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The Stages of Gentrification, as Told by Restaurant Openings

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Inocencio Carbajal opened his acclaimed taqueria, Carnitas Uruapan, on West 18th Street in Chicago’s Pilsen neighborhood in 1975. He picked the location for a simple reason: At the time, it was near one of the city’s only Mexican grocery stores. There was another, more complex reason Carbajal and the grocery store were in the neighborhood, though. The construction of the University of Illinois campus in the neighboring Near West Side community between 1960 and 1965 pushed longtime Mexican residents into Pilsen, transforming the largely Czech and Eastern European immigrant neighborhood into a predominantly Mexican community by 1970. Within less than a decade, Pilsen had become one of Chicago’s most prominent Latinx neighborhoods.

More than 40 years later, the original Carnitas Uruapan is still there. But the Pilsen around it is changing again. City officials began planning new development for the area during the early 1970s, shortly after it emerged as a majority-Latinx community. The 1973 “Chicago 21 Plan,” designed to stem white flight by revitalizing areas surrounding the city’s commercial district, the Loop, targeted nearby communities like Pilsen. Private developers then tried slowly expanding into those areas. Community activists were able to resist these efforts through the early 1990s, but by the 2000s, political leaders, including the community’s alderman, invited pricey new development into the neighborhood, paving the way for rapid change. 

Over the next decade, new cafes, restaurants, and housing developments owned by outsiders replaced many resident-owned properties and abandoned lots. Between 2000 and 2010, the Latinx population declined 26 percent. Today, Pilsen is one of the hippest areas in Chicago, with a thriving arts scene, fine dining options, and quaint cafes that continue to entice wealthier transplants to the area as working-class Mexicans who have lived there for years are displaced.

Gentrification is a process, one that today generally begins with investors seeking out affordable communities in order to transform them for profit. A key component of gentrification, which distinguishes it from revitalization, is the demographic shift that happens when newer, more expensive development attracts wealthier newcomers, often young professionals, who then price out the community’s original residents. The displaced people are usually members of marginalized minority groups who have been historically confined to divested inner-city districts by racist housing practices, segregation, and midcentury white flight.

Marcos Carbajal, Inocencio’s son, and now a co-owner of Carnitas Uruapan, is torn over the gentrification of Pilsen. On one hand, he misses the neighborhood he grew up in. But its growing popularity with middle-class outsiders has been good for business: His family purchased the building decades ago, so the area’s rising rents haven’t affected the shop, and new residents are flocking to the taqueria for the unique Uruapan-style carnitas his dad learned to make as a child. “To me it’s a giant gray area and it’s really hard to judge it one way or the other,” Carbajal says. “If you’ve been in that neighborhood long enough, you can’t deny that it’s much safer and much more eclectic than it once was.”

Conflicting views on gentrification’s impact have led to public showdowns over new developments and businesses in countless communities, many involving restaurants. In 2017, just as chef Stephen Gillanders was set to open the upscale contemporary-American restaurant S.K.Y. about a half-mile from Carnitas Uruapan, members of anti-gentrification groups ChiResist and Defend Boyle Heights marched up to the building and began livestreaming themselves condemning the business. In the video, S.K.Y.’s general manager confronted the group and asked, “Is there anything we can do to help?” to which several of the activists responded, “Get the fuck out!” The manager listed the ways the restaurant gives back to community programs, but the activists in the video dismissed them. A week later, graffiti appeared on S.K.Y.’s building and Dusek’s Board and Beer, the Michelin-starred fine dining spot across the street: “Get out,” “Gentrifiers,” and “YT People Outta Pilsen.”

Grassroots organizations of anti-gentrification activists have emerged across the country in response to the tidal wave of gentrification that has swept through America’s largest cities over the past two decades. There is the Brooklyn Anti-gentrification Network (BANgentrification) in New York City, Defend Our Hoodz in Austin, and Defend Boyle Heights in Los Angeles (which recently joined a national housing inequality organization called the United Neighborhood Defense Movement), to name a few.

Like ChiResist, many of these organizations zero in on food businesses and confront restaurant owners, and that’s no coincidence — when it comes to gentrification, new food spaces are often the canary in the coal mine, according to Joshua Sbicca, a sociology professor at Colorado State University, whose research has shown that restaurants often act as proxies for gentrification. As American neighborhoods evolve, the changes appear in their foodscapes: There is a stark contrast between a 40-year-old Pilsen restaurant like Carnitas Urapan and the new, upscale S.K.Y. or Thalia Hall down the street.

