Here are some of my all-time favorite chicken recipes, from simply roasting a whole chicken to a quick, easy recipe using convenient boneless, skinless breasts to a great recipe for leftover chicken.
Use a whole chicken in:
Pan-Roasted Chicken & Gravy (see recipe below) – A cast-iron skillet is the perfect vessel for a simple roast chicken. Almost every side dish, be it vegetables, legumes, pasta or rice, goes well with it.
Use boneless, skinless chicken breast in:
Grilled Chicken Ratatouille – We gave this classic Provençal dish a taste of summer by grilling the vegetables traditionally used in ratatouille (bell pepper, eggplant, zucchini, tomato). Topped with grilled chicken, it makes an easy main course for summer entertaining. We like fresh marjoram and basil to complement the flavors, but any fresh herb will work. Serve with polenta and a glass of Pinot Noir.
Use chicken thighs in:
Pineapple-Teriyaki Chicken – Grilled teriyaki chicken with pineapple can be made with just a few pantry staples. Although it’s delicious when made with canned pineapple, fresh pineapple and its juice can easily be used in its place. Serve with brown rice and snow peas.
Use leftover chicken in:
Cheesy Chicken Pasta – This ooey-gooey pasta dish is a crowd-pleaser for adults and kids alike—think rich and creamy macaroni-and-cheese tossed with cauliflower and chicken. Serve with a spinach salad.
Pan-Roasted Chicken & Gravy
1 large clove garlic, minced
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon ground white pepper
1 1/2 teaspoons fresh thyme leaves
1 3 1/2-pound chicken, giblets removed
1 teaspoon peanut or canola oil
2 teaspoons butter, softened, divided
2 teaspoons all-purpose flour
1 1/2 cups reduced-sodium chicken broth
1 tablespoon minced fresh flat-leaf parsley for garnish
1. Preheat oven to 400°F.
2. Mash garlic and salt into a paste in a small bowl, using the back of a spoon. Stir in pepper and thyme.
3. With a sharp knife, remove any excess fat from chicken. Dry the inside with a paper towel. With your fingers, loosen the skin over the breasts and thighs to make pockets, being careful not to tear the skin. Rub the garlic mixture over the breast and thigh meat.
4. Heat oil and 1 teaspoon butter in a 12-inch cast-iron skillet over medium heat. Add the chicken and cook, turning often, until nicely browned on all sides, about 10 minutes.
5. Transfer the pan to the oven and roast the chicken until the internal temperature in the thickest part of the thigh reaches 165°F, 50 minutes to 1 hour. Transfer the chicken to a clean cutting board; tent with foil.
6. Meanwhile, mash the remaining 1 teaspoon butter and flour in a small bowl until a paste forms. Place the pan (use caution, the handle will be hot) over medium-high heat. Add broth and bring to a simmer, stirring to scrape up any browned bits. Gradually whisk in the butter-flour paste a few bits at a time, until the gravy thickens, about 8 minutes. Remove from the heat and let stand for 5 minutes, allowing any fat to rise to the top. Skim off the fat with a spoon. Carve the chicken and serve with the gravy. Garnish with parsley, if desired.
Makes 6 servings.
Per serving: 223 calories; 10 g fat (3 g sat, 3 g mono); 95 mg cholesterol; 1 g carbohydrate; 31 g protein; 0 g fiber; 216 mg sodium; 253 mg potassium.