23 Not-Boring Chicken Recipes
Photo by Farideh Sadeghin

33 Not-Boring Chicken Recipes

From chicken thigh parmesan to homemade sesame chicken, chicken can be exciting if you give it a chance.
January 10, 2018, 8:00pm

You’ve been lied to. About chicken. It’s not—contrary to the oft-touted critiques—boring and flavorless and only for consuming skinless and bland when you’re on a diet. Chicken is the Swiss army knife of proteins: It’s convenient, versatile, and affordable, and you’ll always be relieved to remember you have it on hand when you’re in a pinch.

We pulled together some of our favorite, flavor-packed chicken recipes—from whole roasted, braised thighs to marinated and grilled breasts—to end this smear campaign against chicken's reputation once and for all.

Chicken Paillard Recipe

Chicken Paillard Recipe

Paillard is a culinary technique that involves pounding a piece of meat—usually chicken breast or veal—until it's thin, which lets it cook quickly. This chicken paillard recipe comes together in virtually no time at all: All you have to do is quickly braise the chicken breasts in beer with fresh herbs and lemon slices.

Chicken Pot-cciatore Recipe

Chicken Pot-cciatore Recipe

It’s nice that we're all getting more creative with how to use weed in cooking beyond brownies. This weed-infused chicken cacciatore with mushrooms and olives is a delicious, savory way to use your weed butter—but it's also good with regular butter if that's more your thing.

Butter Chicken Recipe

Butter Chicken Recipe

This twice-marinated butter chicken is tender, with warm spices and a healthy amount of heat from fresh chilies and chili powder. It’s everything you want in a good comfort meal, especially if you pair it with rice and a few pieces of naan.

Chicken Parmo Recipe

Chicken Parmo Recipe

Parmos are one of those food phenomena—like café americanos and Spam musubi—that came to life when foreign cuisine came up against the tastes of American GIs during World War II. Like a German schnitzel served with cheesy béchamel sauce, parmos were created by a chef in the U.S. army that settled in the north of England, and this recipe is our favorite.

Chicken Cordon Bleu Recipe

Chicken Cordon Bleu Recipe

Chicken cordon bleu is such a classic dish, and you should make it at least once in your life, just to feel the frivolity of rolling a chicken breast up into an unnatural shape. This non-traditional version amps up the flavors by using lardo in place of plain ham, and Thai chiles for some extra heat.

The Best Jerk Chicken Recipe

The Best Jerk Chicken Recipe

Just like chef Kwame Onwuachi showed us, homemade jerk chicken isn't something you can make for dinner the same night. His jerk chicken takes three days from start to finish, but the results are the best we've ever had.

Biscuit-Topped Chicken Pot Pie Recipe

We all love Marie Callender's frozen pot pies, but sometimes we also want to go our own way. Buck tradition by topping your homemade chicken pot pie with flaky, buttery biscuits instead of pie dough. You’ll thank us.

Easy Chicken Croquettes Recipe

Imagine deep-fried chicken pot pie—or a spoonful of cream of chicken soup, but crispy. That's basically what this chicken croquette recipe is, and it's probably the most indulgent way ever to repurpose a rotisserie chicken.

Easy Chicken Liver Pâté Recipe

If you want to change up your chicken routine, try using some of the off-cuts that the humble chicken offers. Your supermarket or butcher should have chicken livers for a pretty affordable price, and spreading some chicken liver pate on a good slice of toast makes for a great snack.

Herb-Roasted Spatchcock Chicken Recipe

If you want to optimize your homemade roast chicken method for the perfect mix of shatteringly crispy skin and tender meat, you’re going to want to give spatchcocking a try. When you’re done giggling, get yourself a pair of poultry shears.

Caramel Chicken Thighs Recipe

If you like a sweet barbecue sauce that's super sticky and heavy on the brown sugar, then you’ll love caramel chicken. The sweetness of soda used here is balanced by vinegar and smoky chipotle chiles. If you're used to cooking with chicken breasts, this is a great chance to give thighs a try.

Action Bronson's Chicken Parmesan Recipe

Action Bronson is a chicken parm pro. For his chicken parm recipe, he pan-fries chicken breasts that have been pounded thin, before broiling the whole dish until the cheese on top is bubbly, brown, and perfect. Be careful to not let the olive oil get too hot, though—you’ll regret it if your breading burns.

Chicken Thigh Parmesan Recipe

Chicken Thigh Parmesan Recipe

Yet again we pursue our quest to convert people to the dark side of the bird. This recipe is basically your standard chicken parm, but juicer and better since we used thigh meat. If tomato sauce and gooey cheese can't sway you, we're not sure what else we can do.

Hibiscus Grilled Chicken Recipe

British Nigerian chef Lopè Ariyo likes to use dried hibiscus leaves, which lend a herbal, sumac-like aroma and pink stain to otherwise-bland skinless chicken breasts. Slice these grilled chicken breasts into strips when you’re done, and you have lunch salad toppings for the week.

Chicken Tikka Masala Recipe

Chicken Tikka Masala Recipe

Nothing stands up to slow braising quite like chicken thighs. With two stages of marinating and a homemade masala spice mix, you’ll be surprised at your ability to recreate your favorite take-out tikka masala on your own.