Sbicca says that there are generally two ways to look at gentrification: from an economic standpoint, as something that happens when businesses seek investment opportunities in underprivileged communities, and from a cultural standpoint, as something that happens when an underserved community’s vibrant culture attracts wealthier outsiders. Restaurants fall at the intersection of these frames, making them ideal indicators for the state of gentrification in a given area. “It’s different than many other kinds of businesses or processes of gentrification that take place,” Sbicca says. “I can’t think of a better way to have a look at the aspects of gentrification.” 

These changes aren’t just happening in Chicago. As white-collar jobs and tech businesses attract more young American professionals to cities, these gentrification trends show up in data from around the country. In San Francisco’s Chinatown, for example, banquet halls that have existed in the community for decades are competing with new Michelin-starred halls. In the Bushwick area of New York City, the four or so dive bars that existed in the once predominantly working-class Latinx neighborhood a decade ago now sit alongside dozens of swanky new watering holes catering to the influx of young urban professionals. Portland’s Black population is being pushed to the city’s outskirts, farther and farther away from the city’s buzziest new restaurants.

To make matters worse, the COVID-19 pandemic prompted many small businesses to close for good. Reports show that 60 percent of restaurants that have closed since the onset of the pandemic have shuttered permanently. There is consequently a growing fear that large chains and bigger businesses will capitalize on failing small businesses and buy up empty spaces in working-class neighborhoods if stakeholders don’t act soon. This could only speed up the changes happening across American cities.

In order to explore the relationship between restaurants and gentrification, Eater requested restaurant health inspection data from several U.S. cities, using the data to estimate how many restaurants are in each city and where they’re located.. Neighborhoods with anecdotal evidence of recent gentrification were pinpointed — Pilsen in Chicago; Crown Heights, Bushwick, Harlem, and Bedford-Stuyvesant in New York City; and Chinatown in San Francisco, for instance — and the information was analyzed against census data on the areas’ income and racial makeup and Zillow data on home and rental prices

Certain patterns emerged that highlight the interdependent relationship between restaurants and the numerous phases of urban gentrification. A new high-rise or upscale restaurant opening in a neighborhood might appear to be the first major sign of gentrification, but by then, the process is often already wrapping up — it’s the cafe, the bar, and the initial boom in table-service dining venues that are the real beacons of change. “A focus on food shows how patchwork neighborhood change often results from these small and piecemeal entrepreneurship efforts, and that the creep of gentrification and displacement often moves through foodspaces,” Sbicca says.

Stage One One: Third Places

Gentrification happens in phases, according to Sbicca. It’s a long-held belief that the first wave is driven by artists and young creative professionals, who are drawn to communities with lower rents. So, naturally, places like coffee shops and bars, which frequently act as third places for these groups of people, are often the initial signs that wealthier outsiders have their eyes set on an affordable neighborhood. “There’s a reason why those are anchor food institutions as opposed to, say, your upscale omakase-style Japanese restaurant where someone is paying 100 bucks to have an omakase tasting,” Sbicca says. “That’s a later wave, where those kinds of restaurants are catering to wealthier professionals who have disposable income to actually afford to eat those kinds of cuisines.” 

Third places like cafes are ideal for young creatives looking for affordable businesses they can patronize while also being able to practice their craft, Sbicca says. This is in line with results of a Harvard research study that found a strong correlation between the presence of cafes and an increase in college-educated residents; as neighborhoods become whiter and wealthier, the number of cafes tends to increase.

Take New York City’s Crown Heights, a historically Black and Caribbean community in Brooklyn. As the Michael Bloomberg mayorship (2002 to 2013) stoked massive residential development projects to accommodate the city’s growing population, more white-collar professionals found themselves in Brooklyn. Data for the years 2012 and 2013, Bloomberg’s last year in office, show clear signs that the area was deep in the process of gentrification: The average cost of a one-bedroom home increased 13 percent. Black residents, who made up 78 percent of the Crown Heights population in 2000, only accounted for 57 percent by 2013. 

Stage Two: Bigger and Better 

As the gentrification process continues, the scope and scale of restaurants in the neighborhood begin to change. Restaurants appear to get larger and more expensive as the next wave of young professionals and small-business entrepreneurs move in, driven by new opportunities to meet the demands of residents with higher incomes and more expensive taste. Wait-service and large-capacity restaurants, for instance, grow during this phase. Typically, restaurants served by waitstaff are larger and more upscale, with higher price points.

