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Mar 3, 2011 05:54 PM

Your favorite CI main dish recipes that can be prepared in 1.5 hour or less

Hi - this is my first post.

I have recently become a fan of Cook's Illustrated because I never learned to cook. I like their recipes because they are so detailed, never seem to fail, taste good and I like learning some technique. However, I wish that they would include the time that it takes to prepare their recipes (or is it there and I am just missing it? I subscribe to the mag and online).

I am looking for your favorite CI recipes that can be prepared in an hour and a half or less, or there-about. I usually have about that long or less to cook weeknight meals. If there is substantial down time (during brining, or marinating, or in the oven), then the total could be longer than 1.5 hours.

Some of our favorites that fall into this category are the chicken enchiladas in red chili sauce, Dan Dan Mian, chicken tikka masala, and tonight I made the crispy skinned butterflied chicken with potatoes (which takes 1.5 hours only if I skip the brining) - that was really tasty!

Please share your favorites, and if possible estimate how long you think it takes to prepare start to finish. Thanks!

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  1. As much as I love CI's recipes, some are quite labor intensive. I definitely have a rotating repertoire of favs that I make regularly to the point that I can usually whip them together in about an hour. One of my go to, quick to throw together is CI's chicken piccata, which I make so often I can put on table in one hour:


    1. I really like their "simple beef chili with kidney beans." it's just what it sounds like, nothing fancy, but i like it a lot--tastes like what chili is supposed to taste like, to me. makes a ton and freezes well.

      1. Have you seen the Best Recipes in 30 minutes book? I found it at the library.

        It might be perfect for you.

        1. Thanks everyone, for your responses!

          lazy - I will try the CI version of chicken piccata. I usually make Giada's version. I am curious to see how they compare.

          Leonora, good to hear you like their chili recipe. I'll give that a try soon.

          chowser - I meant to address the 30 min cookbook in my original post. I have that cookbook, but have only tried a couple of recipes. They were ok, and I will try more of the recipes when I really don't have time to cook, but I'm willing to do more prep for better flavor on the nights when I have time.

          Thanks again!