Chicken Tikka Masala with Baby Spinach and Basmati Rice

½ cup basmati rice
10 ounces boneless skinless chicken thigh pieces
Peeled fresh garlic
1 lemon
2 tablespoons Greek yogurt
1 yellow onion
Fresh ginger
Fresh cilantro
1 tablespoon unsalted butter (optional)
Masala spice blend (coriander – cumin – cardamom – garam masala – sweet paprika – nutmeg)
¼ teaspoon cayenne (optional)
½ cup diced tomatoes
2 tablespoons coconut milk
Baby spinach

Cook the rice
In a fine-mesh strainer, rinse the rice.
In a small sauce pot, combine the rice and ¾ cup lightly salted water; bring to a boil. Reduce to a simmer, cover, and cook until the rice is tender and the water is absorbed, 12 to 14 minutes. Fluff with a fork, cover, and keep warm.
While the rice cooks, marinate the chicken.

Make the marinade; marinate the chicken
Cut a small corner from the chicken packaging; drain off any excess liquid. Transfer to a plate; pat dry with a paper towel.
Finely chop, press, or grate enough garlic to measure 1 teaspoon.
Juice half the lemon; cut half into wedges for garnish.
In a medium bowl, stir together the chicken, garlic, lemon juice, and yogurt; season with salt and pepper. Set aside to marinate.
While the chicken marinates, prepare the remaining ingredients.

Prep the onion, ginger, and cilantro
Peel and coarsely chop the yellow onion.
Grate or peel and finely chop the ginger.
Coarsely chop the cilantro.

Cook the chicken
In a medium sauce pot over medium-high heat, warm 2 tablespoons oil until hot but not smoking. Add the chicken; cook, stirring occasionally, until browned but not yet cooked through, 2 to 4 minutes. Transfer to a plate. Do not wipe out the pot.

Make the sauce
In the same pot used for the chicken, warm the butter or 1 tablespoon oil over medium heat. Add the onion, season with salt, and cook, stirring occasionally, until softened, 4 to 5 minutes. Stir in the ginger, masala spice blend, and as much cayenne as you like; cook until fragrant, about 1 minute. Stir in the tomatoes, coconut milk, and ½ cup water; bring to a boil. Reduce to a simmer; cook, stirring occasionally, until the sauce thickens slightly, 3 to 5 minutes.
Add the chicken; cook, stirring occasionally, until the chicken is cooked through, 1 to 2 minutes. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Remove from the heat; fold in the spinach.

Serve
Transfer the rice to individual bowls; top with the chicken and sauce. Garnish with the cilantro; serve with the lemon wedges.
Chicken Tikka Masala with baby spinach and Basmati rice

Braised Chicken and Artichokes

Braised chicken and artichokes

Peeled fresh garlic
1 or 2 shallots
Fresh basil
Fresh tarragon
Fresh flat-leaf parsley
1 lemon
10 ounces boneless skinless chicken thigh pieces
1½ tablespoons all-purpose flour
1½ teaspoons Dijon mustard
1 cup chicken broth
½ cup diced tomatoes
7 ounces cooked quartered artichoke hearts

Prep the ingredients

Finely chop, press, or grate enough garlic to measure 1 teaspoon.
Peel and finely chop enough shallots to measure ¼ cup.
Strip the basil leaves from the stems; coarsely chop the leaves.
Strip the tarragon leaves from the stems; coarsely chop the leaves.
Strip the parsley leaves from the stems; coarsely chop the leaves.
Juice half the lemon; cut half into wedges for garnish.

Prep and brown the chicken

Cut a small corner from the chicken packaging and drain off any excess liquid. Transfer to a plate; pat dry with a paper towel. Season generously with salt and pepper.
In a shallow bowl or plate, spread the flour.

Dredge the chicken in the flour, turning to coat; shake off any excess.
In a medium sauce pot over medium heat, warm 2 tablespoons oil until hot but not smoking. Working in batches if needed, add the chicken and cook until lightly browned but not yet cooked through, 2 to 3 minutes per side. Transfer to a plate. Do not clean the pan.

Cook the vegetables
In the same pot used for the chicken, warm 2 tablespoons oil over medium heat until hot but not smoking. Stir in the garlic and shallots, season with salt and pepper, and cook until fragrant, about 1 minute. Stir in the basil, tarragon, parsley, and mustard and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds.
Add the chicken broth, tomatoes, and ½ cup water and bring to a boil, scraping up any browned bits from the bottom of the pot. Reduce to a simmer and cook, stirring occasionally, until thickened, 2 to 3 minutes.

Finish the chicken
Add the chicken, any accumulated juices, and the artichokes to the pot and simmer until the chicken is cooked through, 5 to 7 minutes. Remove from the heat and stir in 1 to 2 teaspoons lemon juice and 1 to 2 tablespoons butter, if using. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

Serve
Transfer the chicken, artichokes, and sauce to individual bowls. Serve the lemon wedges on the side.

Lemongrass steak stir-fry with bok choy and basil

Lemongrass steak stir-fry with bok choy and basil

10 ounces top sirloin steak strips
Peeled fresh garlic
10 ounces cauliflower “rice”
1 red onion
1 or 2 heads baby bok choy
2 ounces beech mushrooms
1 Fresno chili (optional)
Fresh basil
2 scallions
1 lime
lemongrass paste (lemongrass – fresh garlic – fresh ginger – turmeric – olive oil – salt)
stir-fry seasoning (fish sauce – coconut vinegar – coconut sugar)

Sear the steak
Pat the steak strips dry with a paper towel; season with salt and pepper.