This growth in more massive, more expensive food spaces worries residents in San Francisco’s Chinatown. Malcolm Yeung, the executive director of the Chinatown Community Development Center in San Francisco, says Chinatown is one of the few communities in the city that hasn’t fully gentrified, because, unlike many Chinatowns around the country, it is still predominantly working class and Chinese. But as the rent rises and businesses shutter, he and other advocates are trying to prevent gentrification from swallowing it up too. “Our concern is that when you start to see a trend of restaurants that move away from accessibility to the community,” Yeung says. “it starts to give you the wrong signal about where Chinatown is heading and perhaps begins to attract restaurants, owners, and operators into Chinatown that don’t necessarily have that community spirit in mind.”

Yeung welcomes new businesses but says they should be businesses that the community can access. Affordable banquet halls have historically been an important cornerstone for the Chinese community in San Francisco, hosting large family gatherings, celebrations, and political events. There were once five such banquet halls in Chinatown. Of the three that have recently closed, two have been turned into Michelin-starred fine dining spaces (Mister Jiu’s and Eight Tables at China Live). Chef Ho Chee Boon, the former executive chef for the Hakkasan restaurant chain, is set to open another upscale spot in the third space.

“Those two restaurants are good and well. We’re glad they’re in the neighborhood, but we’re raising questions,” Yeung says of Mister Jiu’s and Eight Tables. “When you only have five large spaces to begin with, is it really the right thing for the community for the third one to also convert to a one-Michelin-star restaurant?”

The data suggest there might be reason for concern. More luxe restaurants in other cities show a strong correlation with demographic changes. In New York City, for example, there is a strong correlation between the number of restaurants offering wait service (as opposed to fast food or takeout) and rising housing prices, income, and rent in gentrifying neighborhoods. New York City inspection data document the type of restaurant inspected, including whether the restaurant offers wait service. In 2013, there were 34 Harlem restaurants with wait service; by 2015, that number grew by more than 20 percent as housing prices soared from $588,000 to $777,000 and median income grew 23 percent. The correlation coefficient between home prices and waitstaff restaurants in Harlem is 0.77. Correlation data shows a 0.90 coefficient for waitstaff restaurants and housing prices in Crown Heights. In Bedford-Stuyvesant, the value is 0.85.

Yeung says that is how gentrification seems to work: Investors and developers of higher status move in, build pricier businesses, and inevitably push the original community out since the existing residents have fewer resources to compete. He fears San Francisco’s Chinatown could end up like other Chinatowns around the country — according to the 2010 U.S. census, there are only 300 Chinese residents left in Washington, D.C.’s Chinatown. 

The growth in high-end dining options that cater more to outsiders than local residents isolates the existing community and propels gentrification, Yeung says. “From what we’ve seen, the people that patronize those high-end Chinese restaurants, it’s almost literally they Uber in or Lyft in, they have a cocktail or eat dinner or lunch, and then they just leave,” he says. “They don’t stay around to visit their family association building, or buy groceries, or to buy takeout, or dim sum, or to get a haircut or get hair and nails done, or to buy dry goods, or any one of the myriad collateral benefits that restaurants who draw community stakeholders would have on the rest of the community.” 

Race and ethnicity are major de facto components of gentrification, as the communities that tend to get displaced are disproportionately communities of color, but the issue can extend beyond racial inequality. New restaurant owners entering gentrifying areas are sometimes people of color themselves, but this doesn’t mean that they can’t be gentrifiers, Sbicca says. The owners of San Francisco’s new Chinatown banquet halls are Asian entrepreneurs, for instance, but still draw business primarily from non-residents. 

Stephen Gillanders, the chef-owner of S.K.Y. in Chicago, where protesters confronted management, told Eater in 2018 that he’d assumed his Filipino heritage would resonate with the people of Pilsen and made a point of mentioning that S.K.Y. hires diverse talent. Yet when Gillander’s general manager shared those points with the ChiResist protesters during their encounter, the activists scoffed. Likewise, when celebrity chef Marcus Samuelsson, of Ethiopian and Swedish descent, opened soul food restaurant Red Rooster in Harlem, New York, in 2010, some criticized it for contributing to gentrification by catering to outsiders. Samuelsson is set to open a second Red Rooster in Miami’s Overtown community; it has received similar backlash from residents

Entrepreneurs of color moving into areas that are gentrifying still face criticism because gentrification is also an issue of class, Sbicca says. “It might not be a racial shift, per se, but say there’s a wealthier African-American community that’s able to stay in that neighborhood,” he says. “Is there this economic shift that’s pricing people out?”

