Braised chicken thighs and other weeknight possibilities

Please take care of yourself and others. If that includes cooking, then I hope that these five weeknight recipes, which are nourishing and relatively easy to make, will help you through.

1. Braised Chicken Thighs With Greens and Olives

Chicken breasts can overcook in a flash. Chicken thighs are more forgiving, making them great for distracted cooks; the braising technique in this recipe by Colu Henry is better still. Dinner will be a little brothy, like a stew, and very good with a hunk of bread.

Yield: 4 servings

Total time: 40 minutes

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 pounds bone-in, skin-on chicken thighs
  • Kosher salt and black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons grapeseed or canola oil
  • 1/2 red onion or 2 to 3 medium shallots, thinly sliced (about 1 cup)
  • 2 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
  • Pinch of red-pepper flakes (optional)
  • 1 to 2 bunches sturdy greens, such as dandelion, escarole, Swiss chard or kale, roughly chopped (about 8 cups)
  • 1 1/2 cups chicken stock, plus more as needed
  • 1/3 cup green olives, pitted and roughly chopped
  • 2 tablespoons raisins
  • 2 tablespoons finely chopped Italian parsley (optional)
  • Flaky salt, for serving (optional)

Directions

1. Season chicken thighs well with salt and pepper. In a large heavy-bottomed skillet, heat oil over medium-high heat. Add the chicken thighs, skin-side down, and cook undisturbed until nicely browned, about 5 to 6 minutes. Flip and brown the other side, about 4 to 5 minutes more. Transfer to a plate and set aside.

2. Pour off all but 2 tablespoons of fat from the pan and return to medium-low heat. Add red onion and cook until it begins to soften, about 1 to 2 minutes. Add garlic and red-pepper flakes, if using, and cook for 30 seconds more.

3. Add chopped greens to the pan and stir, tossing to coat in the residual chicken fat. It may seem like a lot of greens, but they will cook down. Add the chicken thighs and any juices that have accumulated back to the pan and lay them on top of the greens. Pour in enough of the chicken stock to come up to the chicken about halfway. Bring the chicken to a gentle simmer. Partly cover and allow the chicken to finish cooking through, about 20 minutes more.

4. Stir in olives and raisins and cook uncovered until they are warmed through, and the raisins are nicely plumped, about 1 minute more. Garnish with parsley, if using, and serve. Season with flaky salt, if desired.

2. Toasted Coconut Rice With Bok Choy and Fried Eggs

Eggs and rice are a staple combination. This recipe by Genevieve Ko, the cooking editor for the Los Angeles Times, calls for toasting the rice and drizzling the vegetables with coconut oil, which enriches the dish and adds great flavor.

Yield: 4 servings

Total time: 30 minutes

Ingredients

  • 4 large eggs
  • 3 tablespoons coconut oil
  • 2 cups jasmine or other medium-grain rice (12 ounces), rinsed and drained
  • Kosher salt
  • 8 ounces bok choy
  • 6 ounces green beans
  • Toasted sesame seeds, soy sauce and Sriracha, for serving

Directions

1. Take your eggs out of the fridge so they won’t be ice-cold when you fry them.

2. Melt 1 tablespoon of the oil in a large Dutch oven or other heavy pot over medium-high heat. Add the rice, sprinkle with salt, and cook, stirring frequently, until the grains start to look translucent and smell toasty, about 3 minutes. Add 3 cups water and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to low, cover, and steam for 10 minutes.

3. Meanwhile, trim the bok choy and green beans. If the bok choy are large, halve them lengthwise, then cut into 3-inch pieces crosswise. Scatter the green beans over the rice (the water will be mostly absorbed) and sprinkle with salt. Spread the bok choy on top of the beans and season with salt. Drizzle or dollop 1 tablespoon oil over the greens. Cover and steam until the greens and rice are tender, about 10 minutes.

4. When the rice is almost done, heat the remaining tablespoon oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat until very hot. Crack the eggs into the pan and fry until the whites are set and the yolks runny, 3 to 4 minutes.

5. Divide the rice and vegetables among 4 dishes. Slide an egg onto each. Sprinkle with sesame seeds and season to taste with soy sauce and Sriracha.

Tips: It’s fastest and easiest to rinse grains in a sieve. Simply run cold water over them while gently shaking the sieve, then gently shake dry. It’s important to rinse grains to clean them and, in the case of quinoa, to remove saponins, which can leave a bitter or soapy aftertaste.

3. Roasted Squash With Turmeric-Ginger Chickpeas

You could swap in other roasted vegetables for the squash in this recipe by Yewande Komolafe. Broccoli, cauliflower and sweet potatoes would all work. Or just increase the chickpeas and greens per serving: That makes the meal lighter but no less delicious.

