Every week, Executive Food Editor Keith Dresser pairs each main dish with a side to give you a complete, satisfying dinner without the guesswork. Look for the game plan section to learn tips on how to streamline your kitchen work so dinner comes together quicker.
Dinner This Week: Indoor Barbecue
Dinner 1: Indoor Pulled Chicken and Sweet and Tangy Coleslaw
Indoor Pulled Chicken mimics the flavor and texture of outdoor slow-smoked pulled chicken in just a fraction of the time. We braise boneless, skinless chicken thighs in a mixture of chicken broth, salt, sugar, molasses, gelatin, and liquid smoke, then shred the meat and mix it with a tangy barbecue sauce. To keep coleslaw crisp, you need to get rid of the cabbage’s excess water. For our Sweet and Tangy Coleslaw, we do this by microwaving shredded cabbage tossed with salt and sugar. In seconds, the cabbage sheds the same amount of liquid that it would release in 3 hours at room temperature . Cooling down the cabbage is easy: We simply chill the dressing in the freezer and then refrigerate the finished slaw for a few minutes.
Printable Shopping Lists: Indoor Pulled Chicken and Sweet and Tangy Coleslaw
The Best Dutch OvensA Dutch oven is an essential investment for serious cooks. We find the best options at every price and in every size.
Dinner 2: Italian Vegetable Stew and Creamy Parmesan Polenta
Italian Vegetable Stew is a ratatouille-like dish chock-full of veggies that makes for a hearty meal with nary a trace of meat. To give the stew body, we embrace eggplant’s natural tendency to fall apart and cook it until it melts into a tomato-enriched sauce. To avoid mushy vegetables, we sauté the zucchini and peppers separately in a hot skillet. A final addition of a pestata (garlic and herb paste) provides a flavor punch at the end of cooking. For our Creamy Parmesan Polenta, we use coarse-ground, degerminated cornmeal, which yields a soft but hearty consistency. A pinch of baking soda cuts the cooking time in half and eliminates the need for stirring.
Printable Shopping Lists: Italian Vegetable Stew and Creamy Parmesan Polenta
The Best Mixing BowlsThis most basic piece of cooking equipment might not seem worthy of scrutiny—until you have one that wobbles when you whisk, slips in your hand, or traps food in its crevices.
Dinner 3: Cod Baked in Foil and Braised Red Potatoes
Cod Baked in Foil yields flaky fish and tender but firm vegetables flavored by aromatic juices. We place the packets on the lower-middle rack of the oven close to the heat source in order to cook the fish and vegetables quickly and evenly and also to reduce the exuded liquid into a flavorful sauce. Braised Red Potatoes is a one-pot side dish that features the benefits of both boiling and roasting. We combine small red potatoes, butter, and salted water in a 12-inch skillet and simmer the potatoes until they turn creamy. We then fully evaporate the water and allow the potatoes to brown in the butter.
Printable Shopping Lists: Cod Baked in Foil and Braised Red Potatoes
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Absolutely the best chicken ever, even the breast meat was moist! It's the only way I'll cook a whole chicken again. Simple, easy, quick, no mess - perfect every time. I've used both stainless steel and cast iron pans. great and easy technique for “roasted” chicken. I will say there were no pan juices, just fat in the skillet. Will add to the recipe rotation. Good for family and company dinners too. I've done this using a rimmed sheet pan instead of a skillet and put veggies and potatoes around the chicken for a one-pan meal. Broccoli gets nicely browned and yummy!
Absolutely the best chicken ever, even the breast meat was moist! It's the only way I'll cook a whole chicken again. Simple, easy, quick, no mess - perfect every time. I've used both stainless steel and cast iron pans. great and easy technique for “roasted” chicken. I will say there were no pan juices, just fat in the skillet. Will add to the recipe rotation. Good for family and company dinners too.
Amazed this recipe works out as well as it does. Would not have thought that the amount of time under the broiler would have produced a very juicy and favorable chicken with a very crispy crust. Used my 12" Lodge Cast Iron skillet (which can withstand 1000 degree temps to respond to those who wondered if it would work) and it turned out great. A "make again" as my family rates things. This is a great recipe, and I will definitely make it again. My butcher gladly butterflied the chicken for me, therefore I found it to be a fast and easy prep. I used my cast iron skillet- marvellous!
John, wasn't it just amazing chicken? So much better than your typical oven baked chicken and on par if not better than gas or even charcoal grilled. It gets that smokey charcoal tasted and overnight koshering definitely helps, something I do when time permits. First-time I've pierced a whole chicken minus the times I make jerk chicken on the grill. Yup, the cast iron was not an issue.