Kristen Kish Cooking

Recipes and Techniques: A Cookbook

Kristen Kish Cooking book cover
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From one of the most exciting young chefs in America today, a cookbook with more than 80 recipes that celebrate impeccable technique and bridge her Korean heritage, Michigan upbringing, Boston cooking years, and more.
Kish won legions of fans, first by helming two of Barbara Lynch’s esteemed Boston restaurants, and then by battling her way back from elimination to win season ten of Top Chef. Her path from Korean orphan to American adoptee, sometime model to distinguished chef, shines a light on her determination and love of food. Her recipes are surprising yet refined, taking the expected—an ingredient or a technique, for example—and using it in a new way to make dishes that are unique and irresistible. She sears avocado and pairs it with brined shrimp flavored with coriander and ginger. A broth laced with pancetta and parmesan is boosted with roasted mushrooms and farro for an earthy, soulful dish. Caramelized honey, which is sweet, smoky, and slightly bitter, is spiked with chiles and lemon and served with fried chicken thighs. The results are delicious, inspiring, and definitely worth trying at home.


"I've always felt that Kish was one of the most talented chefs around. Her food hints at a classic American Midwest background and you catch glimpses of those old-school dishes in recipes like the Baked Potato Purée and the Roasted Whole Hen-of-the-Woods with Wild Rice. I mean these are the feel-good foods you wish your mom made. They are tasty, flavorsome, and familiar enough to be appreciated by both the professional and home cook alike."
—Dave Chang, chef and founder, Momofuku

"Here is the stunning first book from a young chef whom we have been impressed by for many years now. The results are nothing short of superb. The beautiful, thoughtful, and delicious food is baked in to each chapter, but it's the personal aesthetic and the impassioned revealing story of this rising star that ties together the recipes with a heartfelt point of view. I expected nothing less than a spectacular debut from my friend Kristen, and she over delivered. What we are gifted is a must have book for any home cook, and something to aim at for any professional seeking to clarify what makes food a personal journey."
—Andrew Zimmern

"A lovely compilation of 80 plus recipes that captured the essence of Kristen. A window into her life as a cook and into the search for her own identity. I was captivated by the simplicity, details of her dishes, yet the elegance of her cuisine was shining through."
Dominique Crenn, chef and founder, Atelier Crenn, Petit Crenn, Bar Crenn 

"[Kristen's] followers will enjoy the personal insights, and diehard Top Chef fans will savor the peek behind the curtain."

"Kristen Kish Cooking: Recipes and Techniques a beautiful, easy-to-read text that can serve both as a Bible for Kish super-fans (guilty as charged) and an aspirational manual of recipes for more advanced home cooks."

"For Kristen, it's not about the food. It's about what the food can do. In her very first cookbook she shows us exactly what food can do: make us feel loved."
—Cherry Bombe 


This frying-without-frying dish came about by mistake. I was roast-ing chicken thighs at home for my dinner and then . . . I forgot all about them! I left them in too long, but to my surprise, instead of being overcooked and dry, they were still so crispy and juicy that they almost reminded me of Korean fried chicken. I guess those little thighs are pretty damn resilient. The lemon juice here works so well with the honey. If you can’t find Calabrian chiles in a jar, you can substitute pepperoncini.
8 skin-on, bone-in chicken thighs Grated zest of 1 lemon
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
2 tablespoons grapeseed or other neutral oil
3 garlic cloves, smashed
3 fresh thyme sprigs
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
¹⁄₄ cup honey
1 jarred Calabrian chile in oil, drained and finely chopped
½ tablespoon fresh lemon juice 1 tablespoon cold unsalted butter Kosher salt
1 cup labneh
1 tablespoon oil from jar of Calabrian chiles or olive oil
COOK THE CHICKEN: Preheat the oven to 420°F.
In a bowl, toss together the chicken thighs, lemon zest, lemon juice, grapeseed oil, garlic, and thyme. Season with salt and pepper. Massage the chicken with your hands for a couple of minutes. Set aside for 15 minutes at room temperature.
Arrange the thighs on a sheet pan, leaving ample space in between them. Transfer to the hot oven and forget about them as I did—just kidding! Bake until the meat is cooked through, the chicken fat has rendered, and the skin is crisp, 30 to 35 minutes. Let the chicken rest for 10 minutes.
MAKE THE GLAZE: In the meantime, in a small saucepan over medium heat, bring the honey to a simmer and then allow the honey to lightly bubble for 2 minutes. Remove from the heat and stir in the chopped chile, lemon juice, and butter. Season with salt. Using a pastry brush, brush the rested thighs thoroughly with this glaze.
TO SERVE: I prefer to serve this family-style. Spread the labneh on a platter and drizzle the chile oil over it. Then simply pile the thighs on top and serve with leftover honey glaze on the side for those who want more sweetness and heat.