Wednesday, May 12, 2021

Life & Style

When All Else Fails, Cook

During the holidays, I found myself in the middle of one of the most boring weeks ever.

There were few UConn basketball games because it was the holidays. My New England Patriots were not even in the hunt for a playoff. I was reading a lot, but many of my books seems like the ones I read before, even though they are actually not. I watched Harlan Coben’s The Stranger on television, along with Longmire. Then I watched Your Honor. Talk about dark. Don’t we have enough of that already?

So I cooked a lot.

I made three banana breads with hazelnuts, milk chocolate chips, and candied ginger. I won’t use hazelnuts again.

Then I seasoned a chicken and put it into a 350 degree oven.

Then I settled in to read another novel. Then, the cat ran down the stairs (she usually spends most of her time on her heating pad). I realized the house was filled with smoke. I had hit broil instead of bake. I, threw two windows open, added the oven fan and figured that chicken was history. But half an hour later, the chicken smelled good but the meat was raw, so I turned the oven to 350, covered it with foil and cooked it for another hour or so. Now I understand why cookbook author Barbara Kafka had a thing for baking at very high heat in the beginning. But, she didn’t suggest broiling it.

The next day I roasted bacon—1 ½ pounds of regular bacon from Costco, then, separately, bacon my friend Rich Swanson cured with orange and dried five-spice. I now have, in separate plastic bags, enough bacon for two weeks of BLTs. Sheet pans are my kitchen workhorses and, although it may not be the season for farmers’ markets, even supermarket cherry tomatoes and frozen corn are delicious with this recipe.

Lee White of Old Lyme has been a food editor and restaurant reviewer for more than 25 years. You can email her at


Farmers’ Market Chicken

From Hero Dinners by Marge Perry and David Bonomi (William Morrow, New York, 2019)



4 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided

2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro

2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley

1 teaspoon lime zest

1 teaspoon salt, divided

½ teaspoon ground black pepper, divided

2 garlic cloves, grated or minced

2 ½ pounds bone-in, skin-in chicken thighs (4 to 6 thighs)

2 pints cherry tomatoes, assorted colors if you can

get them

1 small onion, cut into ½-inch pieces (about ½ cup)

1 ½ cups fresh or frozen corn kernels

1 cup quick-cooking brown rice

1 cup unsalted chicken broth



Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Coat a sheet pan with cooking spray.

Combine 2 tablespoons oil, cilantro, parsley, lime zest, ½ teaspoon of salt, ¼ teaspoons pepper, and the garlic in a small bowl. Stir, then add chicken and toss well.

Combine remaining oil, tomatoes, onion, and corn in a bowl. Toss with ¼ teaspoon salt and remaining ¼ teaspoon pepper.

Spread rice on the sheet pan. Combine broth, 1 cup water, and remaining salt and pour over rice. Spoon tomato/corn mixture over the rice. Roast for 15 minutes.

Remove sheet pan from the oven and top with the chicken thighs. Roast until an instant-read thermometer into the center of the largest piece registers 170 degrees, the rice is cooked through, and the tomatoes are tender, 30 to 32 minutes.


Lee White is the Columnist for Zip06. Email Lee at .

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