Thursday, March 14, 2013

Indian-Spiced Chicken with Chickpeas and Spinach adapted from Bon Appetit

         While we're all anxiously awaiting Spring, Winter weather is still in our forecast.  Cold temperatures and Indian-inflected dishes seem made for each other.  This dish, which appeared in last month’s Bon Appetit, really drives that point home.  It’s a rich stew full of the aromas of the sub-continent but without most of the heat that gives Indian food its reputation for spice.  It’s all in one pot and if you serve it with Naan, that’s all you’ll need.  But Basmati Rice would make a great accompaniment too.   I’ve been a fan of Indian cooking ever since I was kid and working in London for a summer.  Believe it or not, the British national dish is said to be Chicken Tikka Masala, a colonial era import from, where else, India. One thing that seems universal in how Indians prepare chicken is that they inevitably skin the bird.  Since I find this a very tedious thing to do, I was pleased to see that our local Whole Foods sells skinned chicken parts.  Not just any chicken parts either but air-chilled chicken parts! (To see why that is important you only need read  But as to why Indians always skin their chickens, I went to an expert.

Monday, March 11, 2013

Where to find the best Egg Sandwich in New York City

The man himself, Jim Lahey
         Strip malls are not in the New York Architectural vocabulary, thank God. But there’s something that comes awfully close on Ninth Avenue between 24th and 25th Streets.  A long low building sits on the east side of the Avenue.  It’s become a foodie destination because in one single block a former sculptor named Jim Lahey has put  together a little fiefdom.  It consists of CO., at 230 Ninth, his fantastically good Pizza place where thin crust meets some of the most inventive toppings in New York.  Think Leeks and Sausage, and Shiitake. CO. is short for Company.  But who knew that the root of the word company means “with bread” or con pane.  CO. has a communal dining room feel.  You can be seated at long tables with many other customers of if you’re feeling less companionable, there’s a wall of tables that seat parties of two or four.  You can read his treatise on Pizza in his book: “My Pizza” (Clarkson Potter 2012).  But you won’t find the best Egg Sandwich in New York there.  For that, you need to go next door.