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Archive for Meat & Poultry

TIP OF THE DAY: 10+ Ways To Flavor Meatballs

Spaghetti Stuffed Meatball

Lamb Meatballs

Asian Meatballs

Vietnamese Pho With Meatballs

Shanghai Lion's Head Meatballs

Carrot Soup With Turkey Meatballs

[1] Spaghetti-stuffed meatballs. Here’s the recipe from Thrillist (photo by Drew Swantak). [2] Lamb and feta meatballs; here’s the recipe from Smitten Kitchen. [4] Vietnamese who with meatballs. Here’s the recipe from Cooking And Beer. [5] Shanghai Lion’s Head; here’s the recipe from Serious Eats. [6] Floating meatballs made from turkey, in carrot soup with spinach. Here’s the recipe from Parade.

 

MEATBALL TRENDS

What’s trending as of March 9th, National Meatball Day?

Flavor & The Menu, a magazine and website for chefs, took a look at what’s happening with meatballs.

Meatballs have been popping up on menus nationwide—beyond Italian restaurants, sub shops and the emerging meatball restaurants.

The ideas below may be new to some of us, but most of the recipes go back for centuries, if not longer.

Meatballs are being made with almost any ground or chopped meat, seafood, poultry, and vegetarian/vegan versions made with beans, grains and veggies.

Not only are meatballs a comfort food; they’re a canvas for endless versatility in formats, sauces, seasonings, sizes and garnishes.

Ten flavor trends were spotted by by Joan Lang, who wrote the article.

How About A Meatball Party??

The tempting variety of meatballs inspired us to plan a DIY Meatball Party, with a buffet of fixings from breads (pita, Italian rolls) to bases (pasta, cellophane noodles, rice or other grains), to condiments (grated or crumbled cheese) and raw vegetables (cucumber, lettuce, onion, tomato) and fresh herbs.

For a variety of choices, you can make meatball recipes as time permits, and freeze them until you have what you want for the party. If your guests typically ask what they can bring (and are good cooks), give them recipes to prepare.

TREND ONE THROUGH TREND FIVE

Today we present the first five meatball trends. The others arrive tomorrow.

Whatever types of meatballs appeal to you, you’ll find score of recipes online.

1. STUFFED MEATBALLS

Stuffed meatballs require only the simple addition of a tasty filling inside a handful of ground meat. Don’t tell anyone, and let them be surprised when they dig in.

Different types of cheeses are the traditional stuffings—everything from mild mozzarella and ricotta to tangy blue and feta.

But we’ve also found meatballs stuffed with spaghetti (photo #1) and with mac and cheese. More examples:

  • Polpetta Napoletana: A meatball stuffed with ham, peas and mozzarella in tomato sauce, at Bella Tuscany in Windemere, Florida.
  • Spaghetaboudit Meatball: A classic meatball stuffed with three cheeses and fusilli pasta, topped with marinara and shaved Parmesan. It’s also garnished with ricotta, at The Meatball Room in Boca Raton, Florida.
  • Brisket Meatballs: An interesting concept, stuffed with blue cheese and accented with a balsamic glaze, at Clark Food & Wine Co. in Dallas.
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    2. LAMB MEATBALLS

    Inspired by Greek recipes, lamb meatballs—keftedes—will make lamb lovers happy. We purchase ground lamb and mix it with crumbled feta and herbs (photo #2). Or, you could stuff them with feta, for the surprise.

    Mixed with mix with bulgur wheat, it becomes Lebanese-style kibbeh. Add a yogurt sauce.

    Use plenty of Mediterranean spices—basil, cilantro, dill, rosemary, oregano, sage, thyme. Check out the spices: cinnamon, coriander, cumin, nutmeg and za’atar. You can:

  • Shape the meat mixture into small balls like falafel, serve it in pita with yogurt sauce, tahini and hummus and raw veggies: cucumber, red onion, shredded lettuce and/or tomato.
  • Serve them over pasta or grains, with yogurt sauce flavored with dill, lemon or mint.
  • Serve on skewers with a plate of sautéed or roasted vegetables.
  • Make them slightly larger than cherry tomatoes, and serve in a bowl with the tomatoes and an herb garnish as a cocktail snack (with picks), plain with a squeeze of lemon juice or with a yogurt-garlic-dill dipping sauce (recipe).
  • Serve with fresh mint chimichurri and yogurt sauce, as at Mud Hen Tavern in Los Angeles.
  • Make soutzoukakia, grilled lamb meatballs with spiced tomato sauce and Greek yogurt, as at Kokkari, San Francisco.
  •  
    3. ASIAN MEATBALLS

