Reinventing the Chicken Breast

11 novel ways to dress up an everyday favorite

Warm Chicken with Green Beans and Chard

Chicken breast is fantastic. Chicken breast is just plain boring. Chicken breast is healthy and economical. Chicken breast is OK, but it's not something to order when eating out. For goodness sake, chicken breast is what gets put on the table when nothing else comes to mind. Whatever people think of chicken breast, it's all been said before. For something that's supposedly so banal, it sure does get a lot of people talking; so much so that it starts to sound like a room full of clucking, well, chickens. Never mind all of the discussion about where the chicken comes from — that's a whole book (or episode of Portlandia).

To add constructively to the dialogue, we've assembled some of our best recipes that will get even the most jaded cook excited again about this staple of the American dinner table. Forget any preconceptions of dry, stringy meat or dull, uninspired creations. These are recipes that we think will become favorites, made over and over again. So here are some highlights:

Erin Swing, gluten-free chef and author of the blog The Sensitive Epicure, illustrates basic elements of Thai cooking with her recipe for Thai chicken in green curry, which is a great introduction to the myriad flavors of the cuisine while still keeping things fairly simple. Swing makes a strong and convincing case for making takeout at home (don't think about that too much — it's an oxymoron), and with a little ready-made green curry paste, cuts down on the time needed to make this flavorful dish.

Wini Moranville, author of The Bonne Femme Cookbook, showcases her tried-and-true "sauté, glaze, and serve" approach to French cooking with this lovely recipe for chicken calvados. There's no need to actually use calvados from France though; to save a little money (or just make life easier), she suggests going with whatever apple brandy you might find locally.

Yasmin Fahr, resident Cook channel editor here at The Daily Meal, created a quick and easy chicken and quinoa salad for our themed in-house recipe contest one week, incorporating the best of the season in this transition from winter to spring with a little radicchio and asparagus. Throw in some leftover chicken or make this salad at night and take it to work the next day. Unlike most salads, it only gets better as it sits.

And Mark Bittman, who needs no introduction, offers up a simple and complete meal with his Grilled Chicken Paillards with Endive and Radicchio.


Mustard-Lime Chicken

A tangy, kid-friendly recipe that's perfect for grilling outdoors...

Elana Amsterdam





Chicken Tawook

This simple Lebanese grilled chicken dish is often served with grilled ground lamb kebabs and grilled vegetables...

Roland Semaan





Noodles with Chicken and Mixed Vegetables

This dish can be served with spicy pickled vegetables and kimchi...

Vatcharin Bhumichitir





Toasted Tuscan Chicken Sandwich with Roasted Red Peppers, Fontina, and Pesto Mayonnaise

This is a surefire and colorful way to use up that leftover chicken...

Robert Rabine




Black Bean, Avocado, Brown Rice, and Chicken Wrap

Superfast and satisfying, this wrap is one of our favorites...

Ellen Kunes





Grilled Chicken with Alabama White Sauce

If you haven't had Alabama white sauce, you've missed out on a life-changing moment...

Arthur Bovino





Thai Green Curry with Chicken

Green curry is a quick stir-fry dish and usually better homemade than takeout...

Erin Swing





Healthy Chicken and Quinoa Salad with Radicchio

Crunchy and slightly bitter, this easy salad is a healthy and tasty dish to make for dinner or the night before for lunch the next day...

Yasmin Fahr




Chicken Calvados

Calvados is the famous apple brandy of Normandy, and the bonnes femmes of Normandy often use the spirit to flavor their cooking...

Wini Moranville





Grilled Chicken Paillards with Endive and Radicchio

This recipe can be tweaked to your own liking, depending on how many chicken breasts, endives, and radicchios you'd like in this recipe...

Mark Bittman




Warm Chicken with Green Beans and Chard

Arresting in appearance, this colorful salad from Nigel Slater is as delicious and easy to put together as it is beautiful...

Will Budiaman