10 One-Pan Chicken Dinners That Taste Amazing
Easy weeknight, or weekend, meals everyone will love.
A Chance for Humble Ingredients to Shine
Braising chicken in vinegar is a cheap way to make a supermarket staple taste like a million bucks. This recipe calls for a cup and a half of red-wine vinegar, which sounds like a lot, but there's also chicken broth and water—and the liquid simmers in the oven for an hour and 15 minutes, so there's plenty of time for it to mellow and make the chicken deliciously tender.
Get the recipe: Vinegar-Braised Chicken
Roasted Chicken Without Trussing or Carving
Eliminate the first and last steps of roasting a bird (tying it up and cutting it into pieces), and you've already cut way back on the amount of work involved. This no-fuss recipe has just as much flavor, and all you have to do is place chicken legs and breasts into a resealable plastic bag and toss in shallots, garlic, thyme, olive oil and lemon juice. Let everything sit in the fridge while the oven heats up, and then spread it out in a roasting pan. You'll have golden-brown, slightly crisp meat and a wonderful sauce to serve it with.
Get the recipe: Roasted Chicken with Lemon, Thyme and Shallots
A No-Fail Classic with a Pleasant Surprise
This uncomplicated chicken-and-rice dish would be as welcome on a Wednesday night as it is on a casual dinner-party night. The stress-free recipe has you cook onion, garlic, some spices and chicken pieces in an ovenproof pot, then add rice, broth and dried cranberries. You slip it into the oven for an hour, or so, and that's it. The finished dish is warm and satisfying, and has a wonderful burst of flavor from the berries.
Get the recipe: Chicken and Wild Rice
The Fastest Roasted Chicken Ever, Period
When you're wondering what the quickest way to turn a package of chicken drumsticks and thighs into a moist and rich-tasting dinner is, a trusty baking sheet is your ally. Laying the meat out in a single layer will help it roast in 40, or even fewer, minutes, and the pan's low sides will ensure the chicken browns nicely all over. Intersperse a handful of cherry, or grape, tomatoes among the chicken pieces in the pan for the last few minutes of cooking, and you'll end up with a sweet accompaniment, too.
Get the recipe: Roasted Chicken (the Speedy Way)
Photo: © Alexandra Grablewski
The I-Haven't-Gone-Food-Shopping-in-a-Week Dinner
Keep a package of chicken thighs in your freezer, a lemon in your fridge and some basics in the pantry, and this practically effortless supper will always be an option. Each of the ingredients in this dish (there are also olives and capers), along with the citrus juice, helps make the chicken tender and mingles with the meat's juices to create a delicious sauce.
Get the recipe: Chicken with Olives and Capers
Photo: ACP Magazines Limited
A Winning French Dish with a Twist
The ingredients in a rustic cassoulet vary, but chicken isn't all that common. Yet it's surprisingly perfect: The mild flavor doesn't overpower the sausage, white beans and herbs, but instead adds body and extra oomph without a ton of additional prep work (or cost!).
Get the recipe: Chicken, Sausage and Bean Cassoulet
An Asian Dish Where Every Bite Is Fabulous
Chicken legs and thighs are terrific in stir-fries, since the dark meat tends to soak up the delicious sauce (here, it's chili-soy-garlic) so well. This recipe also has a fantastic contrast of textures, from tender chicken to crunchy peanuts to celery, which seems to fall somewhere in the perfect middle.
Get the recipe: Chicken Stir-Fry with Celery and Peanuts
A Way to Play Tetris While Making Dinner
An 8x8 brownie pan is surprisingly ideal for cooking chicken drumsticks, since their elongated shape allows you to arrange them in a zigzag pattern that can accommodate plenty, while still leaving room for the skin to brown and crisp. Underneath the meat lie chopped carrots, turnips and red potatoes; the vegetables absorb the meat's flavor, as well as the honey-balsamic dressing that gives this dish a deliciously sweet undertone.
Get the recipe: Honey-Glazed Chicken with Root Vegetables
The Roast with a Bit of Spice
Don't be scared off by the list of ingredients in this dish—the only things that require chopping are scallions. Once you've done that, just put everything—including chicken pieces and pork chorizo or chicken sausage—in a roasting pan and slide it into the oven. An hour or so later, you'll have succulent chicken and sausage, tender vegetables and a pan sauce that gets a little kick from the sausage's spices and is terrific with crusty bread.
Get the recipe: Roast Chicken with Green Beans and Artichokes
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, 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