Have you ever heard “I’m so sick of chicken” in your household?” I have! I may have even said it myself. BUT there is no reason to! There are endless ways to prepare and enjoy chicken. From grilling, roasting, airfrying and baking, chicken can capture an array of flavors to satisfy any palate!
These unique recipes are great new ways to experience different cuts of chicken while still being easy to prepare with pantry-friendly ingredients!
Enjoy!Meredith McGrath RD, LDN
#1 Lettuce Wraps
Ground chicken is always one of those great options I tend to overlook. Well now with this recipe, that won’t be happening. I was pleasantly surprised by the flavor in this simple recipe and the flexibility to make it your own. The hardest part about this is the actual “wrapping” part of it. Finding the perfect lettuce leaves are key, so try to get Bib lettuce or hearty romaine leafs. Since I had extra filling left over, I experimented and put some in won-ton wrappers in the airfyer– this was awesome!
Total Time: 20 minutes
- 1 pkg. PERDUE® Fresh Ground Chicken (1 lb.)
- 1/4 cup minced green onion
- 2 tbsp. light soy sauce
- 2 tbsp. fresh lime juice
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 jalapeno pepper, seeded and minced
- 1 tbsp. minced fresh cilantro
- 2 tbsp. vegetable oil
- 12 large lettuce leaves
- 1/2 cup sauce such as peanut, sweet sour, duck or Hoisin
- 1 cup shredded coleslaw mix
- ½ cup shredded carrots
- Toothpicks (optional)
- Dipping sauces such as Peanut Sauce, Duck Sauce, Sweet and Sour Sauce
In large bowl, combine first 7 ingredients. Heat oil in a large skillet over medium high heat. Then add chicken or turkey mixture and cook for 5 minutes or until no longer pink, using spoon to break up chicken into fine crumbles.
Spoon chicken or turkey mixture evenly into each lettuce leaf. Top each with a scant teaspoon of sauce over meat then evenly top with coleslaw mix and carrots.
To serve, roll up each lettuce leaf and secure with toothpick, if needed. Serve with your preferred dipping sauces, if desired.
#2 Chicken Pesto Squash Bowls
Over the past year I have frequented spaghetti squash recipes. Once you get the hang of how easy it really is and how FILLING it can be, it quickly gets placed on the meal rotation. This recipe was no exception to “easy” and more importantly it worked great as a left over that even the kids enjoyed.
Total Time: 15 minutes
- 1 lb.Boneless Skinless Chicken Breasts
- 2 small spaghetti squash
- 3 tbsp. olive oil
- 1/2 tsp. Italian Seasonings
- 1/2 tsp. salt
- 1/4 tsp. garlic powder
- 1/4 tsp. black pepper
- 1 cup cherry tomatoes, halved
- 1/4 cup store-bought pesto
- 2 tbsp. toasted pine nuts, optional
Preheat oven to 400°F. Using a large knife, split the two squash in half lengthwise. Use a spoon to remove the seeds and pulp. Place cut side down on a foil lined baking sheet and add 1 cup of water. Brush the outside of the squash with 1 tablespoon of olive oil. Bake for 30 to 40 minutes, or until the point of a small knife can easily pierce the skin. Chop the chicken breasts into bite-sized pieces and season with Italian seasonings, salt, garlic powder and black pepper. Heat the remaining 2 tablespoons of olive oil in a skillet over medium-high heat. Sauté the chicken chunks until golden and cooked through, about 7 to 8 minutes. The chicken is done when it feels firm to the touch and a meat thermometer inserted in the center reaches 170°F. When the squash is done, use two forks to rake the flesh of each to create “spaghetti.” Transfer into a large bowl and reserve the emptied skins. Toss the spaghetti squash with the pesto, mixing to coat the strands well. Add the cooked chicken and cherry tomatoes, and toss to combine. Portion the Chicken Pesto Squash back into the squash skin “bowls.” Sprinkle the top of each bowl with toasted pine nuts and serve.
#3 Oven Baked Molasses Drumsticks
There always has to be one, and this is my ONE recipe that was a bit out of my comfort zone. First of all, I do not typically eat drumsticks ( I am weird about eating food off of a bone!) and I rarely use molasses. So a few things that I like about this: it was easy, very flavorful and juicy and it was baked. I think this is a great recipe to have at a summer barbecue as a unique offering for your guests while your grill is filled up with other options.
