Two Totally-Not-Boring Chicken Recipes

08.02.2013
Photo by James Ransom

- By the editors at Food52.com

Chicken is a staple in most kitchens because it’s quick, simple, good for you, and reasonably inexpensive. But the truth is, it’s all too easy to make it bland and boring. Instead, this protein should be looked at as a great starting ground – a blank slate that eagerly awaits fresh flavors. Here are two chicken recipes -- one that turns leftover roast chicken and potatoes into a warm salad over a bed of greens, another that mixes bite-sized pieces and nuggets of tofu into a vegetable-laden stir fry -- that are sure to excite your taste buds and build up your poultry prowess.

Warm Chicken Salad

Next-day roast chicken often feels un-savable -- it dries out easily, the skin un-crisps, and it remains only a former shell of the delicious dinner it once was. Here’s one way, though, to ensure that you can revive your leftover bird. It involves re-crisping it, along with potatoes, on the stove in a slightly tangy vinaigrette, and then topping it all on a bed of lettuce that warms and wilts ever so slightly.

Serves 2

4 fingerling potatoes, scrubbed clean
Salt
2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
Freshly ground pepper
1/3 cup olive oil
3 cups red leaf or Bibb lettuce, cleaned and dried and torn into large bite-sized pieces
1 cup shredded leftover roast chicken (make the chunks as delicate or as rustic as you like)
1 tablespoon chopped fresh chives

  1. Bring a medium saucepan of water to a boil and salt the water generously. Simmer the potatoes until just tender, 15 to 20 minutes. Remove the potatoes from the pan and let them cool.
  2. In a small bowl, whisk the vinegar with a few big pinches of salt and pepper to taste. Slowly drizzle in the olive oil, whisking constantly. Taste and add more salt if you like.
  3. When the potatoes are cool enough to handle, slice them into 1/2-inch rounds. Arrange the lettuce on a small platter.
  4. Put half the vinaigrette in a medium saucepan and set it over medium heat. Once it is hot, add the chicken and potatoes to the pan. Cook, turning everything over gently with a spatula every couple of minutes, until the chicken is warmed through, and both the chicken and potatoes are crisp around the edges.
  5. Drizzle a few spoonfuls of the remaining vinaigrette over the lettuce and then arrange the chicken and potatoes over the top. Sprinkle the chives over everything and serve immediately, with the remaining vinaigrette on the side.

Save and print this recipe at Food52.

Photo by Tom Hirschfeld

Chicken and Tofu Stir Fry with Celery and Cashews

This recipe has a marinade for the tofu and chicken, so they’re immersed in great flavors even before they go in with the rest of the ingredients. Celery and cashews both lend crunch, though the former is a bit more unusual and surprising -- in the best possible way.

Serves 4

For the marinade:
2 tablespoons rice wine, sake, or dry sherry
2 tablespoons tamari
2 tablespoons water
1/2 teaspoon sesame oil
1 tablespoon cornstarch
1 1/2 cup chicken thigh meat, cut into bite size pieces
1/2 pound sprouted firm tofu, or your choice of firm tofu

For the stir fry:
1 cup Chinese celery or regular celery
2/3 cups unsalted cashews
2 cups spinach leaves
1 tablespoon garlic, minced
1 cup chicken or vegetable broth
3 tablespoons tamari
2 tablespoons rice wine, sake or dry sherry
2 teaspoons black vinegar or malt vinegar
1 tablespoon honey
2 teaspoons cornstarch
2 tablespoons canola oil

Get the recipe at Food52.

Tell us: How do you breathe new life into chicken recipes?

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