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As far as lazy meals go, there are a few staples our staff members consistently rely on—pasta quickly prepared with a jarred sauce, scrambled eggs, bastardized charcuterie boards, and a frozen pizza (or two). For model, TV host, and cookbook author Chrissy Teigen, her go-to dish is a little bit (okay, a lot bit) more elevated. At the 2019 City Harvest Gala in New York, we caught up with the Cravings author and asked her if there was one dish she couldn’t stop making. Her answer was two-fold: first, she told us that her husband, John Legend, makes a Jamaican Curry Chicken recipe that they eat about once a week. Then, Teigen gave us the meal she and Legend make when they don’t feel like cooking, and it’s pretty damn elegant—whole-roasted branzino.
“We both just share the plate and pick at it with little forks, and we watch TV,” she said.
While you might be scratching your head at the idea of branzino as a lazy meal, Teigen’s preparation sounds pretty painless. She says they stuff it with herbs, rubbing it with “maybe 40 cloves of garlic,” and throw it under the broiler—voilà, dinner is served. It definitely makes the case for forgoing frozen meals and pizzas in favor of a healthier option like fish, and also proves that you don’t have to labor over a meal in order to make something special.
If you’re feeling inspired to make branzino à la Chrissy, we have a few different recipes. There’s a sheet pan version crusted with Herbes de Provence (lavender, thyme, fennel, and other spices) and served with fingerling potatoes that’s ready in 40 minutes; or, go for grilled branzino stuffed with lemons and herbs, ready in two steps and 30 minutes. (The browned, crispy skin is a nice touch.) We also have a salt-baked branzino with zucchini-basil-pistou, but we’ll admit it’s decidedly un-lazy—it takes two and a half hours total, and is probably better suited for weekends.