Weeknight Cooking

Dinner This Week: Roasted Chicken Breasts

This week’s menus include Roasted Bone-In Chicken Breasts, Beef Stir-Fry with Bell Peppers and Black Pepper, and Penne Arrabbiata for dinner in about an hour.

Published Oct. 4, 2019.

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.

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Dinner 1: Roasted Chicken Breasts and Green Bean Salad

Game Plan: Prep the chicken and place it in the oven. While the chicken roasts, prep and cook the green bean salad (through step 2), but wait to toss the ingredients together until right before serving (step 3).

Roasted Bone-In Chicken Breasts start with an application of salt under the skin to season the meat and help it retain moisture. Gently roasting the chicken at 325 degrees minimizes moisture loss and results in even cooking. A final sear in a hot skillet is all that is required for crackly, burnished skin. To ensure that the beans in Green Bean Salad with Shallot, Mustard, and Tarragon are tender, bright green, and deeply flavored, we boil them in highly concentrated salt water (¼ cup of salt to 2 quarts of water). This quickly softens the pectin in the beans' skins, so they become tender before losing their vibrant color; it also seasons them inside and out.

Printable Shopping Lists: Roasted Chicken Breasts and Green Bean Salad

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Dinner 2: Beef Stir-Fry with Bell Peppers and Stir-Fried Bok Choy

Game Plan: Prep and marinate the beef (steps 1 and 2), then prep the black pepper sauce (step 3). While the beef sits, prep all of the ingredients for the bok choy. Stir-fry the beef (steps 4 and 5). Wipe out the skillet and stir-fry the bok choy. Once the bok choy is cooked, transfer it to a serving platter, wipe out the skillet, and finish the beef (steps 6 and 7).

Beef Stir-Fry with Bell Peppers and Black Pepper Sauce starts with flank steak, which delivers rich, beefy flavor. Soaking the steak slices briefly in a mild baking soda solution and then in a soy-based marinade yields supertender, flavorful results. For crisp-tender Stir-Fried Bok Choy with Soy Sauce and Ginger, we separate the leaves and stalks and cook them separately. Small amounts of soy sauce and fresh ginger accent the bok choy’s fresh, vegetal flavor without overwhelming it. 

Printable Shopping Lists: Beef Stir-Fry with Bell Peppers and Bok Choy

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Dinner 3: Penne Arrabbiata and Bibb and Frisée Salad

Game Plan: Prepare the pasta sauce through step 3. While the sauce simmers, prep the salad ingredients and bring the pasta water to a boil. Toss the salad right before serving.

For Penne Arrabbiata with complex flavor—not just searing heat—we look beyond the tradition of using only red pepper flakes and include three different types of pepper. By supplementing the pepper flakes with paprika and pickled pepperoncini, we build depth while keeping the spiciness in check. Our Bibb and Frisée Salad uses a combination of frilly, crunchy frisée and soft, buttery bibb lettuce. Thinly slicing the celery and apple allows them to combine cohesively with the salad greens. Toasted walnuts add crunch and nuttiness. 

Printable Shopping Lists: Penne Arrabbiata and Bibb and Frisée Salad

View more weeknight dinner ideas below, or check out all of the Dinner This Week menus.


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