Dinner’s Ready: Simple, Delicious, Flavorful!

Soy-rosemary chicken. Photos by Keri White

You may recall my New Year’s resolution to try different foods and combinations. This dinner, the chicken in particular, complies with that aim.

I saw a version of the dish while scrolling Instagram, and the combination struck me as strange but intriguing, so I gave it a whirl. I did an all-day marinade, but if you are pressed for time, you can slice the chicken thinly and give it a 30-minute soak before cooking.

The salad optimizes the root vegetables that are still available in some farmers markets and local purveyors. I am realistic enough to face the fact that Philadelphia doesn’t reap a bountiful harvest in February, but some growers offer stored root vegetables or operate greenhouses for year-round produce.

And the dessert was a revelation. I often struggle to find delicious pareve desserts to chase meat meals, but the coconut milk in this rice pudding did the trick.

Soy-Rosemary Chicken
Serves 4

I used boneless breasts for this, but thighs are fine. And you can use a bone-in version if that is your preference; just be sure to cook it longer, on low heat, to ensure that it is done.

I used fresh rosemary because I had some in the crisper drawer, but dried rosemary would be fine; just reduce the amount to 2 teaspoons.

1½ pounds boneless chicken breasts, each cut in half
¼ cup soy sauce
3 cloves garlic, crushed
1 tablespoon honey
1 tablespoon fresh rosemary, chopped
1 tablespoon rice wine vinegar
2 tablespoons canola or vegetable oil, plus more for sautéing
½ cup chicken broth, vegetable broth or water
2 tablespoons Wondra flour (If you do not have Wondra, you can substitute 1 tablespoon of cornstarch or 2 tablespoons of all-purpose flour mixed with 2 tablespoons of water.)

In a bowl, mix the soy sauce, garlic, honey, rosemary, oil and vinegar. Add the chicken and mix to coat it. Refrigerate it and let it marinate for several hours (up to 24).

In a large skillet with a cover, heat the oil, and sear the chicken breasts on both sides. Do not discard the marinade.

Lower the heat, cover the skillet and cook the chicken for about 30 minutes until done.
In a small saucepan, pour the marinade with the broth or water, and bring it to a boil. Add the Wondra flour and whisk it until smooth and thickened.

When the chicken is done, remove it to a serving dish and pour the sauce over it. Garnish it with a rosemary sprig, if desired.

Winter Salad with Pickled Onions
Serves 4

Pickled onions do double duty here as a salad ingredient plus a base for the dressing. You can make them a few minutes before dinner or a few days in advance. They last in the refrigerator for several days and add a tasty zip to pretty much any savory dish.

For the pickled onions:
1 yellow onion, coarsely chopped
½ teaspoon salt
3 tablespoons white vinegar
Water to cover

For the salad:
6 cups baby greens
1 carrot
1 raw beet
Pinch salt
Generous sprinkles of garlic powder and fresh cracked pepper
1-2 tablespoons olive oil
1-2 teaspoons onion vinegar brine

Make the onions: Place the onions in a small, sealable container, and sprinkle them with salt. Cover and shake. Add the vinegar, then add enough water to just cover it. Cover and shake it again. Set it aside for a few minutes, a few hours or a few days (if hours or days, store in the fridge).

Make the salad: Place the lettuce in a salad bowl. Grate the carrot over the lettuce. Peel the beet, and grate or slice it with a vegetable peeler. Sprinkle the salad with salt, pepper and garlic powder. Add the vinegar and oil. Start with 1 teaspoon of vinegar brine and 1 tablespoon of oil; toss.

If the salad seems dry, add the remaining vinegar and oil.

Rice pudding

Pareve Rice Pudding
Serves 2 generously or 4 sparingly

If you wish to make this vegan, you can skip the egg, which will make a slightly lighter pudding. If you seek a vegan dish but still want the richness, add a generous spoonful of virgin coconut oil in place of the egg.

1½ cups cooked rice (I used basmati, but any type will work.)
1 15-ounce can full-fat coconut milk
2 tablespoons water
⅔ cup sugar
1 egg
1 teaspoon vanilla

In a medium saucepan, mix the coconut milk and rice. Using the water, rinse the coconut milk can and pour the residue into the pan. Add the water and stir.

Cook over low at a simmer for about 15 minutes until thick and creamy. Beat the egg with a fork in a small cup, and pour into the pudding. Mix well.


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