I'm still trying to decide how I like to read magazines. For years, I've been a consumer and collector of the paper ones, but in the spring I decided to give the digital versions a try and signed up for Texture, a Netflix-like subscription service that provides access to almost every magazine imaginable. The pros? At the top of my list is definitely the fact that it gives me the ability to read any magazine I want, whenever I want, including back issues. It's also convenient to load up an iPad with reading material for road trips or time spent waiting somewhere for someone (i.e. the doctor's office, etc.). There is no denying that digital magazines are also an eco-friendly solution to minimizing the piles of paper that quickly accumulate in a house with five people. The cons? I really miss reading paper magazines.
I don’t know about you, but I have files and folders of recipes culled from magazines over the years. This is one of the biggest benefits of reading a paper magazine. I still love tearing out inspiring images and sticking them in a binder or slapping them up on the pre-Pinterest bulletin board I keep over my desk. I find it so hard to do this with digital issues. I haven’t come up with a great system for saving recipes, and I also don’t want to shove another device under the boys’ nose whenever I want them to read a story or article of interest. There’s just something so endearing about seeing everyone sit around the table with a cup of coffee (milk, water, etc.) in hand flipping through the stack of magazines and newspapers in front of them. I cherish those mornings, and find that reading magazines digitally has changed how we interact.
It probably sounds like I should just go back to reading paper magazines, and I’m sure I will, but if I hadn’t randomly flipped through a few new-to-me monthlies on my iPad last week I wouldn't have stumbled upon a one-pot meal that now has a permanent place in our weeknight dinner rotation. It has all the hallmarks of a family-friendly recipe - simple, healthy, tasty, versatile - and is adored by all of us, tiny toddler included. In fact, he finished his plate the fastest ditching the utensils halfway through the meal in favour of his fingers, which allow for easier scooping of the food into his mouth. It’s hard to argue with his enthusiasm though because tender pre-cooked chicken tossed into a pot of softly spiced simmering red quinoa, carrots, and leeks can only result in something worth eating, wouldn’t you agree?
One-Pot Harissa Quinoa and Chicken
This dish calls for cooked chicken making it the perfect candidate for a dinner you can make with a store-bought rotisserie chicken. Alternatively, you can do what I did, which is cook some chopped chicken thighs in a skillet while the quinoa is cooking. Then, just add to the pot in step 3 as per the recipe directions.
- 1 Tbsp. olive oil
- 1 Tbsp. butter
- 2 leeks, white and pale-green parts only, coarsely chopped and rinsed
- 4 cups chicken broth
- 2 teaspoons dry harissa spice mix
- 2 Tbsp. tomato paste
- 2 cups uncooked red quinoa, rinsed and drained
- 4 medium carrots (or 2 carrots and 2 parsnips), peeled and diced
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 ½ lbs. cooked chicken, cut into bite-size pieces
- Kosher salt
- Freshly ground black pepper
- 3 Tbsp. thinly sliced fresh basil
1. In a large, deep skillet or Dutch oven heat the olive oil and butter until melted. Add the leeks and sauté until softened but not browned, about 3-5 minutes.
2. Add the broth, harissa spice mix, tomato paste, and quinoa and stir to incorporate. Add the carrots and garlic to the liquid. Bring to a boil, lower heat, and cover. Simmer for 10 minutes.
3. Add the chicken and toss quickly to combine. Continue to cook, covered, until the quinoa is tender, about 6-8 minutes more. Turn off heat and let rest for 10 minutes.
4. Fluff the mixture with a fork, season to taste with salt and pepper, sprinkle with basil and serve immediately.
Adapted from the October 2016 issue of Shape magazine.