I hesitated for a long time before including a recipe for roasted chicken in my cookbook. It seemed so basic and simple, but as I talked to more and more home cooks it became apparent that roasting a whole chicken is an intimidating kitchen project for many people. And when I use the word project, I mean it very loosely, because really there’s no fuss in doing it.
The real key is the right cooking temperature; that’s what ensures a super crispy skin, but also keeps the white meat juicy and moist. And forget about trussing — this isn’t your mother’s roast chicken. In fact, I’ve found that the chicken cooks more evenly if you leave the legs wide open. It allows the heat to circulate throughout the chicken, so the dark and white meats cook evenly.
Learn how to make a roast chicken
Like so many American households, we eat a lot of chicken in my little family of two. And, of course, like so many of our fellow poultry eaters, we often fall into a rut and end up making the same four or five recipes over and over again.
Recently, after working our way through another round of the same old roast chicken, I started doing a little searching in the hopes of injecting some fresh inspiration into our routine. I bookmarked recipes for stews, pan-roasted birds and new-to-me marinades.
Because I know her dishes to be pretty darn reliable in the taste department, I started out by trying Rachael Ray’s recipe for Spring Chicken With Carrots and Peas. You begin by browning the chicken in a little olive oil and then turning down the heat so the chicken cooks through.
Once it’s done, you pull the chicken out of the pot and add chopped shallots. Once they’ve cooked and picked up all those gorgeous bits of golden chicken from the bottom of the pan, you add some white wine, carrots and peas. Finally, the chicken is nestled back into the pot. You can serve it immediately, or you can let the chicken stew a bit longer and pick up some of the flavors from the pot.
Before you start cooking, read these tips
This week’s Most Popular Pin of the Week, Giada’s Shortcut Pot Pies, is a great way to incorporate broccoli or other veggies into your family’s meals. Kids will also appreciate the manageable two-bite size of these cheesy broccoli-and-chicken-stuffed pot pies, and you’ll be relieved that they’re a cinch to prepare thanks to store-bought crust.
For more everyday recipe inspiration, visit Food Network’s Let’s Cook: Recipe of the Day board on Pinterest.
Get the recipe: Mini Chicken and Broccoli Pot Pies
One time when I was in college, I brought a few friends home for the weekend. It was a 4-hour drive from Walla Walla, Wash. — where we went to school — to my hometown of Portland, Ore. Knowing we’d be hungry, my mom had dinner waiting for us when we arrived. She’d made a big pot of her chicken curry, with brown rice to sop up the juices and plenty of garnishes like yogurt, diced apple and fresh cilantro leaves.
I was thrilled to see what she’d prepared. It was just the sort of flavorful, interesting food I’d grown up eating and didn’t see much of in the dining hall at school. My friends, on the other hand, weren’t so excited. I didn’t know it until we sat down at the table, but they weren’t fans of chicken on the bone or saucy dishes that include cooked raisins.
I am grateful that my parents chose to be amused by my friends’ collective reluctance to eat the meal and willingly served them lots of rice with just a little sauce for flavor. I am also appreciative that my parents made sure to make interesting food throughout my childhood, as it has made me a more adventurous eater as an adult.
Recently, I had a craving for a dish like the hippie curry that my mom served to my friends and me that night. A phone call to her was dissatisfyingly vague, so I did a little digging in the hopes that I’d find something with a similar flavor profile. What I settled on was Rachael Ray’s Eight-Spice Squash and Chicken Thighs Stew With Lentil Rice.
Read more »
Chicken: It’s probably up there with “mom” as one of your first words. And there’s good reason for that. It’s simple and versatile, lean and easy to do in a hurry. More often than not, chicken is relegated to the weeknight spot and to redundant preparations. Well if it’s up to us, our faithful chicken deserves a little something more. This week, run down the line of our feistiest chicken recipes. Because hey, who says comfort food has to come from a casserole dish (not that there’s anything wrong with that)?
A deep bowl of sultry curry has always been known to do the trick. Check out Aarti Sequeira’s Green Chicken Curry recipe, which comes steeped in cilantro, ginger and garam masala.
The Super Bowl may be in the past, but whose wing craving ever truly subsides? The Neelys’ Spicy Fried Wings from Food Network Magazine go perfectly with curling up on the couch after a long day at the office.
Grab a head of iceberg lettuce and get swaddling. Rachael Ray’s Barbecued Chinese Chicken Lettuce Wraps are do-it-yourself at the dinner table and a low-carb way of having fun with the fam.
