Chicken stir-fry

Photo: John Kernick

A Stir-Fry with a Few Surprising Tricks
Like many of us, Mastering My Mistakes in the Kitchen author Dana Cowin used to be disappointed with her stir-fried chicken with vegetables (translation: bland city). Then she learned a few tricks; and now, she's got a new favorite weeknight dish. This recipe explains exactly how to do it, but one of the keys is to let the pan drippings get crusty and brown; when you pour in a bit of water, the browned bits release from the pan and make an astonishing sauce, along with fragrant sautéed ginger, shallot, scallion, garlic, celery and peanuts.

Get the recipe: Chicken Stir-Fry with Celery and Peanuts
Chard stuffed chicken

Photo: Alison Gootee

A Stuffed Bird That Isn't Cordon Bleu
Stuffing chicken breasts is a reliably delicious way to ensure the meat will stay juicy. While we're used to seeing the cutlets filled with ham and cheese, this take is a little different. You cut pockets into the breasts and place a piece of mellow-tasting Gruyère (which melts beautifully) in each, along with parsley and thyme, sealing them shut with toothpicks. A coating of Dijon mustard, salt and pepper covers the chicken, and then you cook the cutlets on the stove until golden, finishing them in the oven. A quick wine sauce makes a rich topping, and you serve the chicken over sautéed Swiss chard.

Get the recipe: Gruyère-Stuffed Chicken with Chard
Barbecue chicken

Photo: Quentin Bacon

A BBQ Dish Minus the Sweet and Sticky Sauce
Although this is a recipe for barbecued chicken, you can cook the boneless thighs on a grill or in the oven and there's nary a drop of reddish-orange sauce on the plate. Instead, you get explosive taste and texture from a bread-crumb coating, a bed of lentils that you've cooked with garlic and shallots, and a sweet-tart dressing made from cubes of Granny Smith apple, red wine vinegar, Dijon mustard and olive oil.

Get the recipe: BBQ Chicken Thighs with Lentils and Green Apple Vinaigrette
Chicken casserole

Photo: ACP Magazines Limited

A Casserole They May Not Have Tried Before
Rice (or pasta) and cheese are pretty typical in baked, one-dish recipes, but we were surprised to realize they're not necessary. This rustic, slow-cooked French cassoulet is proof: sausage, white beans, herbs and chicken combine for a satisfying dish that reminds us that not every casserole must brim with carbs and cheddar.

Get the recipe: Chicken, Sausage and Bean Cassoulet
Pan-roasted chicken

Photo: Alison Gootee/Studio D

A Throw-It-All-in-One-Pan Favorite
Even if you've got a go-to roast chicken, this recipe is a great reminder that the addition of one new ingredient can bring a brand new flavor to a familiar dish. In this case, you toss a few basics—carrots, potatoes, onion, lemon—with olive oil, salt, pepper and thyme; roast until golden; and then nestle chicken breast halves in the pan. When they're cooked, you boil the pan drippings and—here's the twist—stir in a bit of paprika. The resulting sauce is smoky, with a touch of pleasant sweetness.

Get the recipe: Pan-Roasted Paprika Chicken