Total Time: 40 minutes
- 1 pkg. (about 1 3/4 lbs.) Chicken Drumsticks
- 1 tbsp. butter
- 1/4 cup finely chopped onion
- 2 tbsp. bourbon
- 2 tbsp. molasses
- 1/4 cup ketchup
- 2 tbsp. packed brown sugar
- 1 tsp. chili powder
- 1/8 tsp. salt
Preheat oven to 350°F. Remove skin from chicken. Place drumsticks in a shallow baking dish. In a small saucepan, over medium heat, melt butter and cook onion until softened, about 5 minutes. Stir in ketchup, bourbon, molasses, brown sugar, chili powder and salt. Simmer, stirring frequently for 3 to 5 minutes until slightly reduced and thickened. Pour sauce over chicken. Bake uncovered 25 to 30 minutes until chicken is cooked to 180°F internal temperature. Stir sauce on bottom and corners of pan half-way through cooking to prevent sticking.
#4 Pressure Cooker BBQ Chicken Sliders
Although I am still on the learning curve with my pressure cooker, this one was spot on. This one will be great for summer entertaining as guests stir around the buffet and can still build a nice hot sandwich to their liking. I put the shredded coleslaw on from the lettuce wraps and of course topped with pickles. Crispy onions would also make a great add-on!
Total Cook Time: 40 minutes
- Boneless Fresh Chicken Thighs
- 20 Slider or small potato rolls
- 3/4 cup packed brown sugar
- 1 medium onion, chopped
- Pantry Staples:
- 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
- 2 tbsp. Worcestershire sauce
- 3 cups ketchup
- 1 cup water
- Hot sauce, if desired
- coleslaw for garnish or side dish, if desired
In a bowl or large measuring cup, mix together the ketchup, water, chopped onion, brown sugar, apple cider vinegar and Worcestershire sauce. Into a multi cooker, combine the chicken and half of the bbq sauce. Toss to completely coat the chicken. Pour the remaining sauce into a small saucepan. Simmer for 10 to 15 minutes until thickened. Set aside. the lid to the multi cooker and close the release valve. Set the cooker to the manual, poultry or pressure cook setting and the timer for 5 minutes. When the time is finished, let the pressure release naturally for 10 minutes, then use the quick release valve to release the remaining pressure. Chicken is done when the meat falls apart easily and a meat thermometer inserted in the center reaches 170 degrees F. With two forks, shred the chicken, tossing with the juices from the pressure cooker. Serve the bbq chicken on slider buns and top with the extra BBQ sauce. Serve with hot sauce and coleslaw on the side if desired.
#5 Grilled Ratatouille with Chicken and Quinoa
Well I am a sucker for vegetables, so this is a recipe for me. Plus this reminded me how much I love eggplant! This also suggests using quinoa which I think is a great option for folks who tend to stick with rice and pasta. Those are all great options however variety is the spice of life and there are so many other great grain options such as quinoa, farro, wheat berry, etc., all which can bring a new experience to an old recipe!
Serves 6 Total Cook Time: 20 minutes
- Boneless Skinless Chicken Breast
- 2 small eggplants, 1-inch chunks
- 1 large zucchini, 1-inch chunks
- 1 large red bell pepper, 1-inch chunks
- 1 red onion, 1-inch chunks
- 8 tbsp. olive oil
- 4 large cloves fresh garlic, chopped
- 2 tbsp. fresh thyme, chopped
- 1/2 tsp. salt
- 1/4 tsp. black pepper
- 1 lemon, zested and juiced
- 2 tbsp. red wine vinegar
- 2 cups cooked quinoa
- 1/2 cup fresh parsley, chopped
Season chicken breasts with 1 tablespoon of olive oil, 1/4 teaspoon of salt and 1/8 teaspoon of black pepper. Heat a sauté or grill pan over medium-high heat. Cook the chicken breasts for 3 to 4 minutes per side. Chicken is done when it feels firm to the touch and a meat thermometer inserted in the center reaches 170°F. Transfer chicken to a cutting board, let rest for 2 to 3 minutes and then cube into bite-sized pieces. On a sheet tray or in a large bowl, combine the eggplant, zucchini, red bell pepper and red onion. Toss with 4 tablespoons of olive oil, garlic, thyme and the remaining salt and black pepper. Heat the same grill or sauté pan over medium-high heat. Cook the vegetables until slightly charred and cooked through, Whisk together the remaining 3 tablespoons of olive oil, lemon zest and juice, and red wine vinegar. 7 to 10 minutes. Remove from heat. In a large bowl, combine the cooked quinoa with the grilled chicken and vegetables. Drizzle with the dressing and toss to combine. Garnish with chopped parsley. Serve warm or at room temperature.