* written by Samantha Weiss Hills at Food52
This summer, we’re partnering with Jet.com to share recipes that will help you hone nearly every skill in the book. (Jet will have you covered with all the fresh and pantry goods you’ll need. Seriously, they have everything. Use the code Food52 at checkout for 20% off your first 2 orders of $35 or more. Maximum discount $30*.) In the coming months, expect tips for serving a crowd, block party staples, and more. Today: Great grilling recipes, all in one place.
My brother-in-law and I are the same kind of cooks—it’s been described that we will grab every clean mixing bowl or pot in a kitchen and dirty it somehow, in one dinner alone. He says it’s the result of working in restaurant kitchens for so long, but I don’t really have much of an excuse to work like the Swedish Chef from the Muppets on a weeknight. (It’s not a great habit.) My husband, however, is the complete opposite; he will thoughtfully pull out exactly what he needs and clean one bowl and mixing utensil as he goes along so there’s very little, if anything, to clean up at the end of the night.
I’m trying to channel this kind of cooking zen lately—and if you’re a parent, you probably are, too, now that it’s back-to-school season. More often than not, I seek recipes that will pass as one-pot instead of few-pots. Here are some of my favorite one-pot wonders, from chicken dinner and stir-fries to sweets, for when you want to bypass the whole “sink filled with pans” thing.
These are for when the after-school crowd hits your house, or when a Friday night party calls for more effort than cheese and crackers.
Serves 2 to 4
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 1/2pounds boneless chicken thighs
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika
1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1 cup orzo
3 garlic cloves, minced
8 ounces grape tomatoes, halved
1 1/2 cups low-sodium chicken broth
1 tablespoon capers
2 tablespoons Kalamata olives, halved
1/4 to 1/2 cups crumbled feta
Fresh basil, chopped
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
Drizzle of finishing olive oil
- First, toast the orzo. It’s a bit of a pain, but it really improves the flavor. Heat a large skillet or a Dutch oven if you’re so inclined (I find a reason to use my Staub cocotte for everything) over medium-high heat. Toast the orzo until it is lightly browned, but before it gets too fragrant. Spoon the orzo into a bowl and set aside.
- Next up is the chicken. Pat the thighs dry and season with oregano, paprika, salt, and pepper. Heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil in the skillet or Dutch oven on medium-high heat until it is nice and hot and beginning to smoke. Brown the chicken for roughly three minutes on each side, then remove it and set it aside. Turn the heat down a notch and add in the other tablespoon of oil and the minced garlic. Cook for 30 seconds, until fragrant, but be careful not to burn it. Then pour in the broth and throw in the tomatoes and orzo. Give the mixture a good stir and bring it to a boil.
- Finally, add the chicken back in, cover the skillet/Dutch oven, and let it sit on medium-low heat until the orzo is tender and the chicken is cooked through. This will take 15 minutes or so. Be sure to check on the dish from time to time as you don’t want the orzo to become mushy and overcooked.
- When ready, turn off the heat and add in the red pepper flakes, capers, Kalamata olives, feta, and basil. Top it all off with a drizzle of nice finishing oil, give it another good stir or two and you’re ready to serve!
A pot or a pan full of greens and other good things means there’s no need to think too hard about what else is on the dinner table.
2 cups salted water
1 cup quinoa
1 bunch lacinato kale, washed and chopped into 1″ lengths
1 meyer lemon, zested and juiced
2 scallions, minced
1 tablespoon toasted walnut oil
3 tablespoons toasted pine nuts
1/4 cup crumbled goat cheese
Salt and pepper
- Bring the water to a boil in a covered pot. Add the quinoa, cover, and lower the heat until it is just enough to maintain a simmer. Let simmer for 10 minutes, then top with the kale and re-cover. Simmer another 5 minutes, then turn off the heat and allow to steam for 5 more minutes.
- While the quinoa is cooking, take a large serving bowl and combine half of the lemon juice (reserving the other half), all of the lemon zest, scallions, walnut oil (you can substitute olive oil if you desire), pine nuts, and goat cheese.
- Check the quinoa and kale when the cooking time has completed — the water should have absorbed, and the quinoa will be tender but firm, and the kale tender and bright green. If the quinoa still has a hard white center, you can steam a bit longer (adding more water if needed). When the quinoa and kale are done, fluff the pilaf, and tip it into the waiting bowl with the remaining ingredients. As the hot quinoa hits the scallions and lemon it should smell lovely. Toss to combine, seasoning with salt and pepper, and the remaining lemon juice if needed.
Here chicken, chicken (dinner)
The granddaddy of one-pot meals: the chicken dinner. It never fails us. It won’t fail you, no matter what season it is.
Serves 6 to 8
4 Italian sausages, sweet or hot, about 1 pound in weight
2 tablespoons olive oil
1/2 cup flour
Salt and pepper
3 pounds chicken thighs, bone in and skin on (about 8 large thighs)
1 large shallot, peeled and thinly sliced
3 cloves garlic, peeled and smashed
Pinch red pepper flakes
1 cup dry white wine
1 large sprig rosemary
1 cup chicken stock
112-ounce jar marinated artichoke hearts, drained