Kitchen Magic for Big Weeknight Flavor

Kay Chun’s honey-and-soy-glazed chicken.Credit…Ryan Liebe for The New York Times. Food Stylist: Simon Andrews.

Some ingredient combinations are positively alchemical, imbuing dishes with a sublime character inexplicably greater than the sum of their parts. Garlic, red chile flakes and lemon is one such mixture; honey, soy sauce and ginger is another. You can add almost any protein or vegetable to these and be guaranteed a dinner worth its weight in gold.

Kay Chun’s gingery honey-and-soy-glazed chicken thighs work that wizardry. Everyday chicken thighs are utterly transformed, first by being tossed with a sweet and tangy glaze and then by being roasted until they caramelize and singe at the edges, becoming irresistibly sticky and golden. Kay suggests serving them wrapped in lettuce leaves for a cool, crisp contrast to all the rich juices. And if you have any left over, chop the meat up and add it to salads, fried rice or a pot of vegetable soup.

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Honey-and-Soy-Glazed Chicken Thighs

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For an exuberant vegetable-based soup that needs no meat, there’s Hetty Lui McKinnon’s deeply spiced curry udon. Filled with springy noodles, soft potatoes, carrots and as much baby spinach as you can cram in the pot, it’s got a silky curry-scented broth that’s so good you’ll want to drink it straight from the bowl, or at least spoon up every drop. Her recipe calls for making a simple curry roux from scratch, but substitute Japanese curry bricks if you have them to save a step.

Easter is this Sunday, and Clare de Boer has a delightful springtime menu for us, perfect for the season whether you celebrate or not.

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