I cook meat I can't eat because not eating meat is one of the rules of being a vegetarian; it might be one of the only rules, but I'm not club president so I'm not going to try to figure it out. As a vegetarian who's willing to cook all the meats for her very loved ones, I depend on Rory's palate (immensely/solely) to determine if a dish is up to par. At the end of a meal, I'll ask if it's a repeat dish, to which he'll say "YAAASSSSS" or "hard pass." Just kidding. He doesn't really say it like that, but it's close. This braised chicken dinner was met with a resounding "YAAAAAS KWEEN SLAAAAAY" or something akin to it. I tasted the braised tomatoes and juices (shhh), and I concur. But Sogoal, you say, you don't eat meat. You know nothing of meat. Can you even spell "meat"? It's with an E and an A. Not a double E. Can you even read? you ask yourself.

Valid concern. My defense: I was raised a [heavy, borderline unhealthy] meateater. I loved it so. I loved the smell and texture and obviously the direct one-way trip to Flavortown. And I miss it. I do, I do, I do. But I like being a vegetarian more. Aside from feeding my lil' family, cooking traditional dishes from my Persian and Vietnamese cultures is something I value and want to instill in any future spawn we create. Food from both Iran and Vietnam is central to each culture, central to celebrations, holidays, and family gatherings. I want to be sure I can recreate the sometimes meaty traditions I grew up with. Also, if I cook the meats for our household, I can make us buy the healthier, way more expensive chickens that had a better upbringing than I did. Altruism in the kitchen.

No one wants to read about vegetarianism because that's like someone telling you they just discovered yoga. I see you, I hear you. It ends here.


Braising is real easy. You essentially throw it into the pot and let it cook slowly for a few hours. This sounds like a longish time because it's definitely not a thirty minute meal, so maybe you want to save it for a day you get home early from work, and not after a lengthy happy hour. Bless your heart if you do though. This recipe was robust, bright, and just rich enough without being too heavy. The meat fell off the bone. The tomatoes were lushly stewed. BRAISING WINS.


late summer tomatoes with feta with parsley with lemon with olive oil with toasted pistachios MMMMMAAAAAAGGGGIIIIIIIICCCCCC


Honestly, throw nuts and herbs into/onto anything, and I'll eat it with gusto.


I winged this tzatziki. Some Greek yogurt, dill, garlic, cukes, and salt to taste. It got the job done.

T O M A T O  B R A I S E D  C H I C K E N

from Bon Appetit

Yields: about four skinny servings or two real hungry servings


  • 4 chicken legs (thigh and drumstick)
  • Kosher salt, freshly ground pepper
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 small onions, thinly sliced
  • 2 pounds mixed tomatoes, cut into wedges if large
  • 3 3-inch cinnamon sticks
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
  • Lemon wedges (for serving)



  1. Season chicken generously with salt and pepper.
  2. Heat oil in a medium Dutch oven or heavy shallow pot over medium-high. Cook chicken, skin side down, reducing heat as needed to avoid scorching, until skin is deep golden brown, 10–12 minutes. Transfer to a plate.
  3. Reduce heat to medium and add onions to same pot. Cook, stirring occasionally, until very soft and just beginning to brown around the edges, 8–10 minutes.
  4. Add tomatoes and cinnamon sticks. Cook, stirring occasionally, until tomatoes are softened and juices have thickened slightly, 6–8 minutes.
  5. Return chicken to pot, arranging skin side up. Cover pot, reduce heat to low, and simmer gently until chicken is cooked through, 45–60 minutes.
  6. Uncover pot and continue to simmer until juices are thickened and meat is close to falling off the bone, 45–60 minutes.
  7. Add lemon juice; taste and season with more salt and pepper as needed. Serve with lemon wedges.