When cooking chicken week after week, month after month, it’s easy to get into a rut. Fortunately, with a little perspective, it’s simple to snap out of that rut, too. Some ideas to re-kindle your relationship with chicken:
Explore Your Chicken Cooking Methods
Anyone would eventually tire of the same exact meal prepared the same exact way. Acquaint (or reacquaint) yourself with all the many ways to cook your chicken—broiling, grilling, baking, frying, roasting. And remember: There’s a world of spices, herbs and sauces out there, too. The way to liven things up may just be as simple as breaking out the BBQ and taking a few extra seconds to locate the underused darlings of your spice rack to whip up a grilled chicken recipe that’s new to you.
Find Fresh Cuts
Think for a minute: Are there certain cuts of chicken you’ve been ignoring? Pay attention the next time you’re at the grocery store. Maybe it’s time to try roasting a whole chicken, skipping the chicken strips in favor of chicken breasts, or exploring the possibilities in a wing and a thigh. Keep an eye out for sales to inspire experimentation. If you bring an unfamiliar cut home and find you’re stumped, search for that specific cut. With hundreds of chicken recipes, you’re sure to find one to fit both your cut and your tastes.
Experimenting with ethnic recipes is a sure way cover new dining ground—you’ve got the entire globe for inspiration. Chicken’s especially good for ethnic recipes, too, as its simple, straightforward flavor easily adapts to a wide variety of herbs, spices and accompaniments. Some great starting points include Indian recipes, such as Tandoori Chicken and Curry Chicken, Asian Recipes including Thai Peanut Chicken and Chinese Sweet-and-Sour Chicken, and Mexican and Southwest recipes including Enchilada Quesadillas and Santa Fe Oven Chicken.
Oh, the many different forms chicken can take in a meal. Time to explore your many, many options. Used to sandwiches? Switch to wraps, such as Adobe Chicken Wraps or Chicken Fajita Salad Wraps. Hitting a dead end with chicken soups? Try adding pasta or rice toppers into the mix, such as this Chicken and Spring Vegetable Toss or Picadillo Chicken Paella. Love salads? The chicken salad ideas go on and on—check out Ultimate Chicken Pasta Salad, California Chicken BLT Salad and Tropical Chicken Salad. Remember: Progresso soups and broths make for a fantastic shortcut on chicken recipes of all kinds, and Green Giant offers canned and frozen veggies to have on hand for last-minute meals, as well as Create-a-Meal Stir Frys, to which you just add chicken, and Complete Skillet Meals—no need to add a thing!
Whenever you find yourself with chicken leftovers, totally reinvent them. A chicken breast becomes a salad topper as in this Light Lemon-Dijon Chicken Salad or this “Healthified” Italian Chopped Salad, a chicken soup becomes a casserole, roast chicken becomes Southwestern Chicken Fajita or other chicken wraps, and so on. Transforming leftovers into something fresh keeps dinnertime doldrums at bay. Search “leftover chicken” at BettyCrocker.com for more ideas.