You’ve heard it before about this most beloved white meat: Grilled chicken can be boring. Sure, on its own, plain grilled chicken can be bland and dry, but it doesn’t have to — and should not be that way. To take everyday chicken to the next delicious level, try switching up cuts of chicken, experimenting with new cooking techniques and adding marinades, rubs and sauces to ensure moist, flavorful results. Follow Food Network’s three simple suggestions below to cook up crave-worthy chicken in a flash.
Buy a Better Bird:
Instead of reaching for boneless, skinless chicken breasts, give chicken thighs a chance instead. Dark meat is a tad fattier, so it’s inherently juicer and more flavorful. If you prefer lean white meat, however, look for bone-in chicken breasts — cooking chicken on the bone helps the meat maintain moisture.
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My mother hates barbecue sauce. She won’t touch it on ribs, chicken or burgers, and can’t bear even the faintest whiff of barbecue potato chips. Her dislike is actually a point of contention in my parents’ marriage, since my father adores the stuff and once even went so far as to invest in a friend’s sauce company.
Ever the peacemaker, I’ve spent my adulthood searching out ways to create tasty grilled chicken that makes my entire family happy (in recent years, I’ve also had to work my husband’s distaste for dark meat into the chicken equation). It has to be entirely unrelated to a traditional ‘cue sauce while still being flavorful enough to turn my dad’s head away from his beloved Mr. Brown’s.
To that end, I’ve made batches of yogurt-marinated chicken breasts, a mountain of teriyaki chicken legs and even whole birds bathed in olive oil, lemon juice and rosemary and cooked under a clean cast-iron skillet.
Always on the lookout for ways to keep our summer cookouts interesting, when I spotted Bobby Flay’s recipe for Red Chile Buttermilk Chicken, I had a feeling it would be another variation that could potentially please the hearts and minds of my many persnickety family members. He has you whisk a number of spices into four cups of buttermilk, pour it over a bunch of chicken pieces and then let it sit for a while in the fridge. Once on the grill, the chicken pieces are cooked indirectly until just cooked through. The finished chicken is intensely moist and tender, nicely flavorful and shockingly easy. Plan a cookout and make it your Weekender soon.
Before you marinate your chicken, read these tips
In the June issue of Food Network Magazine, I put my own spin on fried chicken and eliminated what I think is the worst part of making the much-loved dish at home: the frying part. My kitchen always ends up spattered with oil. Not to mention, disposing of all the oil is a big pain.
To make this recipe, I took a technique I learned for making Italian chicken spiedini (essentially skewered chicken). Instead of deep frying, you coat chicken kebabs in bread crumbs and then grill them for a crispy, crunchy crust.
It took a couple of tries, but the natural fat in the chicken literally fries the bread-crumbs as they grill. You get the best of both worlds — the crispiness of frying and the smoky taste of grilling. Just make sure to keep the heat of your grill on medium so the chicken doesn’t get overly charred.
Try it: Crispy Grilled Chicken Thighs
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Here in Food Network Kitchens, we love simple, classic recipes. We are also paid to think about food all day. So we’ve taken classic foods and drinks and reimagined them into three, four or five different ways. No standard recipes here, just the occasional technique and pictures. Think of it as a picture recipe.
Click here for chicken salad 5 ways
One of the things I love about living in Philadelphia is the fact that the city has a deep well of secrets. No matter how many years I log in the City of Brotherly Love, I find that there’s always something new to discover.
In the neighborhood just north of South Street, there’s a Moroccan restaurant that you’ll never find on your own. Hidden behind an unmarked door, you walk off a residential street and into a world of lush fabrics, pillowed benches and low tables set with brass trays.
I’ve eaten there a few times since a friend first helped me find that hidden door. I love every part of the experience, from the ritual of washing hands to the fact that the meal moves slowly. However, most of all, I love a chicken dish they serve. Baked in phyllo dough, it’s highly spiced with ginger and cinnamon. The outside is dusted with sugar, so that you get sweet, savory and spicy all in a single bite.
