Photo: Elizabeth Cecil

A Reason to Keep Barley in the Pantry
Sarah Waldman, author of the new book Feeding a Family, knew she'd come up with something good when she created this supersatisfying roasted chicken thighs and veggies recipe. But when Waldman shared it with her sister, the dish got even better. Her sister tossed in a cup of barley with the vegetables and chicken, which turned out to be a brilliant move. The liquid from the tomatoes, Swiss chard, mushrooms and chicken plump up the barley beautifully; and, in just 40 minutes, you've got a complete meal ready to go.

Get the recipe: Chicken Thighs with Barley, Chard and Mushrooms

Photo: Elizabeth Cecil

The New Foolproof Way to Roast a Chicken
Waldman's trick for getting nice, crispy skin on chicken without frying is one of the least fussy we've ever tried. You place a big ovenproof skillet in a hot oven while it preheats for 45 minutes; then carefully pour a bit of olive oil into the pan and lay a whole chicken inside. Let it roast for 30 minutes, add sliced leeks, asparagus and scallions and roast for about 15 minutes more, until the veggies are soft and the chicken skin is golden. The familiar tastes of lemon and garlic, which you add with the vegetables, infuse everything with brightness and richness.

Get the recipe: Splayed Roast Chicken with Spring Vegetables

Photo: Lynn Andriani

A Weeknight Masterpiece Starring Our Go-To Secret Weapons
Some of the quickest ways to bump up the flavor of a dish are: shallots, olives, wine, garlic, capers and herbs. And this ridiculously easy recipe uses every one of them. It's from Marcela Valladolid's latest, Casa Marcela, and simply entails searing chicken thighs until they're golden brown then simmering them with the aforementioned ingredients, along with artichoke hearts and some chicken stock. In about 40 minutes, you'll have tender chicken and a rich sauce, perfect for sopping up with crusty bread.

Get the recipe: Braised Chicken Thighs (Pollo del Valle)

Photo: Gentyl & Hyers

What to Make When You Can't Decide Between Pizza and Chicken
Put tomato sauce and gooey mozzarella on top of roasted pieces of chicken and you've got a succulent 'Why didn't I think of this before?' mash-up that totally works. It's a recipe with a lot of personality, though the actual number of ingredients is pretty small. You cook them in stages, letting the flavors build in the skillet. First up is pancetta, next comes the chicken, then tomatoes, garlic, anchovies and capers. Finally, chunks of fresh mozzarella are melted on top.

Get the recipe: Chizza Pizza Chicken

The Ovenless Casserole
This dish—a kind of American take on fried rice—comes together in a cast-iron skillet on the stovetop, which makes it great for nights when you don't feel like turning on the oven (or waiting for it to preheat). The star ingredients: bacon, cheddar and shredded rotisserie chicken. As for the rice, you can either use leftovers from a previous meal, or a pouch of the microwavable variety that's ready in less than 2 minutes.

Get the recipe: Cheesy Chicken and Rice Skillet Dinner with Bacon