The crux of gentrification, in other words, is any demographic shift caused by wealthier newcomers. This shift doesn’t have to be cultural. Sometimes new residents and investors embrace the local culture, art, music, and cuisine. This means that despite the displacement of working-class communities in a gentrifying area, the original cuisine can remain. In fact, in some cases, the dominant cultural cuisine of an area has thrived during times of gentrification.

These newcomers often pick and choose which parts of the neighborhood’s culture they want to keep around while neglecting to support others, however. “‘I want my authentic experience and I want to get my kombucha,’” Sbicca says, describing their mindset. They might dine out at local Mexican restaurants, but avoid grocery shopping at the longstanding Mexican grocer, choosing more upscale stores instead.

A cuisine’s preservation is also frequently the result of community members’ efforts. Some neighborhood activists form agreements with new businesses in an effort to protect the area’s traditional culture. In San Francisco, residents in the Mission District, a predominantly Latinx hub, fought to designate the neighborhood’s 24th Street corridor a Latino Cultural District. Now certain restaurants must meet with community members to ensure their businesses reflect the vibrant Latinx culture the designation is supposed to preserve, which includes limiting the size of new buildings, adjusting the style of storefronts, and ensuring affordable price points. Despite a citywide decline in restaurants, data show the number of Latinx restaurants in the area did not change much in the last five years.

Preventing gentrification from erasing the culture and people that have historically called an area home too often falls to the community members themselves, and data can be a useful tool in their struggle. 

As cities vie for wealthy residents — who city officials hope will invest their capital locally — there are usually economic incentives for working with developers to revitalize communities, according to Sbicca. “There is this economic competition for people that are going to bring in tax revenue, spend dollars, etc.,” Sbicca says. “So if a city is able to find a place in their city that has ‘potential,’ there’s an economic incentive, in some respect, for developers, mayors, city council people, etc., to try to revitalize that place.”

On paper, revitalization can sound promising. But the line between revitalization and gentrification is sometimes blurred, and cities trying to “revitalize” deteriorating areas sometimes make matters worse for current residents, who find themselves having to beg city officials not to displace them.

Stage Three: It’s Too Late

The third phase of the gentrification process is perhaps the most noticeable, but by then, intervention is difficult. After creatives have moved in and attracted bigger, more expensive development to the area, the neighborhood catches the eyes of even bigger developers — the ones behind chains and big-box stores. At this point, community efforts to save the neighborhood from gentrification is very difficult. Lamb points out that during this phase, small restaurants, including the ones that displaced the pre-gentrification restaurants, begin to shutter. “Now, new development is occurring and the costs to operate a business in new developments increasingly gets to be unattainable for a new small business,” Lamb says. “So you have to find much better-capitalized businesses that can do that.” 

With more than half of restaurants that closed at the start of the COVID-19 pandemic closing for good, many fear that large businesses will swoop into vulnerable neighborhoods to buy up vacant properties at discounted prices. Minority businesses were hit especially hard during the pandemic, and the communities they serve may be especially vulnerable to new development and thus displacement. Whereas cafes, bars, and waitstaff restaurants were early indicators of gentrification that gave community members a chance to fight displacement and preserve their community culture, indicators of post-pandemic gentrification may be the appearance of big-box stores and chains. But by then, it could be too late.

Vince Dixon is the data visualization reporter at Eater.

Methodology: Eater obtained and analyzed restaurant inspection data from the health departments of Chicago, New York City and San Francisco to estimate the total number of restaurants in each city from 2010 to 2019. The restaurants were compared to median housing prices and rent data compiled by Zillow, and median income data courtesy of the U.S. Census.

Data Sources:
Chicago Department of Public Health
New York Department of Mental Health and Hygiene
San Francisco Department of Public Health
Multnomah County Environmental Health
United States Census
Zillow Home Value Index
Zillow Observed Rent Index

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The Eater Guide on How to Help During the Crisis

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Not all that long ago it seemed like if the pandemic weren’t exactly over by now, then at least the worst of it would be. But the summer didn’t make things any simpler. Cases continued to spread, and fires and hurricanes ravaged the West and Gulf Coast. As the weather turned colder, more states began allowing indoor activities and face-to-face school. As a result, the virus appears to be surging once more. It is increasingly clear that not only will thousands more Americans likely die as a direct result of COVID-19 by the end of 2020, but the mass misery of the economic devastation it has unleashed — suffering disproportionately endured by Black and Latinx communities — will not lift anytime soon. 