    The meatballs of Asia are typically made from pork or seafood, and to a smaller extent chicken. Consider:

  • Vietnamese/Laotian pho noodle soup with meatballs (photo #4). You can add them to Asian soup or ramen bowls, too.
  • Shanghai Lion’s Head, a dish of large pork meatballs stewed or steamed with cabbage. Here’s a recipe from Serious Eats.
  • Shrimp balls: fried balls of chopped shrimp, drizzled with katsu sauce and/or Kewpie mayonnaise.
  • Tako yaki, deep fried octopus balls.
  • Tsukune, a Japanese chicken meatball most often cooked yakitori style, and sometimes covered in a sweet soy sauce or yakitori tare, which is often mistaken for teriyaki sauce but is its own recipe.
  •  
    We like this Asian Meatballs recipe from Life Makes Simple Bakes. Its served with a hoisin-based sauce, and traditional Asian flavors (photo #3).
     
    Chefs are making:

  • Meatball Spring Rolls: steamed rice paper wrapped around pork meatballs, pickled carrots and vermicelli, served with peanut sauce, at Pho Bistro in Malden, Massachusetts.
  • Tsukune: chicken meatballs with a choice of flavorings, including teriyaki, spicy miso, yuzu, daikon, goma (sesasme), kimchi, curry and cheese fondue—at Tsukuneya Robata Grill in Honolulu.
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    4. FLOATING MEATBALLS

    These are meatballs in soups and stews that incorporate meatballs as the protein, either braised or cooked right in the liquid. Consider:

  • Mexican sopa de albondigas, Bavarian meatball soup, Italian meatball stew or many others from world cuisine.
  • Chickpea Stew with Meatballs and Shrimp, including with garlic, spinach and seasoned basmati rice, at Pasha Cafe, Arlington, Virginia.
  • Steamed Pork Meatball Soup with crispy garlic, bok choy shoots and black soy sauce, at Kin Shop in New York City.
  •  
    5. VEGETARIAN & VEGAN MEATBALLS

    Talk about Meatless Mondays! Of course, they should be called meat-alternative or meat-like balls; but convention calls them meatballs.

    There are many recipes on line, but we like the ones that use vegetables and grains rather than meat alternatives. Try:

  • Mushroom “meat” balls, made with cultivated white mushrooms or more exotic porcini: umami and heft without the meat.
  • Ground cooked potato meatballs with carrots and pea.
  • White beans meatballs with sautéed minced onions and garlic, seasoned and rolled in breadcrumbs.
  • Sauer-Tot Balls: potato and sauerkraut veggie balls served with lettuce and Dijon sauce on a hoagie, at the Barone Meatball Company, a food truck in Raleigh/Durham, North Carolina.
  • Quinoa “meat” balls and spaghetti squash, served with marinara and basil pesto, at Vine Brook Tavern in Lexington, Massachusetts.
  •  
    Stay tuned for Part 2.

    MORE MEATBALLS

  • Chicken Teriyaki Meatballs
  • Eyeball Meatball Sandwich (for kids)
  • Giant Meatball
  • Gourmet Meatball Sub
  • Inside-Out Spaghetti & Meatballs
  • Korean Spaghetti & Meatballs
  • Spaghetti & Meatball Sundae
  • Swedish Meatballs
  • Veal Meatballs With Vodka
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    FOOD FUN: Giant Meatball

    March 9th is National Meatball Day. Check out the giant meatball from New York restaurant and nightclub Lavo, available today.

    Served in a six-inch cast iron skillet, the meatball rests in a sausage ragu, topped with whipped ricotta and garnished with a basil chiffonade (ribbons).

    Want to make your own giant meatballs? Here are two recipes:

  • From Martha Stewart, made with equal parts ground beef, pork and veal, baked, then simmered in marinara sauce.
  • An all-beef version from Proud Italian Cook.
  •  
    Serve it with:

  • A side of pasta with broccoli rabe or broccolini.
  • A side salad.
  • Garlic bread (recipe) and crostini (similar to garlic bread, but toasted in the oven until crisp).
  •  
    For dessert?

