Are your weeknight chicken dinners on the last train to Yawnsville? Food Editor Rhoda Boone shows you how to make them a whole lot more interesting.
Sometimes, all it takes are a couple new seasonings to transform a home-cooking mainstay like roast chicken and vegetables into something addictively different. Case in point: Miso. This traditional Japanese staple is produced by fermenting soybeans and/or grains, and though it may not sound sexy, it’s a powerful umami booster. I love using miso to thicken pan sauces, to glaze meat or fish, and to flavor salad dressings and dips.
For this recipe, I decided to combine miso with oil, rice-wine vinegar, soy sauce, and honey to dress root vegetables before roasting. As the vegetables cook and caramelize, the dressing transforms to a lightly sweet and richly flavored glaze. Add often-neglected but always delicious beet and turnip greens and coriander-rubbed chicken thighs and you’ve got a tasty meal that feels familiar and fresh at the same time.
A few insights we scored along the way:
In this dish, we toss the chicken thighs in oil and rub them with salt, pepper, and ground coriander. The coriander imparts a sweet, floral, slightly lemony flavor to the chicken. You could easily try the same method with another spice, such as ground cumin or even ground fennel seed.
Don’t toss those beet and turnip tops; eat them! Many root vegetables have edible greens with flavors that somewhat mimic the vegetables they sprout from. Beet greens have hardy leaves that are slightly sweet. Turnip greens have more delicate leaves with a mild vegetal flavor.
With its varied earthy tones and viscous texture, miso may not be the best looking condiment, but it still deserves a permanent spot in your kitchen arsenal. It is probiotic and protein-packed, full of antioxidants, a little funky, and most importantly, delicious! Here, it adds layers of richness to roasted vegetables.
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