Chicken is one of the most versatile proteins and often the easiest to get kids to eat. Most likely, you have some packages of chicken in your freezer, whether they're chicken breasts, legs, or thighs. But it is easy to get stuck in a chicken-dish rut, simply making familiar recipes for ease and to please.
Put your freezer stash to work by trying something different with any of these 10 creative dishes. Simply defrost the chicken overnight in the fridge, or in your microwave on the defrost setting, and then bring new life to the common chicken dinner. From cinnamon chicken to a Hawaiian classic, you’ll find several new favorites to add to your dinner rotation.
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Sheet Pan Chicken Dinner
What is better than a new delicious chicken dish? One that also includes vegetables, making it a great one-dish meal. Bone-in chicken thighs, sweet potato, and broccoli are all roasted together in a sauce of soy sauce, lemon juice, honey, and cayenne pepper. The final dish is flavorful and colorful.
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Honey Mustard Chicken Breasts
If your kids love chicken nuggets dipped in honey mustard, then they will race to the dinner table to enjoy this baked boneless chicken in a honey mustard sauce. Prepared honey mustard, apricot preserves, and rice vinegar combine with tarragon, rosemary, and green onions into a sweet and tangy sauce. The chicken breasts are quickly browned in a skillet and then baked in the sauce until cooked through. Perfect served over rice.
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Balsamic Raspberry Chicken Breasts
Who said raspberries were only for dessert? When combined with balsamic vinaigrette, sherry vinegar, and tarragon, these beautiful berries turn a plain 'ol boneless chicken breasts into something really special. The sauce is cooked and then spooned over grilled or pan-seared chicken breasts. Save a few raspberries for garnish and your guests will be quite impressed.
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Japanese Yakitori Negima (Grilled Chicken Skewers)
When we hear Japanese chicken recipe we may first think of teriyaki. But there is another popular dish using chicken that is fun to make and to eat. Yakitori negima are skewers of pieces of chicken and scallions that are grilled and basted with a wonderful sauce of soy sauce, mirin, cooking sake, and ginger. The result is a flavorful chicken dish that may become a new family favorite. Serve over rice with stir-fried vegetables.Continue to 5 of 12 below.
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Chicken Under a Brick
You will need foil-wrapped bricks to create chicken under a brick. This spatchcocked recipe removes the backbone then weighs the bird down flat so every piece is juicy and cooked to perfection. It also uses a thyme, rosemary, and garlic rub for a delightful flavor.
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Hawaiian Huli Huli Grilled Chicken
Developed in the 1950s, this Hawaiian recipe for chicken grilled on a spit (the word "huli" means turn) has become one of the islands most popular dishes, especially because of the huli huli sauce. With the flavors of brown sugar, soy sauce, sherry, ginger, garlic, and red pepper flakes, this sauce has a taste all its own, making a grilled whole chicken or chicken parts the standout at the neighborhood barbecue.
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While it's admittedly not quite as easy as ordering takeout barbecue from the Korean restaurant, this backyard replica Bulgogi Chicken makes a convincing stand-in without too much effort. Serve it with rice, kimchi, and your favorite Korean condiments.
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Grilled Cinnamon Chicken
Cinnamon is used in many savory Moroccan and Middle Eastern recipes, so why not try it in a simple barbecue chicken dish? The spice is mixed with dry sherry, honey, and curry powder to create a marinade for chicken parts or boneless chicken breasts. You do need to keep an eye on the grill, however, since the honey can cause flare-ups.Continue to 9 of 12 below.
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Buffalo-Style Baked Chicken Legs
If your family is a fan of Buffalo chicken wings—or any kind of Buffalo chicken dish—then they'll love these chicken legs in a spicy sauce. Toss the legs in olive oil and garlic, bake until cooked through and crispy, and then coat with a mixture of hot sauce and melted butter. Drizzle with blue cheese or ranch dressing and serve with celery sticks and french fries.
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Chinese Paper-Wrapped Chicken
This recipe may take a bit of time, but the results are worth the effort. In this traditional Chinese banquet recipe, chicken is marinated in a mixture of soy sauce, oyster sauce, ginger, sesame oil, sherry, and five-spice powder; Chinese mushrooms and onions are added, and then the mixture is wrapped in parchment paper. The packets are deep-fried in a wok, and then opened and topped with fresh cilantro.
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Curried Chicken Soup With Apples
Chock full of vegetables, apples, and tomatoes, this flavorful soup is a comforting dish—as well as a great way to use up the chicken tenders in the freezer. The curry, mace, and lime juice bring a deliciously different kind of taste, making chicken soup a welcome dish at the dinner table.
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Chicken Roulade Stuffed With Bacon, Spinach, and Gouda
This chicken roulade is not only filled with chopped cooked bacon, but it is also wrapped with strips of bacon! Spinach and Gouda cheese are too stuffed inside the flattened, boneless chicken breast before it is rolled up, covered with bacon, and grilled until cooked and crispy.