Learn How to Master Five Essential Cooking Techniques with These Chicken Recipes
When shopping for chicken, know your labels. "Organic" means that the animals were raised without antibiotics and given organic feed, among other requirements, and the farm was certified by an annual inspection. "Raised without antibiotics" indicates that the farm has sent proof of this practice to the USDA, but was not inspected for compliance. Ditto for "No Antibiotics Ever" and "Never Given Antibiotics." "Animal Welfare Approved" means that there is no single certifying body for humane treatment of chickens—adequate space, time outdoors—but ASPCA recommends looking for this label, as well as "Certified Humane" and "Global Animal Partnership Step 2" and higher (up to Step 5+).
Now onto the fun stuff: how to prepare your chicken. There are several genius techniques we're highlighting in these new recipes—braising, roasting, sautéing, poaching, and grilling. Braising takes the longest, as it requires the meat to cook low and slow until it becomes super tender and absorbs all of the aromatics and other flavors in the dish. Roasting is another time-consuming technique and one that you're likely familiar with (think a nice whole roasted chicken with lemons, garlic, and herbs for date night-in or dinner parties). Grilling is a technique that creates a natural smokiness in every bite of chicken, whether it's done indoors or outdoors. Poaching is great for making soup and chicken salad, as the chicken can easily be shredded and remains tender. Finally, one of the most popular techniques is sautéing. This method creates crispy on the outside, juicy on the inside chicken and is best for breasts or thighs. Here's a secret: Generously salting a whole chicken (or any part still on the bone) overnight is a trust restaurant secret. The salt deeply penetrates the meat, so every bite is juicy and savory.
Follow along for our new and improved chicken dinner recipes with tips on how to cook the bird.
Roast Chicken with Vegetables and Potatoes
This is your go-to classic roast chicken recipe. Rubbing the chicken with oil keeps the skin golden brown and crispy. Roasting the chicken with carrots, shallots, and fingerling potatoes infuses each ingredient with flavor and aromatics. The best part of all? It's a one-pan dinner!
Spicy Chicken-and-Lime Soup
This Mexican soup makes satisfying use of the whole bird. Cut it into pieces and start them in cool water to ensure even, gentle cooking when poaching. Pull off the cooked meat, and toss the bones back in to extract every last bit of flavor. To serve, combine the broth, the shredded meat, and a fiesta of toppings: creamy avocado, tangy cotija cheese, bright cilantro, cool radish slices, and fried tortilla strips.
Chicken Thighs with Cherry Tomatoes and Pernod
Our all-in-one recipe packs a one-two punch. The first is Pernod, a slightly sweet anise-flavored French liqueur that's mixed with fennel seeds, lemon juice, and olive oil and then tossed with chicken thighs, shallots, and cherry tomatoes. It creates a rich, aromatic pan sauce. The second is finishing the dish under the broiler. The Pernod caramelizes as the chicken skin turns golden, and the cherry tomatoes get smoky and blistered—just right for serving over pasta or farro.
Vinegar is powerful, but it doesn't have to overpower. This Filipino-style adobo includes a full cup and a half of the mellower rice-wine variety. Swirled in a marinade of soy sauce, sugar, and garlic, it tenderizes the chicken, then it cooks with the meat to build flavor and create a glossy sauce to spoon over rice.
Caramelized Mustard-Marmalade Wings
Amazing, but true: Baked flappers can be just as crispy and delicious as dried ones (trust us, we tried both techniques). The fat renders in the oven, so the meat becomes succulent while the skin turns crackly. Brush on a glaze of mustard and marmalade—plus cayenne, for kick—in the last 10 minutes of cooking. They'll fly off the platter.
Peruvian-Style Roast Chicken with Potatoes
Take one bite, and you'll think it's the spices—cumin, paprika, oregano, salt, and garlic—that make this dish special. Try the potatoes, and you'll swear they're the ticket: boiled, then roasted, they're crisp on the outside and fluffy inside. Taste the sauce, and your search is over. This purée of cilantro, jalapeño, garlic, mayo, and lime is so addictive, we advise making extra.
Instant Pot Chicken Broth
Here's yet another use for your multicooker: our food editors' (relatively) speedy chicken broth. Make a big batch and freeze it in quart containers, so you always have some on hand (be sure to leave about an inch of room in each container, as liquid expands once frozen).
Chicken Saltimbocca with Sage
Pounding breasts to 1/4-inch thickness promises even cooking, and wrapping them in prosciutto (with two sage leaves tucked in) forms a flavor blanket that crisps in the pan. Dredge them in flour so they brown well, and to thicken the sauce as well. Serve with steamed squash and shallow-fried sage leaves—a genius way to use up the whole bunch.
Test Kitchen's Favorite Chicken and Dumplings
Chicken and dumplings is a family favorite comfort food. This dish uses the poaching method, which keeps the chicken incredibly moist and flavors the broth. The makeshift biscuits are as simple as dropping heaping spoonfuls of dough atop the filling, then simmering.
Grilled Chicken Breast with Cucumber Relish
Though appealing in theory—light, juicy, pleasing to the pickiest of eaters—grilled breasts overcook easily, resulting in tough, flavorless protein. To avoid this fate, pound them to an even 1/2-inch thickness, salt them generously, and let them sit for half an hour at room temperature before grilling. Then top with a zesty, Thai-inspired cucumber relish.
Roasted Chicken Breast with Grape Stuffing
Don't wait until Thanksgiving to pair roasted poultry and rustic stuffing. Bake a split bone-in chicken breast on a bed of celery, onion, garlic, torn ciabatta, and grapes (for harvest-time sweetness). The meat's juices soak into the bread, so the center is moist, while the craggy bits on top crunch like croutons. You're welcome.
Crispy Chicken Cutlets
The meat is marinated in yogurt for 15 minutes to tenderize it and get the panko to adhere for a substantial coating. Then the chicken is pan-fried until golden and crispy. And no, you won't want fries with that after you try a fresh tangle of peppery greens: arugula, watercress, and Little Gem lettuce, tossed with lemon juice and olive oil. This crowd-pleasing, versatile dish is a bite away!