Benefits like the federal $600 a week unemployment expansion ran out or contracted for more than 25 million Americans in July and the federal government has failed to agree on the terms of a new aid package. Organizations that provide food and housing assistance to low-income people across the country, already strained by the last several months of the pandemic and the government’s appallingly incompetent — and at times malevolent — response, are scrambling to meet a tidal wave of need. As roughly 40 percent of restaurants on the brink of closing forever, programs that aid people in the food industry are also seeking further support so they can continue to provide assistance to worker who remain unemployed or underemployed. Groups representing Indigenous communities, undocumented immigrants, farmworkers, and people of color are also mobilizing to get assistance to marginalized people and lay a foundation for a more resilient food system — because while it’s an extraordinary time of need, it’s also not new. 

Hunger and poverty have always been the U.S.’s most shameful open secrets. Despite being the wealthiest country in the world, as of 2018 more than 13 percent of people in the U.S. lived below the poverty level, according to the Census Bureau, while a full 78 percent of U.S. workers lived paycheck to paycheck. The pandemic and its economic fallout have put those statistics into ever starker relief, as the nation’s working class and its poorest residents have faced the largest health burden from the virus. Several studies have estimated that pandemic-related job losses and increased food costs have roughly doubled food insecurity in the U.S., and No Kid Hungry estimates that one quarter of children around the country could face food insecurity in 2020 due to the novel coronavirus. 

In this guide, Eater has identified a range of programs, organizations, and charities fighting hunger, developing sustainable food networks, and providing support to the roughly 31 million people who are unemployed or are working less than they’d like to be due to this global medical disaster. These are places that are stepping in to do work in their communities where governments and elected officials have left people behind. Collected here are opportunities for giving and volunteering in and around the United States and its territories, at both the national and the local level, as well as in the U.K. Editors have done their best to vet the charities included here, but it’s always important to make sure when you give money or time that the organization you’re supporting aligns with your values and has a transparent, proven track record. If you only have time or resources to give, give it, but monetary donations — especially those offered over an extended period — can be even more impactful because charities tend to know where the greatest need is. If you’ve chosen a group and aren’t sure what’s the best way to help, it’s worth reaching out and asking.

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Trump Teases an ‘EPIC’ Election Night Party at His D.C. Hotel Despite Capacity Limits

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Despite D.C.’s ongoing COVID-19 restrictions on large gatherings, President Donald Trump’s campaign has teased plans to host a party for election night on Tuesday, November 3, at the Trump International Hotel downtown. Fundraising emails from Donald Trump Jr. include details on a “sweepstakes” to fly a supporter to D.C. for a party described in all-caps as “EPIC,” “ELECTRIC,” and “INCREDIBLE.”

Under D.C.’s Phase 2 reopening restrictions, mass gatherings are capped at a maximum capacity of 50 people. Restaurants are still limited to half-capacity seating with no standing and no countertop service from bartenders. D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser says she wasn’t aware of plans for the party until Monday, October 26, Washingtonian reports.

The location of the election night party is unclear, but the opulent hotel has multiple ballrooms and event spaces. The hotel includes a location of celebrity chef David Burke’s BLT Prime steakhouse. Lobby-level bar Benjamin serves $23 glasses of sangria and $120 seafood towers. Nearby, more affordable pub Harry’s has already seen pro-Trump crowds openly flouting mask requirements and other protocols meant to limit the spread of the novel coronavirus. Trump has consistently downplayed the severity of the COVID-19 pandemic. After he survived a case, Trump told Americans, “Don’t let it dominate your life.”

On election night four years ago, the recently opened hotel was the site of an impromptu and raucous gathering for supporters watching the numbers roll in on large TVs framing its gold bar. The controversial Pennsylvania Avenue hotel near the White House has been sold out for weeks on and around Election Day at rates going for $1,200 a night, the Associated Press reports.

The fine print in the sweepstakes notes the campaign can move the date of the trip and the location of the hotel stay at its discretion. The prize also includes a photo op with Trump. The supposedly randomly chosen winner, who is subject to a background check, will be responsible for all ground transportation, meals, and all other expenses during the duration of the trip.

