Cooking Methods

Why You Should Always Preheat Your Slow Cooker — Tips from The Kitchn

Arguably, the most crucial flavor in a dish comes from the very first moments, when you sauté a few aromatics like chopped onions and garlic before proceeding with the recipe. That's when those simple flavors start to build, which eventually enhances your final result.

Some slow cooker recipes that call for you to sauté these aromatics separately on the stove before adding them to the appliance require it for this reason; it's a chance to give as much flavor to the dish as you can. But then they have you dump the sautéed items into a cold slow cooker, along with everything else, before turning it on.


The Best Method for Cooking Crispy, Juicy Chicken Thighs Every Time — Tips from The Kitchn

(Image credit: Joe Lingeman/The Kitchn)

Bone-in, skin-on chicken thighs are a wallet-friendly cut that won't kill your weekly food budget, plus they're wildly versatile and easy to make. The key is to remember this simple process that starts on the stovetop and finishes in the oven — no recipe required — for perfectly crisp chicken every time.


The One Thing You Should Do for Better Stir-Fried Chicken — Tips from The Kitchn

(Image credit: The Woks of Life )

While I am a big fan of tips that get dinner on the table faster, I also love techniques that actually make dinner better — even if that means an extra step or two. Velveting chicken for stir-frying is one instance where I don't mind putting in a little extra time and effort because the end result is so worth it. Velveting will give you tender, juicy chicken every single time you stir-fry.


How To Cook a Whole Chicken in the Slow Cooker — Cooking Lessons from The Kitchn

(Image credit: Leela Cyd)

The slow cooker strikes again! With minimal work and just one ingredient (psst ... it's chicken) this recipe delivers the most delicious payoff imaginable — meat so tender and juicy it practically falls right off the bone. And it's all thanks to the small, closed environment of the slow cooker.


How To Make Super-Crispy, Oven-Baked Asparagus Fries — Cooking Lessons from The Kitchn

(Image credit: Christine Han)

I don't just like asparagus — I love it! It's a bit of an obsession for me. I'll eat it broiled, roasted, steamed, baked, and even raw. To that roster of preparations is the recent addition of oven-baked asparagus fries in all their golden, crispy-brown glory.

With the help of a breadcrumb trick that you can make use of beyond this recipe, I present the crispiest, crunchiest, tastiest asparagus I've made to date — and folks, it's all done in the oven.


How To Make Classic Spanakopita — Cooking Lessons from The Kitchn

(Image credit: Quentin Bacon)

I've been very lucky. I learned to make spanakopita, the Greek spinach and feta casserole encased in filo dough, from a variety of sources — even without the benefit of a Greek grandmother by my side. I had books, I had friends, and eventually, I had professional cooks show me. I've also spent a lifetime eating it and enjoying every bite in diners, upscale restaurants, and, yes, versions made by someone else's loving Greek grandmother.

I noticed a few key things along the way, learned lessons from trial and error, and have modified my recipe over the years to create a fail-proof pie (it's all in how you fold it), with a filling so rich and flavorful you'll wonder why you waited so long to make this a part of your home-cooking repertoire.


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