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Corn salad with garlic chicken an easy weeknight meal

Gretchen McKay
Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

Now that the kids are back in school, it's back to the grind of running from one place to the next, with a home-cooked dinner often an afterthought.

What you need in your culinary arsenal is a slew of easy weeknight meals that come together in about a half-hour with a few easy-to-find, seasonal ingredients but still deliver big on taste.

Cookbook author Mark Bittman puts sweet corn to good use in this simple chicken recipe. After charring the cut kernels in a hot skillet, he tosses the corn with crispy and zesty bites of chopped radish, scallion and cilantro and then dresses it simply — but superbly — with a generous squeeze of lime juice. He pairs the fresh and crunchy salad with juicy (and inexpensive) broiled chicken thigh, sprinkled with spices and rubbed with garlic.

I doubled the recipe so I had leftovers for lunch the next day. If you can't find fresh corn, substitute frozen. Serve over steamed rice, garnished with a dollop of sour cream.

Roasted chicken thigh teams up with a crisp and zesty corn salad for a quick and easy weeknight meal. (Gretchen McKay/Pittsburgh Post-Gazette/TNS)

CORN SALAD WITH GARLIC CHICKEN

PG tested

  • 4 ears fresh corn
  • Salt
  • 2 cloves garlic, peeled and halved
  • 3 or 4 boneless, skinless chicken thighs (about 12 ounces)
  • 2 tablespoons good-quality vegetable oil
  • Dash or two of cayenne
  • 2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • Pepper
  • 8 radishes
  • 1 bunch scallions
  • 1 bunch fresh cilantro
  • 2 limes
  • Sour cream, for garnish
  • Cooked plain white rice, for serving

Put a large skillet over medium-high heat. Turn broiler to high and put the rack 4 inches from heat.

Husk corn, trim and cut kernels off the cob.

Put corn in the skillet and sprinkle with salt. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the corn chars lightly, 5-10 minutes

Put chicken on rimmed baking sheet. Rub with 2 tablespoons oil, and sprinkle with cayenne, cumin, salt and pepper. Broil, turning once, until lightly browned on both sides and just cooked through, 5-10 minutes per side.

When corn is lightly charred, put in a large bowl.

Trim and chop radishes and add to bowl. Trim and chop scallions and add to bowl. Chop 1 cup cilantro and add to bowl. Halve limes and squeeze juice into the bowl.

When chicken is done, remove from broiler and rub all over with raw garlic.

Toss the corn mixture together; taste and adjust seasoning. To serve, slice chicken as thick as you like and lay the slices over the top of the salad.

Garnish with a dollop of sour cream, if you like, with rice on the side.

Serves 4.

— "How to Cook Everything Fast" (revised edition) by Mark Bittman (Harvest, $40)