    Better fugetaboutit!

     

    Giant Meatball

    Have a giant meatball on National Meatball Day. Photo courtesy Lavo | NYC.

     
    Or if the strawberries are nice, serve them with some drops of aged balsamic vinegar.

      

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    TIP OF THE DAY: Swedish Meatballs & The Other Meatballs Of Europe

    Swedish Meatballs

    Swedish Meatballs In Gravy

    Frozen Meatballs Ikea

    Frozen Mashed Potatoes Ikea

    Sour Cream

    Fresh Dill

    Lingonberry Preserves

    [1] Classic Swedish meatballs (here’s the recipe from The Kitchn). [2] Some people like lots of the sour cream gravy (here’s the recipe from The Recipe Critic). [3] Frozen meatballs from Ikea, in beef/pork, chicken or vegan. [4] Frozen mashed potatoes from Ikea. [5] Sour cream [6] Dill (photo courtesy Good Eggs). [7] Lingonberry preserves from Ikea.

     

    Cocktail parties in 1960s America had a set of de rigueur cocktail food that included cheese balls, deviled eggs, Lipton onion soup dip with potato chips, pigs in blankets, rumaki*, stuffed celery (often stuffed with olive cream cheese) and bite-size Swedish meatballs.

    In Sweden, these small meatballs are made wutg a blend of pork and beef seasoned with allspice, ginger and nutmeg. They are served in a tangy sour cream sauce with a side of mashed potatoes and cream sauce.

    In the U.S., many people serve Swedish meatballs over noodles. Well O.K., but that’s not authentic.

    For the true Swedish meatball experience, a serving of lingonberry preserves is as essential as cranberry sauce is to turkey in the U.S.

    What’s a lingonberry? It’s the Scandinavian version of America’s cranberry, also tart but half the size (see photo #7, below). They are different species of the same genus†.

    Swedish meatballs are Sweden’s number-one dish, the unofficial national dish (although BBC Good Food gives that honor to kanelbulle, a cinnamon bun).

    In the U.S. they have their own food holiday: March 9th.
     
    FOR A QUICK DISH, HEAD TO IKEA

    The Swedish-based retailer makes it easy, by selling the components for Swedish meatballs in their food markets. Ikea also sells a white gravy mix, but you can’t beat fresh sour cream—or homemade mashed potatoes, for that matter.

    The gravy is easy to make, just sour cream, butter and flour. Here’s a classic from-scratch recipe from The Kitchn. For the potatoes, just boil and mash with butter and/or milk or cream, plus seasonings. Fresh dill is a nice touch.

    At Ikea, you’ll find everything you need (except the fresh the sour cream sauce) to assemble the dish:

  • Meatballs, a.k.a. kottbüllar (frozen, in original, chicken and vegan, $8.99 per 2.2-pound package (photo #3 at left).
  • Mashed potatoes, a.k.a. allemansrätten (frozen), $2.49/package (photo #4 at left).
  • Cream sauce, a.k.a. gräddsås (a basic white sauce), $1.79/packet.
  • Lingonberry preserves, a.k.a. sylt lingon, $3.99/jar (photo #7).
  •  
    SWEDISH MEATBALLS FROM SCRATCH

    Make your own with one of these recipes:

  • Swedish meatballs recipe from The Kitchn (this has the best explanation and photos—photo #1 above).
  • Swedish meatballs from Alton Brown.
  • Swedish meatballs swimming in gravy from The Recipe Critic (photo #2).
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    MEATBALLS AROUND EUROPE

    While we live in a city with a small chain of meatball shops (five types of meatballs, six sauces, a total of 30 combinations), our American experience has largely been the Italian-American meatball in tomato sauce.

    So we took a look at the traditional meatballs of other European countries. For the world list, including meatballs from the Americas and Asia, head here.

