Gloriously Crispy Chicken for Tonight

Gloriously Crispy Chicken for Tonight

The great epicure and writer Joseph Wechsberg once wrote that the hallmark of a good schnitzel was the absence of a grease stain on your pants if you sat on it. Why anyone would sit on a schnitzel is a mystery to me, but the principle stands, that the ideal thin fried cutlet must be perfectly crisp without being at all greasy.

I wouldn’t sit on Christian Reynoso’s schnitzel-like chile crisp chicken cutlets either, but I’m sure they’d pass the Wechsberg test if I did. Christian puts a clever spin on the recipe. After marinating the chicken in chile crisp, soy sauce and vinegar, that same mixture is added to the eggs, giving the cutlets a fiery boost of flavor. With their crackling golden crust and tender interiors, these cutlets are well worth heating up a pot of oil for.


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Here’s a meatless way to showcase your chile crisp: Ali Slagle’s one-pot tofu and broccoli rice. In it, she stirs together chile crisp, peanut butter and a dash of soy sauce as a coating for the tofu, which is layered on a pot of fluffy, gingery rice and bright-green broccoli florets. It’s an easy weeknight meal that’s on the lighter side and still very satisfying.

If you follow Ali’s work, you know she’s a big fan of chile pastes and sauces of all kinds. She makes her roasted pork tenderloin positively sing with spicy-sweet goodness by glazing it with a simple mix of harissa paste and honey, a minimalist pairing that harmonizes beautifully with the brawny, juicy meat. Serve slices of the seared pork with a tangy citrus salad for a cool and mellow contrast.

To give his easy, new sheet-pan quesadillas their chile kick, Eric Kim goes for powder instead of paste, but then offers plenty of options. Chipotle chile powder, gochugaru, Aleppo pepper or smoked paprika all work, and any of them will add zip to the molten cheese filling that’s dotted with succulent corn kernels.

If you’re chile-shy, there’s no need for it at all in Kay Chun’s speedy shrimp piccata spaghetti, which gets all the vim and vigor it needs from the classic combination of garlic and briny capers sharpened with lemon juice. There’s butter in the pan, too, which gives the velvety sauce enough body to coat the pasta.

Then, for dessert, everyone knows that most muffins are really cupcakes in disguise, but Yossy Arefi’s inspired twist gives muffins a doughnut makeover. Her pillowy chocolate doughnut muffins are made with sour cream, lending these cinnamon-sugar dusted treats irresistible staying power. They’ll keep nice and moist for days if you store them in an airtight container at room temperature.

And, as always, you’ll want to subscribe to access all these smart recipes and so many more (in the tens of thousands range). If you need any technical help, the brilliant people at are there for you. And I’m at, if you want to say hi.

That’s all for now, see you on Wednesday.

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