Yield: 4 servings

Total time: 45 minutes

Ingredients

  • 2 pounds squash, such as butternut, honeynut, acorn or kabocha, seeds removed, cut into 1 1/2-inch pieces
  • 10 sprigs fresh thyme
  • 1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons grapeseed or other neutral oil
  • Kosher salt and black pepper
  • 1 small red onion, thinly sliced (about 1/2 cup)
  • 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 4 garlic cloves, sliced
  • 2 teaspoons ground turmeric
  • 1 (1-inch) piece ginger, peeled and grated
  • 1 (14-ounce) can chickpeas, drained
  • 1 cup mixed torn fresh herbs, such as mint, cilantro, parsley and/or dill
  • 4 cups spicy salad greens, such as arugula or mizuna
  • 1/2 cup whole-milk yogurt
  • 1/4 cup pomegranate seeds (optional)

Directions

1. Heat the oven to 400 degrees. On a large rimmed baking sheet, toss the squash and thyme with 2 tablespoons oil; season with salt and pepper. Spread in an even layer. Roast until the squash is tender and just beginning to turn golden brown, 35 to 40 minutes.

2. As squash roasts, toss the onion, vinegar, garlic, turmeric and ginger in a large bowl; let marinate at least 10 minutes. Add the chickpeas and the remaining 1/4 cup oil and stir to coat. Toss in half the herbs and season with salt and pepper.

3. Divide the salad greens among 4 bowls and top with the roasted squash. Serve with a generous amount of the marinated chickpeas and a dollop of yogurt. Garnish with the pomegranate seeds, if using, and the remaining torn herbs.

Tips: The marinated chickpeas and roast squash can be made up to 2 days ahead. Add the fresh herbs just before serving.

4. Sheet-Pan Roasted Fish With Sweet Peppers

This recipe from Melissa Clark is simple: Put peppers on a sheet pan and let them collapse and sweeten in the oven’s heat, then add the fish to the pan shortly before the peppers are done cooking. It’d also work well with sausages (which would need at least 10 minutes to cook), or with bone-in chicken thighs (which should go in at the same time as the peppers).

Yield: 3 to 4 servings

Total time: 40 minutes

Ingredients

  • 1 small bunch lemon thyme or regular thyme
  • 1 1/2 pounds hake fillets
  • Fine sea salt and black pepper
  • 3 large bell peppers, preferably 1 red, 1 orange and 1 yellow, thinly sliced
  • 4 1/2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for drizzling
  • 1/4 cup pitted, sliced black or green olives, or a combination
  • 1 teaspoon sherry vinegar, plus more to taste
  • 1 garlic clove, grated
  • 1 cup loosely packed Italian parsley leaves, chopped

Directions

1. Heat oven to 400 degrees. Pull 1 tablespoon thyme leaves off the bunch and finely chop.

2. Season fish all over with a large pinch or two of salt and pepper and rub with chopped thyme leaves. Let rest at room temperature while you prepare peppers.

3. Spread peppers on a rimmed sheet pan and toss with 1 1/2 tablespoons oil, 1/2 teaspoon salt and the black pepper to taste. Top peppers with the remaining thyme sprigs. Roast, tossing occasionally, until peppers are softened and golden at the edges, 15 to 20 minutes.

4. Increase oven temperature to 500 degrees. Push peppers to the edges of the pan, clearing a space in the center. Lay fish out on that empty space and drizzle with oil. Scatter olives over the top of fish and peppers. Roast until fish turns opaque and is just cooked through, 6 to 10 minutes.

5. Meanwhile, make a vinaigrette by combining vinegar, garlic and a pinch of salt in a bowl. Whisk in remaining 3 tablespoons olive oil, then whisk in parsley. Taste and add more salt or vinegar, or both, if needed. Serve fish and peppers drizzled with vinaigrette.

5. Creamy Turmeric Pasta

This straightforward creamy pasta is both brightened and deepened by the addition of turmeric. Sue Li, who created the recipe, wrote that it is meant to just be thrown together and eaten out of a big bowl as you sit on the couch.

Yield: 4 to 6 servings

Total time: 30 minutes

Ingredients

  • 1 pound spaghetti
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1 large shallot, thinly sliced
  • 2 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
  • Kosher salt and black pepper
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons ground turmeric
  • 1 cup half-and-half
  • 2 cups lightly packed freshly grated Parmesan (about 4 ounces), plus more for serving
  • 4 tablespoons finely chopped fresh parsley or chives

Directions

1. Cook spaghetti according to package instructions. Reserve 1 cup pasta cooking water and drain.

2. Meanwhile, melt butter in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add shallot and garlic, season with salt and pepper and cook, stirring, until golden brown, 3 to 4 minutes. Add turmeric and stir to toast, about 30 seconds. Slowly whisk in the half-and-half then bring to a simmer.

3. Whisk in the 2 cups Parmesan, then add the cooked spaghetti and all of the reserved pasta cooking liquid and toss to coat. Serve with chopped parsley and more Parmesan.