The high ratio of vinegar in the marinade doesn’t make the chicken sour. Instead, it acts as a brine, tenderizing and gently infusing the meat as it refrigerates overnight. The marinade is used again to braise the chicken, and again as the cooking liquid is reduced to a sauce. The chicken packs so much punch on its own that it doesn’t need much accompaniment, just crisp cucumbers, crunchy carrots, and a side of brown rice. Thai chiles, also called bird’s eye chiles, are about pinky length or smaller and range in color. If you can’t find them, substitute one serrano chile.
Chicken and Butternut Gnocchi
Gnocchi are the base for a simple toss with sweet butternut squash, rich chicken thighs, spinach, and sage. Prepared gnocchi is a fast cook’s dream. They don’t need to be boiled separately, take on a beautiful sear, and will hold up after a thorough sauté and simmer with other ingredients. A dollop of prepared pesto binds and brightens the dish. Look for prepeeled and cubed butternut squash to save even more time. Instead of spinach, you could also try tender baby kale. For a bit of heat, add 1⁄4 teaspoon crushed red pepper to the pan before you simmer the squash.
Stroganoff is the definition of absolute comfort: If it could restore its Russian creators 200 years ago, it will restore you on any winter weeknight. We’ve swapped traditional beef for chicken and added earthy cremini mushrooms to our one-pan version. Cooking the egg noodles in the same pan allows the pasta to absorb that rich liquid and release starch to thicken the sauce. Substitute boneless, skinless chicken breast for the tenders if you like. Serve with simply wilted kale dressed with a little lemon juice, or a beet salad dressed with a little horseradish cream (another favorite Russian combo).
Chimichurri Roasted Chicken with Potatoes and Onions
A whole chicken, cut into quarters, lets everyone enjoy their favorite parts of the bird. You can quarter the chicken yourself by removing each breast first, then the thigh and leg pieces. You can also ask your butcher to do this, or purchase leg quarters and bone-in breasts. The skin will help to insulate the meat and lock in the chimichurri flavor as it roasts in the hot oven. It’s easiest to remove the skin and replace it after rubbing the herb mixture over the chicken. A quick broil after roasting gets the potatoes nice and crisp.
Greek Chicken Nachos
Dinner doesn’t get much easier, or more fun, than sheet pan nachos. The pan does double duty: Toast the chips first, then pile high with toppings and return to the oven to melt the cheese and heat everything through. Here the Mexican classic takes a detour to Greece with pita chips, a shredded Greek salad, and crumbled feta. Rotisserie chicken breast makes this meal even easier, though this dish is a great use for any leftover cooked chicken. Bring the whole pan to the table and cut into servings, like you would a square pizza.
Maple-Mustard Roasted Chicken with Squash and Brussels Sprouts
We give the large bone-in breasts a head start in the oven so they will be perfectly cooked by the time the vegetables are done. This cut is also rather juicy; you’ll want to drain off the liquid from the pan before adding the vegetables so they can caramelize evenly. Brussels sprouts, butternut squash, and acorn squash are at their absolute best when roasted. The trick is to cut them into even pieces with a maximum surface area (halves or cubes) so they can benefit from all the direct heat. A sprinkle of hazelnuts is a fine finishing touch, but you can skip it if you like.
Skillet Chicken and Root Vegetable Potpie
Classic potpies use several pans to simmer and sauté vegetables, build a sauce, and bake the pie. The skillet does it all here, and it is the perfect size for a golden, flaky piecrust lid. No chicken collection is complete without a potpie. You can substitute diced Yukon Gold potatoes and kale or chard for the turnips and turnip greens.
Slow Cooker Chicken Cacciatore
The slow cooker acts as a braiser for this Italian classic. While the chicken becomes succulent and fall-apart tender, briny capers, crushed red pepper, and garlic infuse the crushed tomatoes for a robust sauce you won’t find in a jar. True to our one-pan plan, the spaghetti cooks right in the sauce when the chicken comes out, absorbing just enough liquid so it doesn’t need to reduce on the stove. We like the look of the whole, deboned chicken thighs atop the pasta, but you could shred the meat into large pieces and stir into the sauce if you like.
Sumac Chicken with Cauliflower and Carrots
A bright citrus kick is just the thing for cold nights. This sheet pan supper gets a double dose from thin lemon slices roasted until tender, and fresh lemon juice added to a quick herb dressing that’s spooned over the finished dish. Sumac has a tart, lemony quality as well. It’s fantastic as a rub here, but is also delicious in vinaigrettes or sprinkled over dips. If you can’t find sumac, you can substitute 1 teaspoon grated lemon rind. If you want a little extra browning, pop the pan under the broiler for about 5 minutes, being careful not to let the vegetables get too dark.