  • Albania: Fried meatballs with feta cheese.
  • Alsace, France: A blend of beef and pork with onions, bacon, eggs and bread, served plain or with cream sauce.
  • Armenia: Stewed meatballs and vegetables, often over rice.
  • Austria: Fried meatballs.
  • Bosnia: Made from ground beef and served with mashed potatoes.
  • Belgium: A blend of beef and pork with bread crumbs and sliced onions. Variations use different types of meat and chopped vegetables.
  • Bulgaria: Made from ground beef, pork or a blend, often with diced onions and soaked bread, pan- fried or grilled.
  • Croatia: Typically made with beef, pork or a blend, and served with mashed potatoes or rice, often with a tomato-based sauce.
  • Denmark: Usually a blend of ground pork and veal with onions and eggs, flattened somewhat for pan frying.
  • Estonia: Similar to those of Finnish and Swedish cuisine.
  • Finland: Ground beef or a beef/pork blend or reindeer meat, mixed with breadcrumbs soaked in milk or beef stock and finely chopped onions or French onion soup mix. Traditionally served with gravy, boiled or mashed potatoes, lingonberry jam and sometimes, pickled cucumber.
  • Germany: Along with traditional meat blends, a very famous recipe is Königsberger Klopse, which contain anchovy or salted herring, and served with caper sauce.
  • Greece: Fried meatballs with bread, onions, parsley and mint; or stewed meatballs mixed with rice.
  • Hungary: Pork mixed with minced onions, garlic, paprika, salt and breadcrumbs, deep fried in oil or pork fat and eaten with potatoes or fozelék, a thick Hungarian vegetable stew. Liver dumplings are popular in soups.
  • Italy: Meatballs are generally eaten as a main course or in a soup. Made from beef and/or pork and sometimes poultry, salt, black pepper, chopped garlic, olive oil, Romano cheese, eggs, bread crumbs, and parsley, mixed and rolled by hand to a golf ball size.
  • The Netherlands: Usually made from minced beef and pork, eggs, onion and bread crumbs. They are associated with Wednesday, as evidenced by the saying woensdag, gehaktdag (Wednesday, meatball day). They are often served with boiled potatoes and vegetables.
  • Norway: Different types of meatballs, all typically small, with influences from Sweden and Spain, served with with potatoes, pasta or both.
  • Poland: Seasoned ground meat with onion, eggs and bread crumbs, typically fried and served with tomato sauce, mushroom sauce or brown gravy, along with potatoes or rice.
  • Portugal: Meatballs are usually served with tomato sauce and pasta.
  • Romania and Moldova: Meatballs are made with pork or poultry, moistened mashed potatoes and spices, usually deep fried.
  •  

  • Slovenia: Made with ground beef or a blend of pork and beef, served with mashed potatoes and a tomato-based sauce.
  • Spain (and Hispanic America): Originally a Berber or Arab dish, brought to Spain during the period of Muslim rule in the Middle Ages. Spanish albóndigas can be served as an appetizer or main course, often in a tomato sauce. Mexican albóndigas are commonly served in a soup with a light broth and vegetables.
  • Sweden: Ground beef or a blend of ground beef, pork and sometimes veal or elk, sometimes including breadcrumbs soaked in milk, finely chopped onions, broth and often, cream. They are seasoned with white pepper or allspice and salt. Traditionally served with sour cream gravy, mashed potatoes and lingonberry jam. Traditionally, they are small, around 2–3 centimeters (.79–1.18 inches) in diameter, although larger meatballs are often served at restaurants.
  • United Kingdom: Faggots are a type of spicy pork meatball. A faggot is traditionally made from pig’s heart, liver and fatty belly meat or bacon minced together, with herbs added for flavoring, and sometimes bread crumbs.
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    If you’re looking for ways to vary your meatballs, look no further!
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    *Rumaki, created at Trader Vic’s, are skewers of broiled, bacon-wrapped chicken livers and water chestnuts.

    †Here it is, food geeks: Lingonberry Order Ericales, Family Ericaceae, Genus Vaccinium, Subgenus Oxycoccus, Species Vitus-idaea. For the lingonberry, everything is the same except the species. The cranberry has four genuses (varieties): V. erythrocarpum, V. macrocarpum, V. microcarpum and V. oxycoccos.

    Blueberry, bilberry/whortleberry and huckleberry are members of the same genus. Lingonberry is also known as cowberry.

      

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    TIP OF THE DAY: Roast Your Roots

    While we wait for spring vegetables to appear, we’ve been eating lots of root vegetables.

