Dinner Tonight: Jamie Oliver's Steamed Asian Chicken "Parcels"


[Photograph: Blake Royer]

When I first learned to cook, Jamie's Kitchen was my most confidence-inspiring cookbook. The other day I pulled it down from the shelf and flipped through it. Dozens of recipes triggered memories, like the first time I discovered Italian salsa verde, and how to make risotto. But my goal was to find something in an old favorite that I'd never tried before.

Why I Picked This Recipe: While quick chicken recipes are pretty common, many of them can be boring, using the same old techniques with little variation. But in years of cooking, I've never seen anything quite like this. Raw chicken thighs are blended up with aromatics like ginger, garlic, and scallions to make a paste, which is then quickly folded into cabbage leaves and steamed. It actually comes together far more quickly than you'd think.

What Worked: Curiously, the recipe calls for a can of water chestnuts blended in with the chicken. But it turned out to be the perfect way to keep the mixture from being too dense, and the texture was fantastic.

What Didn't: While I like the idea of a dipping sauce for these, I would be just as inclined to lay them nicely on a plate and drizzle with sauce.

Suggested Tweaks: If it's easy to find, lemongrass would be a great addition to this mixture.

Adapted from Jamie's Kitchen.