Sheet Pan Chicken with Roasted Baby Potatoes
A very hot oven quickly roasts the potatoes and finishes the chicken without overcooking. You can substitute fingerling potatoes, halved lengthwise, for the small Yukon gold potatoes. Tarragon and mustard are a perfect pair—the herb's slightly sweet anise notes balance the mustard's pungency. Serve with Chile and Lime Roasted Carrots.
Shrimp and Chicken Gumbo
The enamel-coated cast iron of a Dutch oven maintains an even heat at any temperature, so foods won't suddenly scorch or boil over. Great for the low and slow simmer of this flavorful gumbo.
Braised Chicken Thighs with Wild Rice Pilaf
Browning the meat in the pan first adds all that roasted chicken flavor to the pilaf. The Brussels sprouts and chicken thighs slowly braise as the rice cooks—a protein, vegetable side, and starch all in one pan. Sweet golden raisins and cider vinegar balance out the other hearty, earthy flavors in the dish.
Tuscan Baked Chicken and Beans
This savory Italian-inspired recipe is a wonderful way to prepare a budget-friendly whole chicken. Finishing the entire dish in the oven makes this one-pan meal a snap.
Springy Chicken Soup
The torn romaine lettuce wilts just slightly in the soup and has a lighter, fresher, less earthy flavor than heartier greens like spinach or kale. Slice the carrot the same shape and thickness as the leek so you get a balance of both vegetables in every spoonful.
Slow Cooker Chicken, Bacon, and Potato Soup
The slow cooker gently coaxes out delicious flavors from simple, hearty ingredients. This soup is perfect for ushering in fall: It's hearty enough for the beginning of soup season, yet brothy and veggie-packed so that it doesn't feel too heavy. Pair it with a slaw or kale side salad and crusty whole-grain bread for a light, satisfying dinner. This recipe is ideal for a weekend, when you can check on the slow cooker after just a few hours; though you won't be able to leave the soup unattended all day, this still offers the benefit of hands-free, fuss-free cooking. Either baby red, Yukon Gold, or fingerling potatoes will work well here, as they'll maintain their shape nicely during cooking.
One-Pot Chicken with Farro
This easy dish is perfect for a casual get-together with friends. Inspired by arroz con pollo, it is hearty with satisfying complexity. Cumin, saffron, and oregano season rich chicken thighs and nutty farro as the dish simmers. If using saffron, deploy it sparingly; those tiny threads bring subtle flavor and a little color to the dish, but too much will yield a medicinal taste. Serve with a side salad to complete the meal.
Easier Chicken Noodle Soup
When cheese-filled tortellini is the noodle in your chicken noodle soup, the whole bowl gets a hearty upgrade. Using cheese-filled tortellini as the noodle here adds more flavor than plain pasta; a hint of miso further enriches the broth. You can make the soup a couple of days ahead—just leave out the pasta, as it will swell once it goes into the liquid. Reheat the soup until it comes to a simmer. Then add the tortellini, and cook 6 minutes.
Weeknight Lemon Chicken Skillet Dinner
It doesn't get much easier, or more satisfying: a complete chicken dinner in one pan in half an hour. Lemon brightens this cozy winter meal, but the classic flavors are sure to elicit cries for a second helping any time of the year. This one-pan chicken dish is a whole meal in one skillet, but serve with a simple side salad to sneak in another serving of veggies. We call for tender haricots verts because they're quick cooking; traditional green beans likely won't be tender enough after the brief cooking time at the end. If that's all you have on hand, steam them first, and then add them to the pan for the final step.
Chicken Potpie Skillet Pizza
Try this quick, playful spin to turn pizza night on its head—in a good way. You get all the creamy goodness of chicken potpie, in a fun, eat-with-your-hands way that kids will love. Grown-ups will dig it, too, especially if you offer hot sauce at the table. Cooking the pizza in a preheated cast-iron skillet makes the crust wonderfully crispy so that it doesn’t sog out when the creamy sauce goes on. Be sure to use only 10 ounces of dough (though you’ll likely have to purchase in a 1-pound or larger ball); save the remaining dough to make breadsticks the next night.
Tuscan Chicken with White Beans and Kale
The main (chicken), starch (white beans), and veggie side (carrots, kale, and tomatoes) are all included in this true one-dish stovetop dinner. And it all comes together in only 22 minutes. Feel free to use bumpy lacinato kale or sturdy curly kale; just be sure to remove the tough stems first.