What to cook in January: Dishes that make every day feel special

What to cook in January: Dishes that make every day feel special

three food images left to right: Saffron-Chai Poached Pears; Heritage Duck Rice Bowl; Delicata Squash and Mushroom Tart
(Photo, left to right: Dhivya Subramanian, Kevin Clark, Betty Binon)

After the enormous creative burst of the holidays has passed, what remains besides the perennial promises to spend less, drink more water, and take it easy for a while? The paper snowflakes and twinkling lights will inevitably be taken down and the calls to adorn everything in ribbon will fade away.

Except, we say let the bows stay and let the festive feelings continue, especially in the kitchen. Even if you’ve just made every holiday favourite and put all the fancy dishes away, the recipes on this list can still make January a month of treating yourself.

Imagine a simple but artfully-plated Niçoise salad, just for one or two. Or a chicken liver mousse that makes a night in feel like a night out. A straightforward midweek baked salmon becomes a showstopper when adorned with fennel and winter citrus. Pailin Chongchitnant’s weeknight version of chicken khao soi is ideal for when you’re short on time but still crave something special. We also have three different recipes to elevate a grocery store rotisserie chicken into a delightful dinner. Each dish we’ve selected adds a touch of luxury to the everyday ritual of preparing, plating and enjoying a meal.

So, keep out some of your nice dinnerware, and tie a little bow on your wine glass if it brings you joy. We’re championing the artful everyday meal as the culinary trend we want to see in 2024.

Chicken Liver Mousse

closeup on chicken liver mousse on a slice of baguette on a wooden cutting board. a silver knife is leaning on the slice, cherry tomatoes and a jar of the mousse are in the background.
(Photography by Peter Chou)

Fennel and Asian Pear Salad

Side view of a white plate with a salad of sliced pear and fennel on it, topped with pecorino cheese.
(Photography by Jennifer May)

Beef Stroganoff with Fluffy Rice, Red Onion & Parsley Pickle

Overhead closeup on a platter of beef stroganoff on a bed of rice, topped with red onion.
(Credit: David Loftus)

Winter Citrus Niçoise Salad

Overhead shot of 2 bowls of salad with salmon, boiled egg, tomato, green beans, and peas.
(Photography by Dennis The Prescott)

Honey Roasted Pear & Ricotta Crostini 

Overhead shot of sliced baguette topped with slices of pear and ricotta. The bread is on a pink tray and some are on a green plate, all sitting on a white marble countertop.

Heritage Duck Rice Bowl

Overhead shot of a white bowl with rice, sliced duck, coleslaw and a boiled egg cut in half. Chopsticks, a glass, a plate of rice and a shallow bowl with a boiled egg cut in half sit around the main bowl on a grey surface.
(Photography by Kevin Clark)

Weeknight Chicken Khao Soi

overhead shot of a blue and white bowl filled with a chicken drumstick, noodles and a curry broth. a plate with lime wedges, sliced shallots and a small bowl of chili oil sit next to it.
(Photography by Janis Nicolay)

Delicata Squash and Mushroom Tart 

A rectangular tart with slices of delicata squash on it sitting on a dark grey surface. A slice of the tart is sitting on a small wooden plate.
(Photography by Betty Binon)

3 recipes that revamp the rotisserie chicken

Overhead shot of a rotisserie chicken and 3 dishes made with the chicken: a rice bowl, chicken pitas, and chicken salad stuffed tomatoes.
(Photography by Gabriel Cabrera)

Kutch Chicken Biryani

Closeup on hands holding a large dish of chicken biryani.
(Photo credit: Martin Poole)

Deviled Egg Dip 

Closeup on a bowl of light yellow dip with orange trout roe on top. The bowl is sitting on a platter with Ritz crackers next to it. Behind it, a person wearing a lime green dress scoops into the dip with a cracker.
(Photography by Laura Murray)

Spaghetti Ubriachi

Closeup on a bowl of red spaghetti noodles with silver tongs in it. It's sitting on a wooden table outdoors.
(Photography by Dominique Lafond)

Diri Sos Pwa Legim

Overhead shot of a plate with with rice, black bean sauce and stew on it, on a wooden table. A bit of a silver pot of stew sits in the top right corner. Another plate is in the bottom left corner. A leafy plant sits in the top left corner.
(Photography by Dominique Lafond)

Baked Salmon with Fennel and Blood Orange

Overhead shot of a mint green serving platter with baked salmon, fennel, orange slices and green olives on it.

Beef Wellington for Two 

A slice of beef wellington topped with gravy on a white plate on a wooden table. A side of greens sits next to it on the plate.
(Photo: Ella Miller)

Decadent Shrikhand 

A footed glass bowl with a yogurt dessert in it. It's on a blue and white plate with a gold spoon next to it, and sitting on top of a table with a patterned tablecloth.
(Photography by Reena Newman)

Saffron-Chai Poached Pears

Overhead shot of a white serving plate with poached pears on it sitting on a purple table. 2 smaller plates with a pear on each sit on the left.
(Photography by Dhivya Subramanian)

Flourless Lemon Ricotta Cake with Almonds 

Overhead shot of a cake topped with almond slices and drizzled with white icing. It's sitting on a white marble cutting board on a white table. 2 slices are cut from the cake and one slice is sitting on a white plate next to it.
(Photography by Michael Gozum)


White Peaks 

A cocktail with a lemon twist in a short glass sitting on a wooden cutting board.
(Photography by Jessica Blaine Smith)


A stemmed glass with an orange cocktail in it sitting on a block of ice. A lemon sits behind the ice.
(Photography by Sarah Hogan)