The Most Beautiful Chicken Dinner We've Ever Seen and Tasted
Mario Batali knocks it out of the park with this unusual yet delicious dish. (Plus, what to serve with it.)
An Incredible New Dish You'll Make Again and Again
Chicken with lentils and green apples isn't exactly a standard combination, but in his new book America Farm to Table
, chef Mario Batali makes it seem as if the ingredients have been showing up on plates together forever. They not only look fantastic when you get them all in one place, but also offer explosive taste and texture. A bread-crumb coating helps make boneless chicken thighs crispy; you can cook them on a grill or in the oven. They sit atop a scoop of lentils that you've cooked with garlic and shallots, with a handful of diced carrots for a pop of color. Ladled over everything is a sweet-tart dressing made from cubes of Granny Smith apple, red wine vinegar, Dijon mustard and olive oil.
Get the recipe: BBQ Chicken Thighs with Lentils and Green Apple Vinaigrette
Let the Oven Do Double Duty
If you're cooking the chicken in the oven, you'll have it cranked to 450 degrees, which is just right for making the crispiest potatoes ever. The first step in this recipe involves boiling baby new potatoes until they're just tender, which you can do hours ahead of time, if you wish; just bring the spuds to room temperature before smashing them for step two. Then slide them into the oven with oil, salt and pepper, and in 45 minutes you'll have gorgeously golden and crunchy potatoes. You can use almost any herb in this side, but sage nicely complements the apples in the chicken dish.
Get the recipe: Smashed Potatoes with Garlic and Herbs
Hit the Fruity Note Once More
A salad cloaked in a citrus-spice dressing is a lovely way to round out this hearty meal. Using baby arugula is especially nice, since you don't have to take the extra step to tear the leaves into bite-sized pieces, and a few shavings of Gruyère add just enough sharpness to the slightly sweet vinaigrette. Thin slices of hot pink radish are a peppery compliment to the greens.
Get the recipe: Arugula and Radish Salad
Remember That You Can't Go Wrong with Chocolate
After this meal's sweet and tart apple and citrus flavors, rich, dark chocolate can be a welcome switch. These easy-to-make candies fit the bill perfectly. You drop spoonfuls of a caramel-nut mixture onto a baking sheet and refrigerate them; then you dip each one into melted dark chocolate. A sprinkling of sea salt before the topping hardens would be a great addition.
Get the recipe: Chocolate Caramel Macadamia Clusters