Pictured: Easy Thai Grilled Chicken Breasts from CHOW
Chicken? It’s a crowd-pleaser. Thanks to its lean white meat status, chicken breast is full of protein and makes an easy weeknight dish. Not only is it a quick and simple choice for a nutritious meal, but chicken breast is also easy to dress up or dress down. Not to mention, we have yet to meet a side dish that doesn't pair nicely with this versatile meat. Try out one of these nine recipes for chicken breast, and say goodbye to boring and hello to flavorful, moist white meat!
1. Chicken Breasts with Crispy Skin
We'd be lying if we said we didn't love crispy chicken skin. CHOW's recipe for chicken breasts with crispy skin uses the principles behind brick chicken (a method where you literally use a brick to weigh down the meat while cooking) to make sure every bit of skin touches the hot surface of the skillet and browns evenly. With a quick pan sauce, this dish is restaurant-worthy but simple. Serve with mashed potatoes, polenta, or roasted root vegetables for a hearty winter dish. Get our Chicken Breasts with Crispy Skin recipe.
2. Reduced-Guilt Fried Chicken
Fried chicken is a favorite of many, but with so many calories it's best served as a special occasion dish. But if you can't get enough, try this recipe for reduced-guilt fried chicken: The buttermilk and spice marinade tenderizes the meat quickly and imparts a load of flavor. Dredge the chicken breasts in a flour and paprika mixture and be sure not to let the frying oil get too hot—watch out for splatters and keep the finished chicken pieces wrapped in paper towels and on a pan in the oven to stay warm while you're cooking the remaining pieces. Get the recipe here.
3. Sautéed Chicken Breasts with Salsa Verde
Salsa verde makes everything taste good. This recipe uses almost a full cup of fresh parsley along with capers, garlic, anchovy paste, mustard, salt, and pepper to make a fresh and zesty coarse salsa that you can spoon onto the sautéed chicken breasts. Sauté the chicken until it's crispy and be sure to serve immediately—the salsa tastes best when it's at its freshest. Get the recipe here.
4. Chicken with Prosciutto and Sage
Martha Stewart's take on chicken saltimbocca is a fantastic way to take chicken breasts and turn them into something special. Sage leaves and prosciutto are wrapped around the meat and seared until crisp. Wine and broth are then added to the pan to make a quick sauce and with the addition of more fresh sage and a little butter you get a savory sauce to ladle over the cutlets. Serve over cheesy polenta or any grain you'd like and be sure to sop up the extra sauce—it's delicious. Get the recipe here.
5. Broiled Chicken Breasts
CHOW's recipe for broiled chicken breasts is so simple it hardly falls into the category of a recipe. Marinate the chicken with olive oil, lemon, garlic, and any herbs that strike your fancy, and make sure to use skin-on chicken breasts to maximize tenderness. Keep under the broiler until the skin is crispy and browned and then serve immediately. This recipe is easy to scale up for a party and makes great leftovers, so err on the side of overestimating when you're buying the chicken. Get our Easy Broiled Chicken Breasts recipe.
6. Chicken Tikka Masala
Chicken tikka masala is perhaps the most well-known and beloved Indian dish, and with this recipe you can make your own version at home in a snap. Marinate the chicken in yogurt combined with garlic, ginger, turmeric, garam masala, coriander, salt, and cumin in a small bowl. The longer you let it set, the more flavorful the chicken will be. This recipe calls for heavy cream, but you can substitute half-and-half if you want a healthier dish. Serve with naan or rice. Get the recipe here.
7. Baked Chicken Breasts with Mustard Sauce
The trick that makes this recipe so good is that first you pan-sear the boneless, skinless chicken breasts and then you transfer them to the oven to finish cooking. This ensures that the meat won't dry out and lose flavor. The sauce combines white wine, herbs, and whole-grain mustard; once you thicken it with some chicken broth and a little flour, it comes together quickly to make a delicious gravy. Get our Baked Chicken Breasts with Mustard Sauce recipe.
8. Lemon Chicken Breasts
Ina Garten's recipe for lemon chicken breasts is a classic. Be sure to make a double batch and use the leftovers to chop up and toss on salads, combine with some homemade aioli for a delicious chicken salad, or serve on a crusty baguette for a quick and healthy lunch. With oregano, thyme, garlic, lemon juice, and white wine, the chicken breasts bake in the oven until lightly browned and then you can use the pan juices as an impromptu sauce. Turn on the broiler for the last two minutes of baking if you're looking for a sear. Get the recipe here.
9. Easy Thai Grilled Chicken
Cilantro, garlic, fish sauce, and tamari (or soy sauce) make this grilled chicken recipe stand out from the pack with fresh flavors and bright, tangy undertones. Served with sweet chili sauce, this will put your local Thai takeout choice to shame. There's very little fat in this recipe and since you're grilling, not frying, it's a guilt-free choice ready in a matter of minutes. Marinate the chicken in advance to save time. Get our Easy Thai Grilled Chicken Breasts recipe.
Caitlin M. O'Shaughnessy is a New York City–based food writer and editor at Penguin who has worked on and recipe-tested several cookbooks. She is currently in search of NYC's best ramen, and is one of the few people who admit to disliking brunch.