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Eater Staffers Pick Their Favorite Instant Pot Recipes

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Now that we are over the sourdough-and-regrowing-scallions part of the pandemic, but in no way over the actual pandemic, we must prepare for The Hunkering. Every winter is a time for stews, roasts, and hearty pasta bakes, but this winter it feels extra important, both because most of us are going to be indoors way more than any previous season, and have completely lost the energy to do anything but throw a bunch of stuff in a pot. Which obviously means it’s time to break out the Instant Pots.

A few years ago it seemed like electric multicookers, especially the Instant Pot, may have just been a fad. But the fact that in one appliance you can cook anything from soup to pudding to bread makes it pretty ideal for cooking during quarantine fatigue. Eater’s staffers rounded up our favorite go-to Instant Pot recipes, perfect for the many nights when you’re in the mood for something delicious, but you know, wanting to do as little as possible to make it happen. And as Eater Dallas and Eater Houston editor Amy McCarthy noted, you could always go with “just some fucking chicken breasts,” and let the machine do the rest.


Beef barley soup: This is the first that comes to mind. It’s basically a textbook version of this classic soup, and perfect for chilly weather. It’s low-lift, reasonably quick to put together, and freezes well. — Missy Frederick, cities director

Dakbokkeumtang: I make this recipe when I’m craving a savory chicken dish with the volume turned up. All that delicious flavor comes from the sauce. It’s a perfect balance of sweet and spicy from gochujang and sugar. Doenjang and oyster sauce adds another layer of depth. Typically to make this Korean comfort dish, you would need to watch over the pot, making sure that the chicken pieces are soaking up the sauce. But everything is done in the Instant Pot, so the result is fall-off-the-bone, tender chicken with potatoes that just break apart with no effort at all. Also, who doesn’t love a dump-everything-and-press-the-button recipe?! — James Park, social media manager

Mac and cheese: I make this one once a week when I’m lazy and cooking sounds hard. I use whatever cheese is in the fridge, add a little brown mustard to the mix, and usually skip the milk or add it at the very end. Would suggest you grate the mozzarella or it becomes a blob. — Brenna Houck, editor at Eater Detroit

Chinese poached whole chicken: Basically, I get a whole chicken every week, and I got tired of roasting it. This recipe is a really easy — not entirely foolproof, but a good enough way to poach a chicken whole in about 40 to 50 minutes, with not too much work on my part. You can use it specifically as white-cut chicken over rice with, say, a ginger scallion sauce, but just as often I pull the meat off the carcass and use it for meals throughout the week. Two caveats: You really do need an instant-read thermometer to tell when it’s done, and I find it’s much better to salt the chicken 24 hours in advance (I use the method in Salt Fat Acid Heat), so it has enough taste. And after poaching the chicken and pulling off the meat, I often toss the carcass right back into its cooking liquid, cook it on manual for another 60 minutes, and end up with a bunch of chicken stock. — Meghan McCarron, special correspondent

Kosha mangsho: This is a traditional Bengali goat or lamb stew in a heavily spiced, yogurt gravy, and it’s intensely rich and comforting. This recipe uses a pressure cooker to save time, but on the offchance you landed on this page and don’t have an Instant Pot or the like, you can still just simmer it in a large pot. — Jaya Saxena, staff writer

Lemongrass coconut chicken: The sauce is unbelievably tasty for just a few ingredients and it comes together so quickly. The labor to flavor ratio makes it one of my go-tos when I get bored with cooking or can’t be bothered to put in much effort. It’s also great over rice or any other grain. — Brittanie Shey, Eater Houston and Eater Dallas associate editor

Basic chicken noodle soup: I make a basic chicken noodle soup in the Instant Pot probably every week in the winter: The base recipe is two chicken breasts, a carton and a half of broth, a few cups (I eyeball it) roughly chopped diced celery, carrot, and onion, and whatever spices you want. Cook everything together on high pressure for 25 mins. You can quick-release the pressure and remove the chicken breasts, and shred them — while you’re shredding, set the pot’s saute function so the broth remains boiling and add egg noodles. Once the noodles are cooked, dump the shredded chicken back in and you’re done! This is perfect because frozen chicken works just as well (and at the same cook time), and you can experiment with any leafy greens at the end (throw them in when you add the noodles) and any noodle types you want. — Erin DeJesus, lead editor, Eater.com

Pork chile verde: This recipe is very good; I found it last year when I had a truckload of tomatillos from my garden. It is a great comfort food and works well as stew or tacos. — Brenna Houck, Editor at Eater Detroit

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