I’m guessing most of you out there don’t regularly get emails from friends with the subject line: “Pretzel Chicken.” And I’m also guessing that if you did, your heart wouldn’t jump when it showed up in your inbox. But that was the somewhat sad state of affairs last week when my friend Jodi sent me the email, saying she was going to debut the dish for Shabbat dinner, a ritual with her husband and six-year-old daughter that she is trying to make more regular. The launch of the ritual, of course, warmed my heart, but what really grabbed me was the recipe. It was the famous City Bakery pretzel chicken that I have been lunching on for the past five years. It’s all mustardy and zesty and dredged in crushed sourdough pretzels — I don’t think I’ve ever taken a bite of it without announcing to whatever poor soul is sitting across from me I must replicate this at home. The kids will freak!
We introduce the girls to new meals almost every week — not just because I need new things to write about here on DALS, but because I like them to flex their adventure muscles whenever possible. You might think this act of bravery has resulted in an ever-expanding, deep repertoire of dinner inspiration, yet, somehow, every single time Andy has asked me “What should we have for dinner?” in the past 13 years, my first thought is always “Turkey Chili.” Not that we end up making that, but it’s my dinner brain default setting because it’s so damn easy, so universally-loved, and one of those meals we knew was a keeper as soon as we debuted it at the table. I’m proud to announce that, as of this past Wednesday, the pretzel chicken has earned the Keeper title as well. Once I pureed the marinade (which doubles as a dip) the recipe was so hands-off and so un-screw-up-able that I found myself wondering what to do with myself at 6:30 on a Wednesday night while it baked. Finish that story about Pixar by Anthony Lane? Catch up on my new favorite American Idol blog? (James!!? Crushed!) Customize a pair of Chucks for Abby? Pour myself a Dark and Stormy. Oh, wait, I did that one already.
For the Pretzel Chicken Recipe…
I usually can’t help but adapt a recipe — either for my own taste or my kid’s — but this one was so perfect, I wouldn’t change a thing. So I’m sending you over to the Food & Wine website, which is where Jodi found it first. But come back and let me know what you think.