Get more chicken recipes from family and friends
The big game is just days away, which means that it’s officially time to start planning your weekend tailgate menu. Whether or not you’re a fan of the teams taking the field on Sunday, almost everyone can appreciate the relaxing afternoon of TV watching, couch potato-ing and heavy-duty snacking that comes with this ultimate football showdown. Invite your friends and family over for a casual game-day bash and serve a spread of mingle-friendly dips, Buffalo-style wings and adults-only cocktails, all rounded out by a crowd-pleasing main dish: the chicken enchilada. Check out Food Network’s top five chicken enchilada recipes below — each a hearty, all-in-one meal that the whole family will enjoy — and cook up one at home this weekend.
5. Light Chicken Enchiladas — Stick to your New Year’s Day healthy-eating resolution while still enjoying this full-flavored dish, made with lean chicken breasts, just a splash of olive oil and a sprinkling of muenster cheese.
4. Chicken Enchiladas Suizas — Food Network Kitchens incorporates a touch of heat to its tomato-based enchilada sauce by adding a few Serrano chile peppers, but a scoop of Mexican crema mixed with shredded chicken helps to balances the spice.
Get the top three recipes
While the New Year ushers in thoughts of renewed resolutions, changes big and small, and promises of fresh starts, it also culminates in a season of something else: football. To celebrate this football-focused month, FN Dish is bringing you weekly roundups of your favorite tailgate-ready munchies like juicy chicken wings, deliciously salty chips and dips, hearty sliders, decadent chocolate brownies and others to help you host the ultimate big-game bash every weekend. Check back each Friday in January for a complete menu of must-try recipes, plus simple entertaining tips and more winning ideas that are sure to score touchdowns with your friends and family.
The star dish at many tailgates, chicken wings are simple-to-make, blank canvases that are just waiting to be coated with flavor. Hot out of the oven or straight from the fryer, they can be tossed with any number of sweet and spicy sauces, glazes or rubs depending on your tastes and what ingredients you have on hand. Instead of relying on bags of frozen wings for a quick-fix meal or calling up your local wing joint for delivery, cook up can-do recipes to help you turn out restaurant-style chicken wings with ease.
Find out how to eat a chicken wing the right way
My most vivid memories of childhood are those ones in which my family is seated around our dining room table. I remember discussing potential Halloween costumes over stuffed green peppers and soldiering through those first cold nights of winter over big bowls of chicken and rice soup.
Different eras of my childhood are so deeply linked to the meals we ate frequently during those years that I still can’t eat those dishes without recalling long-past moments. Avocados and plums taste like my earliest days in Southern California. Fried eggs served on steamed white rice with a side of pickled ginger take me back to the months after my parents returned from a trip to Hawaii.
There’s one meal that we ate a lot during my high school and college years and even a single bite of it transports me. It was chicken breast (quickly cooked with garlic) and sauteed zucchini and baby spinach (often straight from the backyard garden) heaped on top of angel hair pasta (highly valued by my mother because it cooked quickly) and topped with a shower of grated Parmesan cheese.
Before you start boiling your pasta, read these tips:
When the 6:00 p.m. dinner rush hits, reach for a tried-and-true staple that you know will win over even the pickiest eaters in your family: chicken. Quick cooking and cost effective, chicken is a blank culinary canvas through which you can showcase bold flavors and textures and experiment with new ingredients and creative cooking techniques. Check out Food Network’s top five easy chicken recipes below, each a flavorful meal that can be made in 35 minutes or fewer.
5. Chicken Piccata With Lemon and Capers — A complete, all-in-one supper, this hearty plate boasts tender chicken topped with a light, tangy white wine sauce and a simple side of rice studded with lima beans.
4. Chicken Tortilla Soup — Juicy chunks of lean chicken breast are the star of this Mexican-inspired recipe, which is laced with lime juice and brimming with Monterrey cheese, creamy avocado and crunchy tortilla chips.
Get the top three easy chicken recipes
Thanksgiving is over, but the football games are just starting. If you’re tired of eating Thanksgiving leftovers (impossible, we know), dive into a pile of chicken wings. But before you start eating them, ask yourself this question: Am I eating this chicken wing the right way? Yes, there’s actually a right way to eat a chicken wing, and I promise it will make your entire perspective on eating wings a whole lot different.
So sit back, relax and watch. Once you’re done, find your favorite wing recipes to make so you can try it out yourself.
Every month I’ll be showing you the proper and easy way to eat something, so what would you like to see next? Tell me in the comments below.