Breakfast, lunch, dinner…life by Missy Robbins

Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner… Life!: Recipes and Adventures from My Home Kitchen by Missy Robbins with Carrie King is one of those books that just feels right just by looking at the cover. I have an affection for books from the UK and this title has that feel about it. Beautifully done with full page photographs, the recipes set out perfectly with ingredient amounts in bold font and spatially arranged for ease in following makes this book even more visually appealing. The recipes range from totally approachable to somewhat elevated so that novices and experienced cooks alike can find joy within these pages.

Robbins was born to parents that were foodies before foodies were foodies. She calls her mother the Jewish Martha Stewart – the ultimate entertainer. But her parents love of food and traveling the world experiencing great dishes was not the impetus for her career in food. That didn’t occur until an epic dinner at Charlie Trotters in 1992.

Throughout the book her story of how she brought balance back into her life weaves in and out – an inspirational tapestry woven between recipes and gorgeous food. This book was born from the time she took to recharge from the grueling, difficult hours of being a chef to opening her own restaurant in Brooklyn, Lilia.

Cacio e pepe kugel, Grilled squid, lemongrass, chiles, garlic, and Baked salami, brown bread, mustard show the range of recipes you will find in Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner. Her chapter entitled the Art of Grocery Shopping was recently excerpted in an article in Vogue and her advice on pantry staples is spot on.

Special thanks to Rizzoli for sharing Missy’s famous Polenta crusted fried chicken, fennel pollen, chiles recipe and offering three copies of this book for our members in the US. Be sure to scroll down to enter.

polenta crusted fried chicken, fennel pollen, chilies
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serves 4-6

Fried chicken is pure indulgence and joy, which is also how I would characterize the memory of when this recipe was born. During a laid-back and spontaneous afternoon hanging out with my then-neighbor, now business partner, Sean, we turned on the TV and saw that the esteemed chef, Sean Brock, happened to be making fried chicken on a show. This made us both really hungry and sent us immediately to the store to buy ingredients and make our own fried chicken dinner. This an ode to chef Sean, because his southern techniques are tried and true, but I deviate a little by adding my own flavors. I think he might approve because the result is still sweet, spicy, crunchy, and tender-all the things you want in a crispy bird.

for brining and marinating

  • 1 gallon water

  • 1 ¼ kosher salt

  • ¾ cup sugar

  • 2 tablespoons honey

  • 5 green tea bags

  • 1 whole chicken, broken down into 6 or 8 pieces
  • 1 quart buttermilk

1. Bring the water, salt, sugar, and honey to a boil. Add tea bags, turn the heat off, and let the tea steep for 10-15 minutes. 

2. Cool the brine mixture down in an ice bath. Once cold, submerge the chicken parts, making sure they are fully covered. The chicken should sit in the brine for 45 minutes.

3. Remove the chicken from the brine and pat dry. Discard brine.

4. Cover the chicken with buttermilk and let sit for another 30 minutes. 

for the dredge

  • 4 cups flour
  • 1 cup finely ground polenta
  • 3 tablespoons kosher salt
  • 3 tablespoons finely ground chili flakes
  • 3 tablespoons finely ground fennel seeds
  • 1 tablespoon paprika
  • 2 cups buttermilk

1. Combine all the dry ingredients in a bowl.

2. Remove one of the chicken pieces from the buttermilk, allowing the excess to run off before dredging it in the seasoned flour and polenta mix. Once coated transfer it to a sheet tray lined with parchment. Repeat until all the chicken is dredged and coated. Leave the sheet tray in the refrigerator, preferably overnight. If you’re in a pinch, leave the chicken in the fridge for several hours.

3. Sift the remaining flour mix to get rid of any clumps and reserve it for just before frying.

4. Once the chicken has rested, dip each piece of chicken into the remaining buttermilk and dredge in the leftover seasoned flour for a second time-this time a very light coat. Set aside.

for the fry

  • 2-3 cups canola oil
  • 2-3 cups olive oil
  • 2-3 cups chicken schmaltz
  • kosher salt
  • 2 tablespoons fennel pollen, for dusting
  • 1 tablespoon ground chili flakes, for dusting 

1. Put an equal amount of the oils and chicken fat in a large heavy-bottomed cast-iron pan. (How much you need depends on whether you have a 12- or 15-inch pan; just be sure not to fill it so high that the fat will bubble over.) Slowly heat the fat to 350ºF, using a thermometer to gauge.

2. Carefully add the chicken pieces skin side down, individually, so that they are in one layer in the pan. You may have to fry in batches depending on the size of your pan.

3. Depending on the sizes of your pieces, cooking times will vary. Fry each for approximately 8-10 minutes, or until it starts to get crispy and golden. Then use tongs to turn each piece over and repeat until it is completely cooked through. If it starts to get a little too dark, turn the oil down to 325ºF.

4. Transfer the chicken from the pan to a sheet pan or plate lined with paper towels to drain. Season with a dusting of salt, fennel pollen, and chili flakes.

-From Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner…Life! Recipes and Adventures from My Home Kitchen by Missy Robbins with Carrie King/Rizzoli Publishing. Photograph by Evan Sung. 

The publisher is offering three copies of this book to EYB Members in the US. One of the entry options is to answer the following question in the comments section of this blog post.

Which recipe in the index would you try first?

Please note that you must be logged into the Rafflecopter contest before posting or your entry won’t be counted. For more information on this process, please see our step-by-step help post. Please be sure to check your spam filters to make sure you receive our email notifications. Prizes can take up to 6 weeks to arrive from the publishers. If you are not already a Member, you can join at no cost. The contest ends at midnight on November 6th, 2017.

