Spiced Chicken and Rice, Extremely Nice

June 11, 2024
Dining & Wine
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I will always, in any season, make a chicken-and-rice dish. It’s my favorite protein combined with my favorite carb, and I love it in any iteration: Hainanese chicken rice, arroz chaufa, arroz con pollo, iwuk edesi, chicken perloo, chicken cook-up rice, chicken doria, oyakodon. I don’t care if it’s hot outside; all are worth mopping my brow and doing that thing where I whap the sides of my T-shirt away from my body.

Add Kay Chun’s new spiced chicken and rice to that list. Boneless chicken thighs brown in olive oil until golden, and then garlic, cinnamon, cardamom, turmeric and allspice are bloomed in the same oil to release their aromas. (The turmeric is a thoughtful swap for saffron, which can be pretty pricey.) Then go in the rice, broth, golden raisins and pistachios for a quick, gentle simmer. Top with toasted almonds, and there you have it: some extremely nice chicken and rice.

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Another nice thing about Kay’s recipe is that it cooks up relatively quickly for a chicken-and-rice dish — just 45 minutes from start to finish. Lidey Heuck’s shrimp-y (not to be confused with shrimpy) take on vongole rosso is also quite quick. So is Ali Slagle’s chipotle-coconut chicken, an excellent use for that can of coconut milk in your pantry and the half-empty jar of chipotle chiles in adobo in the fridge.

Summer weekends call for casual gatherings, and casual gatherings call for lovely salads. Eric Kim adapted this recipe for lettuces with fresh herbs and cheese from the chef Adam Baumgart of Brooklyn’s Oma Grassa, and it speaks to a fundamental truth. “A good salad can transport you,” Eric writes, “but the truly great ones all have one thing in common: plenty of cheese.”

Kay’s tahini ramen salad doesn’t have cheese, but it does have tahini, which lends plenty of creamy savoriness. It also has instant ramen noodles, which lend their wiggly goodness. Save the seasoning packets for another use (like this Japanese party mix).

I’ll leave you with two easy cooking projects for the weekend, because nothing feels more luxurious to me than having a couple of hours to do whatever I want in the kitchen. Melissa Knific’s new strawberry jam recipe calls to me, a gorgeous use for the bruised berries I pick up from the discount tables at my farmers’ market. And to go with my jam, these pillowy, accordioned buttermilk sugar biscuits, made with homemade buttermilk because I always forget to buy some.

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