My mother-in-law gave me my first subscription to Fine Cooking magazine about ten years ago. I’ve renewed my subscription every year since then. For the first couple of years I would try several recipes out of every issue I received, and we’ve acquired several favorites that I make from time to time. For the past several years I’ve laid many of them aside, barely looking at them (I think it might have started right around the time I discovered social networking, actually), and I have quite a few in my collection that I haven’t tried a single recipe from. This year, my resolution is to try at least one recipe a week from one of the many cookbooks and magazines on my kitchen shelves, and hopefully share them here. So here we go!
In every issue of Fine Cooking, there is a section called “Make It Tonight,” a collection of several recipes that are quick and easy to prepare, usually a main course or a hearty salad (like the spinach salad I made for New Year’s). I would equate them to Rachael Ray-style 30-minute meals.
On a recent weeknight, I made this:
CHICKEN THIGHS IN TOMATO-GINGER SAUCE
8 small, boneless, skinless chicken thighs (about 1 1/2 lb)
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 1/2 Tbs. canola or vegetable oil, more as needed
1 medium yellow onion, finely diced
2 large cloves garlic, minced
2 Tbs. minced fresh ginger (from a 1-inch piece)
1 tsp. garam marsala
1/4 tsp. ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp. cayenne
2 15-oz. cans fire-roasted crushed tomatoes
1 oz. (2 Tbs.) cold unsalted butter, cut into 4 pieces
Pat the chicken thighs dry and season with 1 1/2 tsp. salt and 1/4 tsp. pepper.
Heat the oil in a heavy-duty 12-inch skillet over medium-high heat util shimmering hot. Brown half of the chicken, flipping once, 5 to 6 minutes total. Transfer the chicken to a plate. repeat with the remaining chicken, adding more oil if the pan looks dry.
Reduce the heat to medium. Add the onion and a pinch of salt, and cook, stirring frequently with a wooden spoon, until golden-brown on the edges, 3 to 5 minutes. Add the garlic, ginger, garam marsala, cinnamon, and cayenne and stir constantly for about 30 seconds.
Stir in the tomatoes. Increase the heat to medium high, and simmer vigorously until slightlyl reduced, about 3 minutes. Add the chicken and any accumulated juice. Spoon the sauce over the chicken, reduce the heat, and simmer until just cooked through, 5 to 7 minutes.
Transfer the chicken to plates or a platter. Stir the butter into the sauce until incorporated and season to taste with salt. Spoon the sauce over the chicken, garnish with the cilantro, and serve. –Dabney Gough
From Fine Cooking No. 121, Feb/Mar 2013, p. 12
I doubled the recipe, and since I had made the mistake of only buying one 28-oz can of crushed tomatoes (the recipe calls for two 25-ounce cans) and only had enough for one recipe, I found two 15-ounce cans of diced tomatoes and put those in as well. And I think I forgot to add the butter at the end; I definitely forgot about the cilantro.
The Verdict: Moe and I loved it. (He used to be my pickiest eater. Now he’s willing to try just about everything, which is great. And in case you’re wondering why on earth I would name my kid Moe, I give my boys “blog names.” Larry, Curly and Moe. Larry is the oldest and Moe is the youngest. I gave my husband a blog name too: Joe. I wanted to call him “Shemp,” but he wasn’t too thrilled about that.) Joe and the other boys liked it as well, I think; Larry and Curly can be skeptical about things I’ve never cooked before, so it will be interesting to see what happens the next time I make this and they ask, “What’s for dinner?” I might get a “Yum!” or they might wrinkle their nose and ask if they can have something else instead. (I don’t know why they bother asking this question. They eat what I’m cooking or they don’t eat.)
On another weeknight, I cooked some delicious fish and broccoli courtesy of Jamie Oliver, and I’ll show you that one very soon!