Good morning. Remember when you weren’t that good at this business of preparing food for yourself, your family, your friends?
It might have been when you were just a kid and didn’t know much more than how to heat a bagel in the toaster oven or to prepare an extra-dark glass of Ovaltine. It might have been when you got out of college and realized there wasn’t anyone around to cook for you and your job sure wasn’t paying you enough to eat takeout burritos and Chinese food every night. It might have been when you got married, or had a child, when you ended a relationship or lost a spouse. It might have been at the start of the pandemic lockdowns. It might have been three months ago.
Whatever brought you into the kitchen, though, you are there now, with us, confident, or getting there. It’s a treat to bring you recipes.
Today, for instance, behold Christian Reynoso’s new recipe for buttery skillet chicken and brioche (above), a one-pan comfort of a meal. It’s excellent — salt-and-peppered chicken thighs roasted on top of thick slices of pillowy bread, toasted and golden in some spots, soft and anointed by chicken fat in others. A simple, savory pan sauce ties it all together: butter, miso and shallots brightened with lemon juice. Top with chopped dill, and serve with some roasted green beans.
As for the rest of the week …
Ali Slagle’s recipe for herb-marinated seared tofu is one of those meals you can make your own from the very first time you prepare it. It’s great over rice or noodles, and just as great spooned onto a bed of yogurt. Add capers if you like, or anchovies. Slice some celery in there for crunch, or add a scattering of nuts. Follow your instincts!
Kenji López-Alt adapted his recipe for San Francisco-style Vietnamese American garlic noodles from a dish that’s been served at Thanh Long in San Francisco for the past five decades. I might flake some canned crab meat in there at the end, but they’re great on their own.
A warm salad can be just the thing for a December weeknight, as Ashley Christensen’s broccoli salad with Cheddar and warm bacon vinaigrette proves plain. Many readers substitute dried cranberries for the grapes called for in the recipe. This time of year, I think that’s super smart.
And then you can head into the weekend with Ham El-Waylly’s recipe for chicken Stroganoff, a Brazilian take on the Russian American classic traditionally made with beef and sour cream. Here, the chicken’s napped in a tomato-based sauce thickened with heavy cream, and topped with crunchy dried potato sticks. Excellent!
Thousands and thousands more recipes are waiting for you on New York Times Cooking. To reiterate a point I make often in this space, you need a subscription to read them. Subscriptions support our work and allow it to continue. Please, if you haven’t taken one out yet, would you please consider doing so today? There’s even a sale on — 50 percent off your first year. Thank you.
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Now, it’s about as far as you can get from anything to do with pot roasts and petit fours, but Jack Sheehan, in The Washington Post, makes the case for why it’s a good time to read Claire Keegan, one of Ireland’s best writers.
Also, New York Magazine’s “37 Reasons to Love New York Right Now”? Click.
The word of the year, according to the Oxford University Press, publisher of, and devoted marketing force for, the Oxford English Dictionary: rizz. The word beat out “Swiftie,” a rare loss for Tay.
Finally, it is the musician J Mascis’s birthday. He’s 58. Here he is last December with Gov’t Mule, “Just Like Heaven.” Listen to that while you’re skilleting chicken, and I’ll be back next week.