Meat + Poultry
One of the best ways to ensure pork chops don't come out dry and leathery is to use the sous vide method of cooking. It guarantees the pork will come out juicy and tender. These pork chops are seasoned with crushed fennel and coriander seeds, and finished in a hot skillet with butter, sage, garlic, and shallot. Spooning the flavorful butter over the chop as it sears in the skillet infuses the meat with the flavored butter.
Instead of using dried lemon pepper seasoning, season chicken and potatoes with fresh lemon juice and zest, chopped garlic cloves, and ground pepper, along with some chopped fresh dill and oregano. While the thighs roast, the fat adds extra flavor and crunch to the lemony potatoes. After the chicken is done, the potatoes roast in the drippings for a few extra minutes until they start to brown. Serve the finished dish with lemon wedges.
Cookbook author Molly Stevens fillets chicken breast for crispy grown-up chicken nuggets dredged in panko and fried in olive oil and butter. Flattening chicken to even thickness (1/3 inch) is paramount: If the chicken is too thick, it takes too long to cook, and you risk scorching the coating before the interior is done; if too thin, it'll dry out before the breading has time to brown. The key to frying them is monitoring the heat; the nuggets should sizzle when you lower them into the pan. If the heat is too low, the breading will absorb the fat and become soggy. If it's too high, the outside will scorch before the inside cooks through. Stevens's favorite way to serve these chicken nuggets is to stack them alongside a bright and punchy herb and radish salad dressed in a lemon vinaigrette. If you like, you can also skip making nuggets and fry the cutlets whole—they're fantastic in sandwiches.
The secret to this juicy roast chicken is umami mayo, a two-ingredient power-house combination of brewer's yeast and mayonnaise. Slathering the bird with a mayonnaise–brewer's yeast mixture before it goes into the oven yields maximal umami flavor. It also helps lock in its juiciness. Letting the chicken stand uncovered in the refrigerator overnight helps to dry out the skin for a crispier bird. The umami mayo is also awesome on a side of salmon. Seek out inactive brewer's yeast for this recipe, such as this version from Twinlab, which has a delicious, funky, umami flavor.
More Meat + Poultry
Crispy fried chicken tops 2019 F&W Best New Chef Caroline Glover's salad made with bitter greens tossed with cilantro dressing and escabeche, or pickled vegetables. The longer the vegetables sit in the pickling liquid, the more flavorful they will be. The salad doesn't use all of the escabeche; use up the leftovers on a cheese plate, or tuck into sandwiches.
For the best chicken breast, buy bone-in and then debone the chicken breast at home, says food stylist and cookbook author Susan Spungen. To debone a chicken breast, use a small knife to separate the meat from the bone at the narrow part where the ribs are, scraping the knife against the bone to waste as little meat as possible. While bones keep chicken moist, two other factors are more important for juicy chicken: keeping the skin on and not overcooking. Skin also provides a handy vehicle for stuffing, which adds fat and flavor—in this case, from salty olives, serrano ham, garlic, and herbs. To ensure that the stuffed breasts stay juicy, pull them out of the oven when an instant-read thermometer reaches 155°F; it will carry over to 160°F as the chicken rests. Serve the chicken breasts when they're fresh from the oven with golden, crispy skin, with a generous spoonful of the garlicky pan juices.