My F&W
quick save (...)

Chicken: a Cook’s Guide to the World’s Favorite Bird

The Peruvians twirl it on a rotisserie; the Jamaicans spike it with Scotch bonnet chiles; the French sauce it with mustard and cream. There are a lot of ways to cook a chicken, and Americans take advantage of them all. Here, the F&W Test Kitchen uses three classic techniques—rubs, marinades and stir-fries—to bring a world of flavor to our favorite bird.

Rubs

Step One: Pick Your Favorite Flavors

Jamaican Rub
F&W’s Marcia Kiesel says Scotch bonnets and habaneros have a taste like no other chile: They are wonderfully fruity, sweet and blasting hot. Habanero hot sauce and allspice give this fiery rub great Caribbean flavor in the style of Jamaican jerk sauce.

Spanish Rub
To get the most out of a quick Spanish-inspired rub, Kiesel turns to pimentón de la Vera, the Spanish smoked paprika, which adds a smoky kick to roasted chicken.

Indian Rub
A good, complex curry powder is the key ingredient in the fragrant rub here, says Kiesel. The rub also gets an appealing dose of sweetness from minced onion.

Step Two: Mix All Ingredients to a Paste

Step Three: Roast in the Oven

Chicken choice 4 skin-on, bone-in breasts; 12 ounces each
Roasting time 40 min at 425°. Make 2 slashes in each breast. Rub the paste over the skin and into the slashes.

Chicken choice 8 skin-on, bone-in thighs; 6 ounces each
Roasting time 45 min at 425°. Make 2 slashes in each thigh. Rub the paste over the skin and into the slashes.

Chicken choice 8 legs; 4 ounces each
Roasting time 45 min at 425°. Make 2 slashes in each leg. Rub the paste over the skin and into the slashes.

Chicken choice 1 whole chicken; 4 pounds
Roasting time 90 min at 350°. Loosen the skin. Rub the paste under and over the skin.

Marinades

Step One: Pick Your Favorite Flavors

Vietnamese Marinade
Hot, sour, salty and sweet are the main flavors in this Vietnamese-style marinade from F&W’s Melissa Rubel.

Peruvian Marinade
This recipe from Rubel is based on Peruvian rotisserie chicken. It’s deliciously lemony and garlicky. A bit of vinegar makes it even brighter-tasting.

Greek Marinade
With lots of ouzo, fennel and dill, this marinade packs great anise flavor. Rubel says to leave it on for 30 minutes for a mild taste or up to 4 hours for more intensity.

Step Two: Make the Marinade

1. In a bowl, whisk all of the ingredients together. Place the chicken in a large, resealable bag and add the marinade. Seal the bag and toss to coat. Refrigerate for at least 30 minutes and up to 4 hours.

2. Light a grill or preheat a grill pan and brush liberally with vegetable oil. Scrape any marinade off the chicken, season it generously with salt and pepper and grill.

Step Three: Grill Over Moderate Heat

Chicken choice 4 skinless, boneless breasts; 6 ounces each
Grilling time 15 min, covered: turn once.

Chicken choice 4 skin-on, bone-in breasts; 12 ounces each
Grilling time 30 min total, covered: 5 min skin side down, then 25 min on the other side.

Chicken choice 8 skinless, boneless thighs; 5 ounces each
Grilling time 20 min total, covered: 10 min skinned side down, then 10 min on the other side.

Chicken choice 8 skin-on, bone-in thighs; 6 ounces each
Grilling time 30 min total, covered: 10 min skin side down, then 20 min on the other side.

Chicken choice 8 legs; 4 ounces each
Grilling time 30 min, covered: turn twice.

Stir-Fries

Chinese

Stir-Fried Chicken with Bok Choy
Fermented black beans, the key ingredient in black bean sauce (along with garlic, sugar and salt), give this Asian stir-fry an enormous amount of flavor while keeping the overall ingredient list simple. Bottled black bean sauce is available in the Asian section of most supermarkets; F&W’s Grace Parisi recommends the Kikkoman brand.

Tunisian

Chicken With Carrots and Olives
Middle Eastern cooks often stew chicken slowly in clay pots. Parisi’s intensely flavorful recipe here borrows ingredients common in Tunisian tagines (cumin, cinnamon, lemon, garlic and olives) for a fast, fragrant sauté.

Thai

Spicy Red Curry Chicken
This riff on fiery Massaman curry, commonly cooked in a clay pot with potatoes and peanuts, combines coconut milk, Asian fish sauce and judicious amounts of bottled Thai red curry paste (made with red chiles, shrimp paste, garlic and ginger) to create a piquant sauce for chicken. In this recipe, Parisi omits the potatoes to save time, but keeps the peanuts for a crunchy finish.

French

Chicken in Tarragon-Mustard Cream Sauce
Parisi steals the flavors from a classic French pan sauce (mustard, tarragon, white wine and cream) for this quick chicken sauté.

Mexican

Chile Chicken Sauté
A cross between a fajita and chili, this saucy stir-fry can be served in warm tortillas or over rice. Parisi says it can even be baked between layers of tortilla chips, grated cheddar cheese and sour cream to make chilaquiles, a Southwestern-style lasagna.

Published May 2007
You Might Also Like

Comments

Add A Comment

    Add a Comment

    See our terms
    You must be logged in to comment. or
    advertisement
    The Dish
    Receive delicious recipes and smart wine advice 4x per week in this e-newsletter.
    The Wine List Weekly pairing plus best bottles to buy.
    F&W Daily One sensational dish served fresh every day.
    advertisement
    Congratulations to Nicholas Elmi, winner of Top Chef: New Orleans, the 11th season of Bravo's Emmy-Award winning, hit reality series.

    Already looking forward to next year (June 19-21, 2015)? Relive your favorite moments from the culinary world's most sensational weekend in the Rocky Mountains.