Melissa Clark, New York Times food columnist and author of Dinner: Changing the Game, has an 8-year-old sous-chef: her daughter, Dahlia. Their Thai-style chicken dinner is so good you’ll toss your takeout menus.

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Clark gets plenty of help in the kitchen from her husband, Daniel, and daughter Dahlia. “I chop vegetables and do the herbs and measure the coconut milk,” Dahlia says. As often as they can, the family heads out to their Brooklyn backyard to eat what they’ve made.
| Credit: Family Photos by Eric Wolfinger, Food Photography by Joseph De Leo
thai chicken breasts coconut milk lemongrass
This a href=""Thai Chicken Breasts with Coconut Milk & Lemongrass/a recipe calls for for 1 can (13.5 oz.) unsweetened coconut milk.
| Credit: Photography by Joseph De Leo
quick roasted broccoli
Credit: Photography by Joseph De Leo

Try Melissa and Dahlia's Quick-Roasted Broccoli

Up your chicken game

Clark's secret for perking up poultry? Add a sauce. These can all can be made from pantry staples. 

Herby Mayonnaise: "Mix mayo, olive oil and lots of fresh herbs, and use half as a marinade and half as a sauce."

Soy Dipping Sauce: "Soy sauce is great—especially mixed with sesame oil and rice wine vinegar or lime juice."

Honey Mustard: "I'll combine garlic and mustard with a little honey."

Lemon-Yogurt Drizzle: "Chop preserved lemon peel and toss it with yogurt and cilantro; throw some on roast chicken and it'll knock your socks off."

Salty-Savory Anchovy Sauce: "I always have canned anchovies around. I can't live without them, especially chopped and melted in butter with lemon juice."

dinner changing the game melissa clark
Credit: Photography by Eric Wolfinger

Clark's new book, Dinner: Changing the Game, is filled with more than 250 unfussy, delicious recipes like these. It comes out March 7.

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For more mealtime fun, go to, Rach's nonprofit organization. You'll find recipes, tips for improving food in schools, and stories of people who are changing the way America eats. How cool is that?!