to fish out green peas, poached eggs, meatballs, and jumbo shrimp from liquids in different kinds of cookware.

Dinner 3: Glazed Chicken Breasts and Acorn Squash

Apple-Maple Glazed Chicken Breasts feature perfectly rendered skin, moist meat, and a complex glaze. We lightly coat the chicken with flour to enhance browning and provide a good grip for the glaze. Corn syrup, which is half as sweet as sugar, gives the glaze just the right amount of stickiness while keeping the sweetness level in check. Acorn Squash with Brown Sugar starts in the microwave, which yields tender, silky smooth squash. We then brush the cooked squash with butter and brown sugar before broiling it to create a rich, caramelized exterior. 

Printable Shopping Lists: Glazed Chicken Breasts and Acorn Squash


To view more quick weeknight dinner ideas, check out the rest of the Dinner This Week series.

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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.