Curried Coconut Chicken & Peanut Butter Noodles

Listen, it's not like I never do adventurous things. I mean, you know: I ride roller coasters. I cut 11 inches off my hair. I launch out into self-employment. And hello, there was that mountain in Maine I won't let anyone forget about. Remember?! But when it comes to my kitchen and new types of cuisine, even I will admit that I stick pretty close to the basics: American, Italian, sometimes Greek, but pretty rarely anything outside that. And if it weren't for my friend Stacey, who came over Tuesday night to, at her suggestion, try making Thai food, that would all be exactly the same. Our plan of attack was simple: pick two recipes, adapt the ingredients to be fully natural, follow the instructions and cook. … [Read more...]

(My Kind of) Curried Chicken Salad

Chicken salad is the #1 thing I don't order at restaurants. And I think this makes perfect sense. I mean, first of all, who wants chicken salad when you can get a tomato mozzarella panini or a sandwich with basil pesto or heck, a juicy burger made from locally sourced meat? But second, and even more importantly, chicken salad is what you call a risky food. Trust me: bad chicken salad is bad. Like, rip-your-mouth-out bad. B-A-D bad. Three years ago, the last time I ordered it in a restaurant that I remember, I was up the whole night afterward, sick. Violently sick. And the next day, when I called the manager of said dining establishment to let him know, he didn't believe me. … [Read more...]

Step One: Roast a Chicken

Step One: Roast a chicken. Use the easiest method known to man---simply drying, trussing, salting, then cooking for an hour, no big deal, barely a blip in your day. Get so excited about this process that you have your picture taken with the bird. (Tell yourself that's not weird at all.) Step Two: Share the chicken with a friend for dinner, and share the recipe with everyone you know on your blog. Talk about it, Tweet about it, brag about it over and over again. (Tell yourself that's not weird at all either.) Step Three: Because of the serendipity of timing and Twitter and blog connections, have your friend Jacqui over to do the whole thing over again. Times three. Find her at the front door carrying a bag full of snacks and groceries, ready to cook, and thank your lucky stars you know her. (And that she's someone who gets the excitement of roasting a chicken completely.) … [Read more...]

last monday night (Greek chicken and pitas)

Can I just say I think it's the best thing ever that I live close enough to my brother that, on a random Monday night before he leaves for a business trip, I can head over to his apartment after work and he can grab some groceries and we can cook together and then eat on his vintage chairs while we watch the latest episode of Friday Night Lights that he saved on his Direct TV for me? I mean, really, beyond the unusual privilege of being so geographically close to all my family that I can see them---any one of them---any time I want to, how awesome is it that when I text my brother and say, How 'bout I come over tonight?, he responds by saying he'll buy chicken. That, even more than his ability to laugh at the right part of stories, calm me down in near-death situations like that crazy car accident on the way to Nashville or willingly let me photograph him while he works in the kitchen, shows how well he gets me and, that we're family. The chicken we made last Monday is … [Read more...]

it all started with a bottle of wine (boozy chicken)

After New Year's Day's lunch, I had more than half a bottle of that cheap $5 kind of white wine leftover, along with a bunch of boneless, skinless chicken tenders yet to be cooked, and I figured I'd kill two birds with one stone. That was all this was supposed to be, a recipe to use things up, to get rid of what was expiring, but, like some of my favorite friendships or best memories, little did I know what it would become. Here is how it started: Pulling out my Dutch oven, I laid eight seasoned chicken tenders inside, covering them with a very basic sauce of white wine and vegetable oil; checked them after 45 minutes to stir things around; and, in just over an hour of total baking time, pulled the pan out, the intense and satisfying smell of what I would eventually dub boozy chicken radiating through the kitchen, rich and warm and, pun intended, intoxicating. I'm not a drinker so, as a rule, the scent of alcohol isn't likely to weaken knees, but people, this was something … [Read more...]

because it’s not about that (chicken with tomatoes and simple salad)

I wish I were better at having people over. Did you know etiquette suggests things like this: "Set the dining table the night before and cover it with a bedsheet [because] it is too nerve-wracking to do this an hour or so before your guests arrive”? I'd like to respectfully suggest that it's too nerve-wracking to be that well-prepared. I am much more likely to be the person running to the grocery the morning of, picking up a bottle of white wine for the chicken recipe and some Parmesan (scratch that, I grabbed Pecorino) for the salad, laying out a tablecloth and slicing up the bread while also stirring the couscous and snacking on dark chocolate, and then, just when I'm standing over the stove, ready to put the raw chicken in the pan, the doorbell rings. It's a funny thing, being reunited with someone who used to know you, after years of living separate lives, and Friday, the first day of 2010, my old roommate Kim was at my door, which I answered with my apron still on, out of … [Read more...]

Hey, Take a Seat! It’s the Food Loves Writing FAQ!

You asked to see my kitchen; I'm giving you a peek. You asked for photo tips; I'm (reluctantly, awkwardly, remembering-there-are-many-much-much-better-authorities-on-this) offering a few. And you wondered how I eat so much without becoming enormous; OK, I'll take that question on. I'll even throw in a few recently tested, recently loved recipes at the end. So what do you say? Got a few minutes for a fun FAQ in the midst of the holiday season? Let's do this. … [Read more...]