Chicken is the most popular protein in America for a reason—it’s affordable, easy to cook, and incredibly versatile. Whether you’re roasting it whole, poaching the breasts, or braising the thighs, there are so many ways to make it a meal. These are our favorite chicken recipes for every occasion.
A few notes on purchasing chicken: When you’re shopping for a whole chicken, look for a smaller sized bird, as they will cook up more evenly than one heavier than 5 pounds. Higher-quality meat, like free-range birds, are likely to be smaller than conventionally farmed ones. When it comes to pieces, you’ll get a better price the larger pieces you go for. That means quarters and bone-in breasts are cheaper than the boneless, skinless pieces. And whether you’re working with a whole chicken or smaller pieces, be sure to fully defrost in your fridge overnight, or submerge in a bowl of cold water to speed up the process.
This may be the quintessential roasted chicken recipe. Buttermilk is an acid and acids tenderize meat, which means this brine yields an incredibly juicy, perfectly browned bird that makes an excellent centerpiece for a Sunday dinner.
Chicken pho is an upgraded chicken soup, full of rice noodles, fresh herbs, and a delicate, aromatic broth you’ll want to drink straight. Made in the Instant Pot, this recipe is seriously fast comfort food.
This recipe comes from an iconic San Francisco restaurant where a whole chicken is served in pieces atop the bread salad, studded with dried currants and arugula. This recipe is a great way to combine a protein punch with greens.
If you’re a fan of the Mediterranean sandwich, you’ll love this gyro-style salad with grilled chicken, ripe tomatoes, crunchy cucumbers, and tangy yogurt sauce.
In this recipe, chicken parts are seasoned with an herb-spiked marinade before they’re quickly cooked on the grill. Pair this with a side of rice noodles for a complete meal.
Poaching chicken is a great way to lock in moisture without tons of extra fat. In this classic Chinese recipe, a whole poached chicken is served with dipping sauces and a simple broth made from the poaching liquid for the ultimate comfort meal.
Chicken thighs with super-crispy, crunchy skin are a backbone for many meals. Add rice and some roasted vegetables for a complete dinner without breaking a sweat.
No recipe list would be complete without an entry from the Barefoot Contessa. Chicken breasts are easy to overcook, but this recipe is a foolproof technique for flavorful, moist white meat. Try it paired with simple rice and seasoned roasted veggies.
Coq au vin is a classic French dish—chicken, braised in red wine and cooked with vegetables to create a rich, comforting sauce just begging to be sopped up with a crusty baguette. This is a company-worthy meal.
This quick stir-fry comes together in just 25 minutes and has tons of flavor from fresh ginger and cracked black pepper; this recipe is a classic that has stood the test of time.
A rustic stew is always a good idea—this one is flavored with spices and fresh tomatillos for a main dish that’s a great addition to your fall meal rotation.
Everyone needs a back pocket sheet-pan dinner, and this one doesn’t compromise on flavor or satisfaction. Za’atar is a versatile spice blend that’s worth adding to your pantry if you don’t have it already; it’s great sprinkled on flatbread.
When winter comes around, you’re bound to need a good chicken soup recipe. This one hits all the notes without too much fuss. Herbs are added for a fresh kick at the end.
You don’t need an actual tagine to make this Moroccan classic, though if you have one, now is the time to pull it out. Feel free to use an enameled cast iron dish for this one, and be sure to serve with couscous.
This classic Nigerian recipe is easy to make, and gets flavor from a simple compound butter made with alligator pepper and lime. Alligator pepper is a classic West African spice that tastes similar to grains of paradise, which you may have an easier time finding (such as here).
This dip can definitely be dinner if you serve it with plenty of raw vegetables, prepped for dipping, as well as tortilla chips or crackers. This is a great way to get in lots of veggies without tons of a work after a run.
You can still have the flavor of grilled food even without the grill—this recipe makes it possible by using smoked paprika to add that slightly charred flavor.
Finish these marinated chicken breasts by turning the heat down low and covering the pot with a lid, so they get slightly steamed and stay extra moist.
When you roast vegetables alongside your chicken, they take on the richness of the chicken and all of its flavor, making them a slam-dunk side dish.
Chicken wings don’t have to be bar food—it’s actually easy to get them super crisp in the oven, perfect for tossing with the sauce of your choice.
The best thing about this recipe is the green sauce you serve with the chicken: It’s made with cilantro, jalapeño, and lime juice for a bright counterpoint to the juicy meat. And, as a bonus, if you’ve never spatchcocked a chicken before, this recipe is a great place to start.
Rotisserie chicken is a dinnertime hero—use the precooked meat here to finish off a salad that is sure to keep you full all evening thanks to healthy fats and crunchy carbs.
This super-filling Nicoise salad has green beans, roasted potatoes, boiled eggs, and olives—all of which taste delicious warm or cold, making this perfect for a nutritious lunch on the go.
The cherry salsa is the real star here, bringing a gentle sweetness and hit of acidity to this dish (and recovery power) and making it special enough for a dinner party, but still simple enough for a weeknight dinner.
This dish is a riff on a classic Spanish meal, and it will surprise you with all the flavor it brings to a one-pot dinner.