    Root vegetables have sustained mankind through millennia of winters, because they last for long periods in cool temperatures.

    Before the advent of modern refrigeration, root cellars provided vital cold storage that kept a family fed through the winter.

    Growing underground (photo #1), the root are generally storage organs, enlarged to store energy in the form of carbohydrates. These large roots are eaten as vegetables.

    WHAT ARE ROOT VEGETABLES?

    Root vegetables are plant roots eaten as vegetables (photo #2).

    Beet, carrot, parsnip, potato and sweet potato, radish, and turnip are widely consumed in the U.S.

    Some roots, such as galangal, ginger, horseradish, turmeric and wasabi, are used for condiments or seasonings. Arrowroot is used as a thickener. Gingseng is used medicinally.

    To give you a perspective on the category, here’s a categorization of the root vegetables more familiar in the U.S.

    True Roots

  • Taproots: beetroot (beet), burdock, carrot, celeriac (celery root), daikon, dandelion, jicama, parsley root*, parsnip, radish, rutabaga, salsify and turnip, and others not well-known in the U.S.
  • Tuberous roots: cassava/yuca/manioc, Chinese/Korean yam, and sweet potato, among others.
  • Bulbs: fennel; garlic, green onion/scallion, leek, onion, shallot and the rest of the Allium family.
  • Corms: Chinese water chestnut, taro.
  • Rhizomes: arrowroot, galangal, ginger, ginseng, lotus root, turmeric
  • Tubers: Chinese artichoke/crosne, Jerusalem artichoke (sunchoke), potato, ube, yam.
  •  
    Roasted taproots and tubers are popular roasted vegetables in American cuisine. Even people who fuss over eating vegetables enjoy the sweetness of the sugars that come out during roasting.
     
    TWO WAYS TO ENJOY ROASTED ROOT VEGETABLES

    There are endless recipes, of course; but here are two recipes from Idaho Potatoes with some added glamour.

    RECIPE #1: ROASTED ROOT VEGETABLES WITH CHICKEN

    We like the convenience of this recipe. Root vegetables are hardy, and can keep for a few weeks. It’s easy to pick up a rotisserie chicken if you don’t have time or inclination to roast one.

    You can use substitute other root vegetables, or create a grain bowl with a bottom layer of a favorite grain.

    Ingredients

  • 4 russet Idaho potatoes, chopped into 1/2 inch cubes
  • 3 carrots
  • 1 turnip, peeled, cut in half lengthwise, and then cut into wedges
  • 1 red onion, cut into wedges
  • 1 cup butternut squash, chopped and peeled
  • 2 beets, rinsed, peeled, cut in half and then cut into wedges
  • 4 teaspoons olive oil, divided
  • Salt and pepper
  • 3 sprigs fresh thyme, removed from stem
  • 3 cups Swiss chard, removed from stem and chopped
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 1 cup cooked rotisserie chicken, chopped
  •  
    For The Maple Aïoli

  • 3 tablespoons fresh mayo
  • 1 tablespoons maple syrup
  • 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
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    Root Vegetables Illustration

    Root Vegetables

    Roast Chicken & Vegetables

    Whole Roast Chicken

    [1] An old illustration showing how root vegetables grow (photo courtesy Etsy). [2] Harvested root vegetables (photo courtesy DIY Naturals). [3] Recipe #1: roasted root vegetables with chicken (photo courtesy Idaho Potatoes). [4] Rotisserie chicken (photo courtesy McCormick).

     
    Preparation

    1. PREHEAT the oven to 425°F. Line a baking sheet with foil and spray with cooking spray.

    2. TOSS all of the vegetables in olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Arrange the vegetables in a single layer on the baking sheet. Sprinkle with thyme. Roast in the oven for 25-30 minutes, until golden and fork tender, flipping once, halfway through. Meanwhile…

    3. HEAT the remaining olive oil in a skillet over medium-heat. Sauté the Swiss chard with the chopped garlic, until wilted, about 10 minutes. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

    4. MAKE the aïoli: Whisk the mayonnaise with the maple syrup and cinnamon until combined. Spoon into a serving dish.

    5. DIVIDE the chard evenly in serving bowls. Top with the roasted vegetables and chicken. Serve with the maple aïoli on the side for dipping.
     