Though it’s been years since I’ve had that chicken, I still crave it. However, a meal that lasts 2 1/2 hours doesn’t fit into my schedule as easily as it once did. I’m in that stage of life where most of my friends have small children, and though I love dining with my husband, you really need a group to make the most of a meal like this one.
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Spruce up your usual chicken dinners with this “hunter-style” Italian classic that promises bold, flavorful results every time, thanks to a tried-and-true combination of onions, bell peppers and tomatoes. It is a naturally rustic, easy-to-prepare dish that can be made quickly on a hectic weeknight with everyday ingredients. Check out Food Network’s top five chicken cacciatore recipes, and try cook up one for a simple, satisfying dinner tonight.
5. Chicken Cacciatore — A splash of red wine boosts the full-bodied cacciatore sauce, made with fresh vegetables and thyme.
4. Anne’s Chicken Cacciatore — Anne adds a hint of heat to her rich, tender chicken by sweating onions with a pinch of red pepper flakes.
Get the top three recipes
Until last weekend, I’d never made fried chicken at home. This is primarily because I grew up in a household that did not deep-fry. My mother preferred the kind of cooking that employed a nonstick skillet and the barest coating of heart-friendly olive oil. When we’d go out to eat, she would expound on the many dangers of fried foods and point my sister and me toward lighter, more healthful options. French fries were a very rare treat and chicken fingers came only in baked varieties.
It wasn’t until high school that I had my first piece of fried chicken. A dear friend’s mother prided herself on her perfectly cooked, crisp, tender drumsticks and delighted in making it for us. I gobbled it down hungrily and didn’t tell my family.
In recent years, fried chicken has gotten increasingly trendy. It’s got a pleasantly retro-kitsch appeal, so higher-end restaurants have begun to add it to their menus. I’ve taken advantage of those offerings on occasion, all the while believing that it was still something best left to professionals or those families with a serious fried chicken tradition.
Before you start heating your oil, read these tips »
Now that Thanksgiving has passed, there’s no way to deny it: The holiday season is here. I, for one, welcome the onslaught of parties, cookie exchanges and evenings spent shopping and wrapping gifts. There’s something so joyful and cozy about the many moments of celebration that will be folded into the next four weeks.
With so much packed into so little time, there’s never been a better time for project cooking. It’s just good sense to invest a few minutes over the weekend in a pot of something filling that can be quickly reheated for dinner one night and lunch the next day.
What’s more, in this season of entertaining, having a recipe tucked in your repertoire that is simple enough to prepare but sufficiently elegant to add to the buffet at your holiday open house is a very good thing.
Right now, I’ve found that the recipe that checks all these boxes is Ina Garten’s Chicken Bouillabaisse. It comes together in just a few steps, and dirties just a plate, a Dutch oven and a food processor or blender. The bulk of the time the recipe demands is hands off. You can relax (or prep that next batch of cookie dough) while the oven does the work and fills your home with warming scents. All this and more is what makes it perfect for The Weekender.
Before you start browning your chicken, read these tips »
I believe that it’s important to have at least one really good chicken recipe in your array of kitchen skills. It needs to be one that you know from heart and can make no matter where you’re cooking or how limited the assortment of available tools. It’s even better if it’s a dish that can be made with easily available ingredients that are unaffected by the changes in season.
Beyond those requirements, the actual chicken dish can be just about anything. The ability to truss a whole chicken and roast it until its skin browns and crackles beautifully certainly counts. A Pyrex pan of chicken legs, painted with honey-mustard dressing and baked until tender is always a good option. I’ve even known people to employ a slow cooker in their quest for the ideal chicken recipe.
Recently, in my ongoing search for the consummate chicken dish, I spotted Alton Brown’s recipe for 40 Cloves and a Chicken. I was fairly certain it would be love at first bite. He has you brown the chicken, top it with fresh thyme and an obscene number of garlic cloves (yes, 40) and bake until the meat is tender and the garlic nearly melts into the pan juices. Oh, yes.
Before you heat your skillet, read these tips »
With the help of a store-bought rotisserie chicken, these enchiladas come together in under 30 minutes.
Get the recipe: Chicken-and-Cheese Enchiladas
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