Post a comment


  • kbiggs  on  September 30, 2017

    Summer stone fruits, yogurt, coriander honey

  • tcjanes  on  September 30, 2017

    Would have to be the fried chicken.

  • Shelley.b  on  September 30, 2017

    Zucchini and provolone fritatta

  • sgump  on  September 30, 2017

    The Tuscan-style chicken livers sound nice!

  • heyjude  on  September 30, 2017

    Mussels, tomato and garlic bread

  • RGolding  on  September 30, 2017

    The cacio e pepe kugel! Boy does that sound good.

  • davisesq212  on  September 30, 2017

    One of my favorite meals is Linguine with clams so I would love to try this version first!

  • Lem9579  on  September 30, 2017

    Cacio e pepe kugel

  • lgroom  on  September 30, 2017

    "Same same but different" appeals to me.

  • lpatterson412  on  September 30, 2017

    I would try the Schmaltzy Stuffing!

  • Scotsman61  on  September 30, 2017

    The Tuscan-style chicken livers

  • ladybrooke  on  September 30, 2017

    Lemon granita with whipped cream

  • vickster  on  October 1, 2017

    Tomato Braised Eggplant

  • FireRunner2379  on  October 1, 2017

    I'd like to make the Veal and Port Meatballs.

  • matag  on  October 1, 2017

    30 clove sauce

  • LaurenE  on  October 1, 2017

    cacio e pepe kugel

  • ravensfan  on  October 1, 2017

    Super Bowl Five Chili Wings

  • aoiwowie  on  October 1, 2017

    The crab curry sounds delicious.

  • sarahawker  on  October 1, 2017

    Baked salami, brown bread, mustard

  • jdub1371  on  October 1, 2017

    Eggs in Purgatorio – kind of like an Italian shakshuka.

  • puddlemere  on  October 2, 2017

    Hazelnut yogurt, dried figs, cocoa

  • kmn4  on  October 2, 2017

    Eggs in purgatorio

  • Siegal  on  October 2, 2017

    Curry roasted squash sounds great

  • bibliophile02  on  October 2, 2017

    Curry roasted squash!

  • rchesser  on  October 4, 2017

    Olive oil cake, candied citrus, whipped cream.

  • motherofpearl81  on  October 5, 2017

    Grilled avocado, pistachios, bottarga

  • skipeterson  on  October 5, 2017

    Warm mussels, tomato, garlic bread

  • infotrop  on  October 7, 2017

    Sungold tomatoes, garlic, fettunta (I had to Google "fettunta")

  • bstewart  on  October 10, 2017

    Cucumbers, goat yogurt, shallots, mint

  • laffersk  on  October 11, 2017

    French dressing chicken

  • klrclark  on  October 12, 2017

    Cacio e pepe kugel. I saw her make this on the Today Show today.

  • jim.windle  on  October 14, 2017

    Spaghetti with ramps

  • ktwalla  on  October 14, 2017

    Pork Belly Bahn Mi

  • Dmartin997  on  October 14, 2017

    Raspberry cream pie

  • gravesgoetz  on  October 14, 2017

    Definitely the chicken livers!

  • nevans72  on  October 14, 2017

    I would love to try the Grilled avocado, pistachios,bottarga. Anything made with avocado is yummy!

  • RickPearson54  on  October 14, 2017

    chicken livers

  • sequoia55  on  October 14, 2017

    Olive oil cake, candied citrus, whipped cream

  • JenJoLa  on  October 15, 2017

    Watercress, grapefruit, crispy chickpeas

  • hrhacissej  on  October 15, 2017

    Pork chop, nectarines, mustard vinaigrette

  • Nancith  on  October 15, 2017

    Deviled egg toast sound intriguing.

  • tararr  on  October 16, 2017

    Cacio e pepe kugel

  • Sfgordon  on  October 16, 2017

    the grilled summer beans and cacio e pepe kugel look delicious.

  • kitchenclimbers  on  October 18, 2017

    cacio e pepe kugel

  • Jenamarie  on  October 22, 2017

    Hazelnut yogurt with dried figs, cocoa! Love the fig ideas

  • orchidlady01  on  October 23, 2017

    Fried egg with kasha, Sicilian pesto, and soppressata

  • rglo820  on  October 23, 2017

    Crostini, nduja, ricotta, fig sounds so good!

  • Katiefayhutson  on  October 25, 2017

    Casio e Pepe kugel

  • Julia  on  October 25, 2017

    Tomato braised eggplant.

  • t.t  on  October 25, 2017

    Fried egg with kasha, Sicilian pesto, and soppressata

  • verorenee  on  October 30, 2017

    Tuscan Kale soup

  • lauriesk  on  October 31, 2017

    The first recipe I would make is the Breakfast Pho.

  • fiarose  on  October 31, 2017

    oh man, grilled squid, lemongrass, chilis, garlic…my favorite

  • ebs  on  October 31, 2017

    Cacio e pepe kugel

  • Amandaspamanda  on  November 1, 2017

    I always have too many zucchini to use in the summer, so I'd try the Zucchini and provolone frittata to give some variety to our squash-laden menu!

  • Karla123  on  November 1, 2017

    Spiced Pumpkin Seeds..this is a nice way to add some pizzazz to a tasty treat.

  • contest718  on  November 1, 2017

    Roasted pumpkin, Parmigiano-Reggiano, pine nuts

  • jmay42066  on  November 1, 2017

    Zucchini and provolone frittata, two of my favorite things together in one dish!

  • Kemali  on  November 5, 2017

    Cacio e pepe kugel… Sounds absolutely delicious!!

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