There’s a reason we make so many one-pan dinners: in a small kitchen, it keeps the oven clutter to a minimum, simplifies the cooking process, and makes clean-up straightforward. The aim, of course, is to get everything properly cooked at the same time: with meat, achieving both the desired Maillard sear (aka; that burnished, dark brown skin) and safe internal temperature; with pasta or grains, getting the texture perfect without overcooking it into a limp mess. Our crispy chicken and orzo dish takes advantage of the pre-oven searing of the chicken and handles the orzo like a risotto, resulting in success on all fronts. The addition of plenty of mushrooms, leeks and spinach turns it into a healthy, one-pot meal.
Tender chicken, caramelized onions and Swiss chard in a creamy garlic sauce, topped with a blanket of buttery, flaky, ultra-crisp phyllo dough. This is comfort food pretty enough for the fanciest dinner party, but tasty enough for a relaxed family meal.
(Note: This would also be a great way to use up leftover Thanksgiving or holiday turkey. Chop or shred the cooked leftovers and fold into the sauce and vegetables before adding the pastry top.)
I think it was probably about 12 years ago that my mom bought us our first piece of really good cookware, a 5-quart Le Creuset dutch oven. At that point, we were still using a cheap, thin-gauge pan set I had bought in college, which burned pretty much anything that got near it, even if the oven wasn’t on. Being the weirdo that I am, I even remember the first thing I made in it, Duck Leg Ragu. I remember it, not because it was particularly amazing, but because while I was cooking it, something miraculous happened … The bottom of the pan didn’t scorch before the duck had browned. There wasn’t a blackened ring of sauce in the exact same shape as the burner. It was a red-sauce miracle! That’s when I realized that investing in a few items of really special, well-made cookware was much better than having a crappy set of pans in every size. Since then, our special collection has slowly grown, and I love each piece. We cook a lot (I know you’re shocked) and I use these skillets, fry pans, and grill pans almost daily. The great thing is, well-made cookware lasts for generations so if you have kids, tell them whoever helps in the kitchen inherits the good stuff.
Who wants to juggle three pans on the stove for a hearty fall or winter evening meal? This crispy chicken, sausage and brussels sprouts dish bakes in a bed of spiced flavors and best of all, it uses a single skillet.
Note: This recipe is part of our series for Serious Eats. You can also find the recipe and many others on their site.
If there’s one single food that universally divides childhood from adulthood, it has to be the poor old Brussels sprout. If you weren’t commanded as a kid to “eat your sprouts!” you were either very lucky, or you had good family recipes and were able to learn early on that the sprout can be one of the most delicious vegetables imaginable. Our formative years had more “ugh” moments than “mmm” when it came to sprouts, so we’ve had to rethink our approach. Fortunately, it’s not hard to come up with a recipe that highlights the strengths of the smallest brassica.
So who is this ‘Nando’ and why is he so cheeky? No, seriously, I really want to know.
Being an American, the phrase ‘cheeky Nandos’ means almost nothing to me but for some inexplicable reason, it became stuck in my head the other day. I asked Matt (a Brit) what it meant and all he did was laugh, jump around and scream “Cheeky Nandos! Cheeky Nandos!” for about an hour until I was forced to distract him with a shiny Doctor Who marathon. Not helpful.
In this rare case, even the internet failed me. When I googled “What is cheeky nandos. Help, confused american.,” it suggested this article. This a sample explanation:
you know when you go down town with the lads and you all realize you’re hank marvin’ so you say “lads let’s go Maccers” but your mate Smithy a.k.a. The Bantersaurus Rex has some mula left on his nandos gift card and he’s like “mate let’s a have a cheeky nandos on me” and you go “Smithy my son you’re an absolute ledge” so you go have an extra cheeky nandos with a side order of Top Quality Banter