Test Kitchen

Our virtual test kitchen is a place where we invite you to experiment, taste, think, swoon — in short, to play with your food. All of our own kitchen experiments and research are located right here so you can see what we’ve been up to. In our perfect universe, the whole world would be one giant kitchen, so we’re trying to get as close to that ideal as possible. Here’s what we’ve got for you:

DINNER PARTIES & ENTERTAINING: Perhaps our crown jewel — and the source of our Gilded Fork: Entertaining at Home cookbook. Here we’ve put together the dinner party menus AND wine pairings for you. From there you can riff, play and dazzle your guests with everything from brunch to a fall harvest dinner.

HOW-TO: Wondering how to cook a lobster? Sharpen your knives? De-bone a fish? Find our quick tips here.

INGREDIENT PROFILES: We’re geeky about ingredients, so here you can find all of our Test Kitchen Dossiers. Wondering what to do with fennel? Squash? Truffles? Find the history, cooking properties and recipe ideas here.

RECIPES: We’ve built up quite a collection of recipes over the years (we’ve been here a while), so we invite you to play with our ideas — and create a few riffs of your own.

And in case you just want to browse, here are our most recent posts:

Post image for Moroccan Lemon Chicken with Chickpeas and Honeyed Sauce

This simple and rustic dish uses honey to sweeten the sauce and bring together the dish. The lemon zest, cinnamon and cumin are all flavors that evoke Morocco. The pièce de résistance would be the addition of Moroccan preserved lemons, which you can find in Middle Eastern specialty stores or make yourself with our preserved lemon recipe. This authentic ingredient offers the perfect tanginess to balance the sweetness of the honey.

4 servings


4 split chicken breasts, bone in
¼ cup flour
½ teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon black pepper
½ teaspoon smoked paprika

[Chef's Note: If desired, you may substitute boneless chicken breasts, pounded thin before dredging in the flour. Shorten the cooking time accordingly.]

For the sauce:
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 medium onion, diced
4 teaspoons grated lemon zest, plus juice
½ Moroccan-style preserved lemon, sliced (optional)
1 ½ teaspoons ground cumin
½ teaspoon smoked paprika
½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
3 cups strong chicken broth
1 cup Spanish green olives, pitted and sliced
4 tablespoons honey
1 cup cooked chickpeas
1 tablespoon chopped cilantro, plus more for garnish

[Chef's Note: Preserved lemons have been brined in a salted mixture with saffron, olive oil and other spices. They can easily be made at home, but require pickling over the course of two weeks, so you may need to plan ahead to make them for this recipe!]


Rinse chicken breasts and pat dry. Dredge chicken in flour seasoned with salt, pepper and paprika. Heat olive oil in a large sauté pan over medium-high heat. Sauté chicken breasts until nicely browned on both sides. Remove chicken and keep warm.

Lower heat to medium-low and add diced onion. Cook, stirring occasionally to remove browned bits, until onions are soft, about 5 minutes. Add the grated lemon zest and juice, the sliced preserved lemon, then stir in the cumin, paprika and cinnamon. Cook, stirring, for 1 minute. Add chicken broth and sliced olives. Return chicken to the pan, bring to a simmer and cook for 10-15 minutes, until the chicken is cooked through. Remove chicken from the pan, keeping warm. Add honey, chickpeas and cilantro to the sauce, stirring to dissolve honey and pull together the sauce.


Place chicken on warmed serving plate and spoon sauce over. You may spoon some of the chickpeas on the side, and garnish the dish with more cilantro leaves.

Recipe and photo by Mark Tafoya


Chestnuts: The Taste of December

Thumbnail image for Chestnuts: The Taste of December

Take an afternoon by the fire with some warm chestnuts and a spot of brandy. Go ahead, it’s the holidays.

Mulling Things Over

Thumbnail image for Mulling Things Over

The soothing fragrance of cinnamon and its mulling companions is the perfect match for red wine — and holidays.

Cocktails, Anyone?

Thumbnail image for Cocktails, Anyone?

The origin of the term “cocktail” itself is rife with rumor and speculation, so we’ll leave that to the drink historians.

Hors d’Oeuvres: Little Bites of Heaven

Thumbnail image for Hors d’Oeuvres: Little Bites of Heaven

Hors d’oeuvres can encompass a wide variety of foods, and range from casual finger foods to elegant nibbles.