In a large wok or frying pan over medium-high heat, warm 1 tablespoon oil until hot but not smoking. Add the steak and cook, stirring occasionally, until lightly browned but not cooked through, 4 to 6 minutes. Transfer to a plate. Do not clean the pan.

Cook the cauliflower “rice”

Finely chop, press, or grate enough garlic to measure 1½ teaspoons. Divide into two equal portions; set aside half for the stir-fry.

In the same pan used for the steak, if dry, add 2 to 3 teaspoons oil and warm over medium-high heat until hot but not smoking. Add the cauliflower “rice” and half the garlic, and season with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally and scraping up any browned bits from the bottom of the pan, until the cauliflower is softened and starting to brown, 5 to 7 minutes. Transfer to a medium bowl and keep warm. Wipe out the pan.
While the cauliflower cooks, start the stir-fry.

Prep the remaining stir-fry ingredients

Peel and thinly slice the red onion.
Trim the root end from the bok choy; cut the bok choy in half lengthwise, then cut on the diagonal into 1-inch pieces.
Trim the root ends from the mushrooms; separate any clusters into individual mushrooms.
If using the Fresno chili, remove the stem and thinly slice the chili crosswise. Wash your hands after handling.
Strip the basil leaves from the stems; coarsely chop the leaves, if desired.
Trim the root ends from the scallions; thinly slice the scallions on the diagonal.
Cut the lime into wedges.

Cook the vegetables
In the same pan used for the cauliflower, warm 2 tablespoons oil over medium-high heat until hot but not smoking. Stir in the onion and reserved garlic and cook until fragrant, 1 to 2 minutes. Add the bok choy, mushrooms, and lemongrass paste and cook, stirring to coat, until the bok choy starts to soften, 2 to 3 minutes.
Return the steak to the pan, add the stir-fry seasoning and as much chile as you like, and cook, stirring occasionally, until the steak is warmed through, 1 to 2 minutes. Remove from the heat and stir in the basil. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

Serve
Transfer the cauliflower “rice” to individual bowls. Top with the stir-fry, garnish with the scallions, and serve with the lime wedges.

Chicken Fajita Melts

Chicken Fajita Melts
3 tablespoons vegetable oil
6 (6 ounce) skinless, boneless chicken breast halves, thinly sliced
1/2 cup sliced onions
1/2 cup sliced red bell pepper
1/2 cup tomato juice
2 tablespoons taco seasoning mix
1 cup salsa
8 (1/2 inch thick) slices French bread
2 cups shredded Cheddar cheese

Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the chicken, and cook and stir until lightly browned, about 5 minutes.

Stir in the sliced onions and red peppers, and cook and stir for 5 minutes or until the vegetables are tender. Stir in the tomato juice and taco seasoning, and mix well. Cook mixture until the juice has thickened and the chicken is well coated with sauce, about an additional 7 minutes.

Preheat the oven’s broiler and set the oven rack about 6 inches from the heat source.

Spread 2 tablespoons of salsa over each slice of French bread. Evenly spoon the chicken mixture on top of the salsa topped bread. Sprinkle each sandwich with 1/4 cup Cheddar cheese.

Place sandwiches under the preheated broiler and cook for 5 minutes or until the cheese is melted and beginning to brown.

Steak fajitas with cucumber-radish salsa

Steak fajitas with cucumber-radish salsa

10 ounces top sirloin steak strips
Steak fajita spice blend (ancho chile powder – granulated garlic – cumin – dried oregano)
1 red bell pepper
1 yellow bell pepper
3 scallions
1 jalapeño (optional)
1 or 2 Persian cucumbers
2 or 3 red radishes
Fresh cilantro
1 lime
6 Sonoma-style tortillas (wheat flour – corn masa)
¼ cup Greek yogurt

Sear the steak

Cut a small corner from the steak packaging and drain off any excess liquid. Transfer to a plate; pat dry with a paper towel.
In a medium bowl, toss the steak with the steak fajita spice blend and season generously with salt.

In a medium frying pan over medium-high heat, warm 2 to 3 teaspoons oil until hot but not smoking. Add the steak and cook, stirring occasionally, until browned but not yet cooked through, 2 to 4 minutes. Transfer the steak to a plate. Do not wipe out the pan.
While the steak cooks and rests, prepare the bell peppers and scallions.

Prep and cook the bell peppers and scallions

Remove the stems, seeds, and ribs from the red and yellow bell peppers; cut the peppers into ¼-inch-thick strips.
Trim the root ends from the scallions; cut the scallions into 2-inch lengths.
If using the jalapeño, remove the stem, seeds, and ribs; thinly slice the jalapeño. Wash your hands after handling.

In the same pan used for the steak, warm 1 to 2 tablespoons oil over medium-high heat until hot but not smoking. Add the bell peppers, scallions, and as much jalapeño as you like. Season with salt and cook, stirring occasionally, until softened and slightly caramelized, 3 to 5 minutes. Transfer to a plate; wipe the pan dry and reserve for the tortillas, if desired.
While the vegetables cook, make the salsa.

Prepare the salsa

Trim the ends from the cucumbers; cut the cucumbers in half lengthwise, then crosswise into ¼-inch-thick half-moons.
Trim the ends from the radishes. Cut them in half, then cut the halves into thin half-moons.
Coarsely chop the cilantro.
Juice half the lime; cut the other half into wedges and set aside for garnish.

In a medium bowl, stir together the cucumbers, radishes, cilantro, and lime juice. Season to taste with salt.

Warm the tortillas
On the stovetop directly over the flame, or in the same pan used for the bell peppers, over medium heat, warm the tortillas until just pliable and warmed through, about 30 seconds per side.

Serve
Transfer the tortillas to individual plates. Top with the steak, peppers, scallions, salsa, and yogurt. Serve with the lime wedges.