Shakh Plov (Azerbaijani Chicken and Crown Rice Pilaf) Recipe

This probably isn't a weeknight dinner, but at your next dinner party—whenever that happens—treat your guests like royalty with this Azerbaijani shakh plov, or "crown pilaf." This dish is fit for the kings and queens that they are. Heavy lies the crown (on the table), you know? (That’s it, we’re done, sorry, it was too easy.)

Cornmeal Fried Chicken Recipe

Fried Chicken Recipe

If you invested in a turkey fryer at some Thanksgiving, you need a reason to use that bad boy so it wasn’t a total waste of money. Give fried-chicken expert Marcus Samuelsson’s whole-fried chicken a shot, which is extra flavorful thanks to its paprika-and-coconut-milk-spiked overnight soak.

Braised Chicken Recipe

Braised chicken thighs are a meal you can't really mess up: You brown the chicken until the skin is crispy, then bake them in liquid until the meat is tender. We usually use wine, but you can easily substitute with whatever cooking liquid and herbs you have around, so crank the oven up and get going.

Chicken and Egg Congee Recipe

This is the kind of dish that repurposes a roast chicken in such a different way that calling it "leftovers" feels like a misnomer. Use leftover, shredded chicken meat in this easy congee, and then top it with whatever tasty things you have around—rice porridge is the perfect blank canvas.

Grilled Sesame Chicken Skewers Recipe

It can seem like our favorite Chinese take-out spots know some magic we're not privy to, but we'll let you in on a secret: You can make those delicious, sticky, sweet glazes at home. Our homemade sesame chicken is even more fun since it's on a stick.

Kung Pao Chicken Recipe

Kung Pao Chicken Recipe

If you want to do this kung pao chicken right, you have to start early. Like two weeks early. The wait for the sauce to mature as the flavors to come together is worth it though, so you better start now. This is a project for the winter or any time you're stuck inside for a long stretch—don't forget to put a reminder on your calendar.

Hainan-Style Chicken and Rice Recipe

This is a perfect chicken-and-rice weeknight dinner setup from Matty Matheson, who makes his take on the Chinese-in-origin but wildly-popular-in-Singapore Hainanese chicken rice at home on the regular.

Paella Valenciana with Shrimp, Mussels, Chicken, and Chorizo Recipe

Is it cheating to mix chicken with other proteins? When it's a sick paella from Boston chef Jamie Bissonnette, who cares? In his take on paella, chicken gets a helping hand from chorizo and shellfish. It's a pretty traditional paella, even if if not a traditional chicken recipe.

Piri Piri Chicken Recipe

Piri Piri Chicken Recipe

This Portuguese-inspired piri piri chicken is the kind of dish you just want to tear apart with your hands. Make sure you wash 'em after, though, because it's spicy from all the dried and fermented chiles. A side of easy, homemade aioli helps soothe the heat and serves as the perfect dip for your side of fries.

Smothered Chicken Recipe

Smothering is a Southern technique you can use on basically anything if you want to, but we love it on crispy chicken thighs. The flavorful sauce is basically a well-browned roux that's kicked up with plenty of aromatics and some bacon. Serve this chicken dish over rice for the ultimate weeknight comfort food.

Pineapple and Kimchi-Glazed Chicken Legs Recipe

Chicken legs and thighs are underrated, and if you're a chicken breast person, it's our mission to get you on board with dark meat, too. The flavor brine from kimchi is one of our favorite marinade ingredients. Turn it into a sweet-tart glaze for chicken legs, and you'll rethink your boneless skinless habit.

Mochiko Chicken Recipe

Mochiko Chicken Recipe

Chef Sheldon Simeon is from Hawaii, and his recipe for mochiko chicken with rice and macaroni salad makes for the perfect Hawaiian plate lunch. It will almost make you forget you're stuck inside in your house that's probably not in Hawaii.

Perfect Buffalo Chicken Dip Recipe

Everyone says their Buffalo chicken dip is the best, but you can trust us because we're called MUNCHIES and good drunk food is kind of our game. That said, our Buffalo chicken dip—which is topped with crispy chicken skin—is actually perfect.

Sopa de Pollo (Nicaraguan Chicken Soup) Recipe

Instead of noodles, this chicken soup recipe doubles down on vegetables. With yucca, carrots, zucchini, and cabbage, this soup is so wholesome and warming that you'll feel better instantly.

Chicken, Persian Lime, and Swiss Chard Soup Recipe

The classic chicken soup is always good for the soul, but sometimes even the soul gets bored with the same poultry seasoning flavors. This version is livened up by plenty of Persian lime, so you'll be able to taste it even when your taste buds aren't quite at 100.

Chicken Salad with Tahini and Herbs Recipe

This chicken salad is for the mayonnaise haters. There are no goopy eggs here—just a mix of Greek yogurt and feta to keep it creamy, and herbs and tahini add to those Mediterranean vibes.

Almond- and Walnut-Crusted Baked Chicken Thighs Recipe

Are you one of those people who lets herbs languish in your fridge because you aren't quite sure what to do with them? Put those days of food waste to rest with this herby, yogurty baked chicken recipe.

Chicken Tetrazzini Recipe

What is it exactly about baked pasta that makes it so damn good? Well, those crispy, cheesy noodle edges are definitely one point in its favor, and this easy chicken tetrazzini has plenty of those.

Get recipes like this and more in the Munchies Recipes newsletter. Sign up here.