8 of the Fastest Chicken Dinners You Can Make
All that stands between you and a delicious supper is 30 minutes (or even fewer!).
The Crispiest Nonfried Chicken You Can Make
If you haven't tried broiling chicken thighs, meet your new favorite weeknight-cooking technique. In fewer than 15 minutes, you'll have juicy, tender meat that's perfectly crunchy on the outside. This recipe has you make an herb-lemon-garlic mixture and slide a little under the skin of each piece, to infuse the meat with flavor. The broiler's direct heat cooks food in a flash, so the chicken only needs about five minutes, per side, to be fully cooked, with a lovely golden edge.
Get the recipe: Crispy Herbed Chicken Thighs
Poached Chicken That Departs from the Usual
Poaching chicken is one of the most healthful and least messy ways to cook the bird. Traditional poaching uses water flavored with aromatics such as herbs, celery, carrots, salt and pepper, but this Asian-inspired version has you mix lime juice, fish sauce, soy sauce and slices of chili pepper into the water. In 15 minutes, you'll have tender meat that you can eat just as it is, or shred for use in a salad.
Get the recipe: Shredded Lime and Chili Chicken on Basil Leaves
Photo: © Alexandra Grablewski
The Throw-It-All-in-a-Pan-and-Done Dinner
Each of the ingredients in this dish pulls its weight, and then some—which means you get tons of flavor out of a minimal ingredient list. Lemon, olives and capers are pretty much all you need, along with a dash of olive oil. 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
An Asian Dish Where Every Bite Is a Winner
Stir-fries are terrific speedy meals. What makes this one special, though, is that it calls for chicken legs and thighs—and the dark meat stands up beautifully to the richly flavored chili-soy-garlic sauce. 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 Get That Easy-Breezy Summer Feeling Anytime
Homemade salsa usually relies on superfresh tomatoes, yet here's a version that calls for other vegetables, which (yay!) you can find year-round: cucumber, red bell pepper and avocado. Mix them with lime juice, cilantro and honey, and you've got a quick and tasty topper for cumin-and-lime-coated chicken thighs that cook under the broiler in a matter of minutes.
Get the recipe: Spicy Chicken Thighs with Cucumber-Avocado Salsa
An Alternative to Taco Night
Here's a fantastic way to jazz up grilled (or grill-panned) chicken, and it only requires four simple ingredients: olive oil, garlic, cumin and lime juice. The vibrant flavors give the dish a subtle Latin taste—so cue up the black beans and rice, or the warmed tortillas (Coronas optional).
Get the recipe: Lime Grilled Chicken
Photo: Alison Gootee/Studio D
A Surprise Use for Apples
Combine the classic fall fruit with a creamy, sour cream-based sauce, and you've got a superpowered matchup that keeps chicken moist. You cut the meat into bite-size pieces, so there's more surface area to soak up the flavorful juices created by cooking the apple slices in chicken stock. A bit of thyme and Dijon mustard give the dish even more depth and counterbalance the tart fruit nicely.
Get the recipe: Chicken with Apples and Carrots
A Meal You Won't Have to Make Another Shopping List For
The beauty of chicken salad isn't just that it's a completely different iteration of leftover roast chicken after eating it hot the night before—it's also that you can adapt it based on whatever you have on hand. If you don't have corn or black beans, swap in any other veggies, from pieces of lightly cooked asparagus to canned artichoke hearts. Or, skip the tostadas in this recipe and throw in tortilla chips. And any vinaigrette will work, too.
Get the recipe: Chicken Salad