    ________________
    *Parsley root is not related to parsley, the herb, but is a beige root vegetable that resembles a parsnip or turnip. The edible leaves that grow above the ground do resemble curly parsley leaves, but taste like celery. Parsley root is also called turnip-rooted parsley. In Germany it is known as Hamburg parsley, and is a popular winter vegetable in Germany, Holland and Poland.

     

    Scalloped Root Vegetables

    Purple Top Turnips

    Smithfield Honey Cured Spiral Ham

    [5] A three-potato gratin with turnips (photo courtesy Idaho Potatoes). [6] Turnips (photo courtesy Good Eggs). [7] We served the casserole with a beautiful Smithfield spiral-cut ham (photo courtesy Smithfield).

     

    RECIPE #2: SCALLOPED ROOT VEGETABLE CASSEROLE

    This casserole reminds us of a tian, a beautiful way to serve summer vegetables.

    It is actually a gratin†.

    This recipe serves a trio of potatoes plus turnips under a cloak of melted cheese. They work together in this recipe because they can be sliced into roughly the same sizes, which cook evenly.
    Ingredients

  • 4 large russet Idaho potatoes, sliced thin, approximately 1/8″
  • 3 red Idaho potatoes, sliced thin, approximately 1/8″
  • 2 sweet potatoes, sliced thin, approximately 1/8″
  • 3 turnips, sliced thin, approximately 1/8″
  • ½ tablespoon butter
  • 1 small onion, diced
  • 2 garlic cloves, diced
  • 2 packages of whipped chive cream cheese
  • 16 ounces heavy cream
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper
  • Non-stick cooking spray
  • 2 teaspoon of salt, more to taste
  • Garnish: grated Parmesan and diced chives for garnish
  •  
    Preparation

    1. PREHEAT the oven to 400°F. Slice the potatoes and turnips and set aside in a large bowl.

    2. HEAT 1/2 tablespoon butter over medium heat in a medium, non-stick skillet. Add the onions and garlic; sauté until translucent.

    3. ADD the cream cheese, heavy cream, salt and pepper. Bring to a simmer and stir until smooth. Turn off the heat.

    4. SPRAY a 9″ x 13″ baking pan with non-stick cooking spray. Place half of the potatoes and turnips in a separate large bowl. Slowly add 1/3 of the cream mixture into the bowl with the potatoes and turnips and mix to coat well.

    5. PLACE the coated potato and turnip slices into the baking pan vertically, using your hands. Make sure the slices are close together (see photo #5). Add another 1/3 of the cream mixture to the remaining potatoes and turnips, coating well. Layer them into the baking dish. Once all the slices are in the baking pan…

    6. POUR the remainder of cream mixture into the baking pan. Cover the pan with aluminum foil and place in the oven for 30 minutes. After 30 minutes remove the foil and bake for an additional 40 minutes.

    7. REMOVE from the oven, sprinkle on the parmesan cheese and bake for an additional 15-20 minutes. Garnish with the chives right before serving.

    We liked the recipe so much, we’re making it again today!

     
    †WHAT’S A GRATIN?

    Gratin (grah-TAN) is a method of food preparation in which a protein, vegetable or starch is served with a browned crust of grated cheese. The crust may also include breadcrumbs, egg and/or butter.

    Gratin originated in France and is usually made in a shallow baking dish. The main ingredient can be baked (roasted) in the oven or cooked on the stove top. In the latter case, the toppings are then added and the dish is finished in the oven or broiler.

    The baking dish is usually brought to the table piping hot. It’s a perennial favorite: Who doesn’t like their food topped with melted cheese?

      

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    RECIPE: Crispy Chicken Thighs Two Ways

    Skillet Chicken Thighs

    Chicken Thighs

    Tuscan Kale

    Castelvetrano Olives

    [1] Chicken with kale and olives, recipe below, made with [2] chicken thighs, [3] Tuscan kale and [4] castelvetrano olives (photos 1-3 courtesy Good Eggs, photo 4 courtesy Maiden Lane Restaurant | NYC).

     

    Every time we see chicken thighs on sale, we load up and make recipes like these, plus a big vat of chicken soup (Jewish-style and Mexican-style chicken soup recipes).

