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Volume 128

Dinner This Week: Orecchiette with Broccoli Rabe and Sausage

By Keith Dresser Published

This week’s menus include Orecchiette with Broccoli Rabe and Sausage, Blackened Chicken, and Moroccan Fish Tagine 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: Orecchiette with Broccoli Rabe and Sausage and Bibb Lettuce Salad

Orecchiette with Broccoli Rabe and Sausage is a hearty, subtly spicy combination that might be the most identifiable dish of Italy's Puglia region. Rich Italian sausage mingles well with the bitterness of broccoli rabe and salty Pecorino Romano cheese. Our Bibb and Arugula Salad with Pear and Goat Cheese uses a combination of peppery arugula and buttery Bibb lettuce. Thin slices of subtly sweet pear incorporate easily with the greens. Pepitas add crunch, while tangy goat cheese contributes richness. We use lemon juice as the base of the dressing because it pairs well with the sweetness of the fruit.

Printable Shopping Lists: Orecchiette with Broccoli Rabe and Bibb Lettuce Salad

Equipment Review The Best 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 2: Blackened Chicken and Romaine Salad

For our Blackened Chicken, we coat thin chicken cutlets in a robust Cajun spice blend and flash-cook them in a ripping-hot cast-iron skillet until the fat and spices smoke and char but don't completely burn. For robust spice flavor, we dredge the moist cutlets directly in the spice rub rather than “glue” it to the chicken with melted butter; this helped the spices stick to—rather than melt off—the meat during cooking. Adding smoked paprika to the spice mix enhanced its smoky profile. Romaine and Watercress Salad with Apple and Kohlrabi combines crisp romaine lettuce with spicy, tender watercress. Thinly sliced kohlrabi and sweet apple provide crunch and complexity.

Printable Shopping Lists: Blackened Chicken with Romaine Salad

Equipment Review The Best Cast-Iron Skillets

Artisan brands of American-made cast-iron cookware challenge the old guard.

Dinner 3: Moroccan Fish Tagine and Couscous

For a bright, flavorful Moroccan Fish Tagine, we start by salting chunks of cod to season the flesh and help it retain moisture. We coat the fish in chermoula, a flavorful herb-spice paste of cilantro, garlic, cumin, paprika, cayenne, lemon juice, and olive oil, just before cooking to season its exterior. To keep the fish from overcooking, we turn off the heat once the broth is bubbling at the bottom of the pot and allow the fish to cook in the residual heat. For Basic Couscous, we use the “pilaf method,” which allows the couscous to brown gently and uniformly, and cook up fluffy and separate. We bump up the flavor by using a combination of chicken broth and water.

Printable Shopping Lists: Moroccan Fish Tagine with Couscous 


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.