    Chicken thighs are economical, versatile and more flavorful than white meat (frankly, we can’t understand the premium placed on white meat chicken and turkey).

    We also love the ease of one-pan cooking in the recipes that follow. You can bring the entire pan to the table and serve from there (be sure to lay down a trivet ahead of time).

    These two recipes are from Good Eggs—a terrific purveyor of groceries in the San Francisco area.

    Serve them with a green salad and some crusty bread to sop up the pan sauce.

    RECIPE #1: CRISPY CHICKEN THIGHS WITH KALE & OLIVES

    Sweet from the tomatoes and salty from the olives, this recipe features the it green of the moment, kale. If you don’t like kale, substitute beet greens, broccoli rabe, chard, collards, spinach or other greens (we used mustard greens).

    Cook time is 35 minutes.

    Ingredients For 2 Servings

  • 4 bone-in, skin-on chicken thighs, or 2 whole chicken legs with drumstick
  • Olive oil
  • 1 bunch Tuscan kale, de-stemmed and cut into 2-inch chunks
  • 1 handful Castelvetrano† green olives, pitted and roughly chopped
  • 3 fresh tomatoes, cut into 1-inch chunks—or—2 cups diced canned tomatoes, drained*
  • 2 garlic cloves, peeled and trimmed
  • Fresh thyme or oregano stems, leaves removed
  •  
    Preparation

    1. WARM a 9-inch cast iron pan inside an oven preheated to 425°F. Salt and pepper the chicken thighs on both sides. When the oven is hot, carefully (carefully!) remove the pan from the oven and add the thighs, skin side down. Place the pan back in the oven and cook the chicken until browned and the internal temperature reaches 165°F, about 30 minutes.

    While the chicken cooks…

    2. HEAT 2 tablespoons of olive oil (more as needed) in a second skillet (you can serve from this skillet). When the oil is hot, add the garlic cloves and cook for a few minutes, stirring occasionally. When the cloves are lightly browned…

    3. ADD the tomatoes, thyme and olives and turn the heat down to medium-low. Cook until the tomatoes have released their juices and the sauce has a nice consistency, about 15 minutes.

     
    4. ADD the kale to the tomatoes and combine with a pair of tongs. Cover the pan for a few minutes to let the greens wilt, then uncover and stir again with the tongs. Cook the kale and tomatoes together over low heat until the chicken is ready.

    5. PLACE the cooked chicken on top of the greens and serve in the skillet.
    ________________

    *We use canned San Marzano tomatoes when fresh tomatoes are out of season.

    †Castelvetrano olives from Sicily are the “greenest” green olives. Not only does the color look great, but these meaty olives have a unique flavor that makes them our favorite. Here’s more about Castelvetrano olives.

     

    RECIPE #2: CHICKEN THIGHS WITH CHERRY TOMATOES

    Ingredients For 2 Servings

  • 2-4 chicken thighs
  • Salt and pepper
  • Olive oil
  • 1 pint cherry tomatoes
  • 5 sprigs thyme
  • 1 garlic clove, smashed
  •  
    Preparation

    1. PREHEAT the oven to 475°F. Season the chicken with salt and pepper; let it rest until it reaches room temperature.

    2. HEAT 2 tablespoons of olive oil (more as needed) in a cast iron skillet over high heat. Add the chicken thighs skin side down. After 3 minutes, decrease the heat to medium high and cook the chicken for another 12 minutes. After another 5 minutes…

     

    Skillet Chicken With Cherry Tomatoes

    Here’s the recipe from the New York Times, which adds shallots and Dijon mustard to the recipe.

     
    3. ADD enough cherry tomatoes to fill in the gaps between the thighs and rearrange the chicken as needed to make sure all the tomatoes are getting equal heat. Add a few sprigs of thyme and the garlic. When the 12 minutes is up…

    4. USE a spoon to roll the tomatoes around in the chicken drippings, flip the thighs skin side up and transfer the skillet to the oven. Cook for another 13 minutes.

    5. REMOVE from the oven and check the chicken for doneness by making sure internal temperature is 165°F (or the juices run clear). Remove from the heat and let the chicken rest for a few minutes for the juices to settle.

    THE DIFFERENT PARTS OF THE CHICKEN

    Bet you can’t name them all! Check out our Chicken Glossary.

      

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