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By the Editors of Food & Wine Magazine

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Chicken Gumbo for the March Madness Champions

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Chicken-and-Sausage Gumbo

© Amanda Marsalis / Chicken Gumbo

Last night, March Madness over college basketball concluded with the University of Kentucky Wildcats triumphing over the University of Kansas Jayhawks in New Orleans. Since both teams arrived on Saturday, NCAA coaches and players have been enjoying NOLA’s amazing food—the coaches even got to hobnob with chef John Besh at a Taste of New Orleans event. Fans should consider celebrating with Chicken-and-Sausage Gumbo. The recipe comes from Kentucky chef Amber Huffman, but even Kansas supporters can appreciate the Creole flavors.

Related: Great Cajun & Creole Recipes
Innovative Game Day Snacks
New Orleans Cocktails

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Paul Virant’s Olive-Brined Chicken

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Olive-Brined Chicken

© Cedric Angeles / Olive-Brined Chicken

In an interview with Eater, Chicago chef Paul Virant said that his upcoming guide to canning, Preservation Kitchen: The Craft of Making and Cooking with Pickles, Preserves, and Aigre-doux, is meant for both amateurs and professionals alike. “I think the hope is to encourage people who aren’t into it to get into it, and then to encourage them to maybe make pickles or canned tomatoes.” Virant’s love for brines extends beyond pickles. In his recipe for Olive-Brined Chicken with Grilled Onions and Paprika Oil, he marinates chicken overnight in a mix of olives, lemons and fresh bay leaves. The result: ultraflavorful and tender grilled chicken.

Related: F&W's Canning and Pickling Guide
Delicious Pickled Vegetables
More Terrific Chicken Recipes

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Grilled Chicken Upgrade

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Berber-Spiced Chicken Breasts

© James Baigrie / Grilled Chicken

With cookout season rapidly approaching, how is your grill looking? Cobwebby and uninspiring? To prep for summer, New York Times writer Bob Tedeschi asked grilling gurus how to clean and upgrade his grill. One panelist was Steven Raichlen, author of Planet Barbecue and an F&W contributor. Unlike many barbecue pros, Raichlen embraces chicken breasts. “They're the meat grill masters love to hate because they're so intrinsically bland,” Raichlen told F&W. To change that, he came up with this recipe for Berber-Spiced Chicken Breasts, rubbed with a blend of North African spices that forms a crispy, flavorful crust on the grill—a tasty warm-up for those eager to brush up on grilling skills.

Related: More Grilled Chicken Recipes
Recipes from Grill Gurus
Global Grilling Recipes

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A Quicker Way to Make Mole Negro

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Chicken Breasts with Mole Negro

© Maura McEvoy / Chicken with Mole Negro

According to The Atlantic, one of the foremost experts in traditional Oaxacan cuisine is 71 year-old Soledad Ramírez Heras, who conducts private cooking classes out of her hilltop home. Her specialty is mole negro, a deeply complex chile-chocolate sauce, which traditionally takes all day to prepare—Soledad’s mole classes start at 9 a.m. and last for seven hours. You may be several hours too late to make mole from scratch for tonight's dinner, but there's a no-shame short-cut that even Mexican cooks rely on. This recipe for Pan-Roasted Chicken Breasts with Mole Negro uses store-bought black mole paste, which, when whisked with stock, reduces to a deliciously smoky sauce in just 25 minutes.

Related: Quick Mexican Dishes
Recipes for Chicken Breasts
Fantastic Mexican Recipes

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Fiber-Rich Lentils and Chicken Sausage

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Lentils with Chicken Sausage

© Tina Rupp / Lentils with Chicken Sausage

All semester long, NYU professor and James Beard Award-winning nutritionist Marion Nestle is answering questions for the university's student-run paper, Washington Square News. Today she tackles fiber. According to Nestle, the benefits of fruits, vegetables and whole grains trump supplements and most Americans “get less than half the fiber you need.” This recipe for Lentils with Chicken Sausage is a healthy take on British bangers and mash, with legumes in place of mashed potatoes for a fast weeknight way to add nine grams of fiber to your daily intake.

Related: Fantastic Lentil Dishes
Great Sausage Recipes
Tasty British Dishes

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UCLA’s Science & Food Class

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Brown Butter Chicken Jus

© Michael Turek / Brown Butter Chicken Jus

Following the example set by Harvard University's Science & Cooking course, UCLA is now offering a class called Science & Food: The Physical and Molecular Origins of What We Eat. This semester, 50 lucky foodie co-eds will learn from Los Angeles chefs like Jon Shook and Vinny Dotolo of Animal (F&W Best New Chefs 2009) and Umami Burger’s Adam Fleischman, and tickets have already sold out for four public lectures with globally recognized guest speakers like Noma’s René Redzepi. For those who can't get up-close with the culinary stars, there's a hands-on lesson to be learned from Redzepi's recipe for Brown Butter Chicken Jus with Citrus and Greens. The innovative salad calls for a richly flavored chicken sauce, an example of how the chef creates satisfying dishes while using meat sparingly at his Copenhagen restaurant.

Related: More Fantastic Salads
Vegetable Dishes for Carnivores
F&W's Best New Chefs 2011

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Easy Chicken-Meatball Yakitori

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Chicken-Meatball Yakitori

© Fredrika Stjärne / Chicken-Meatball Yakitori

New York City mayor, Mike Bloomberg, held an annual team-building event last week at the Institute of Culinary Education, where City Hall bureaucrats cooked and ate a three-course meal, and police commissioner Raymond W. Kelly talked about his fantastic meatballs. On a tip from witnesses, the New York Times followed up and printed the Irishman's recipe, which includes sautéed onions and only the vague instructions to "Summon your inner Italian.” For something a bit easier to follow, we suggest you channel your inner izakaya chef for these grilled Chicken-Meatball Yakitori from the April issue. With three clearly written steps and just 30 minutes of cooking time, they make great party snacks too.

Related: Fantastic Grilled Chicken Recipes
Delicious Japanese Dishes
Terrific Meatballs

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Forager-Friendly Chicken Salad

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Spinach Salad with Chicken

© David Malosh / Spinach Salad with Chicken

Seattle is building a food forest, a seven-acre urban park that will be a forager’s dream, with blueberry bushes, wild herbs, walnut trees, apple trees, and somehow even tropical fruits like pineapples, yuzu and guava. Access will be free for everyone, which has left some Seattlites concerned about greedy harvesters.“People worried, ‘What if someone comes and takes all the blueberries?’” Margarett Harrison, the lead landscape architect of the Beacon Food Forest project, told TakePart. “That could very well happen, but maybe someone needed those blueberries. We look at it this way—if we have none at the end of blueberry season, then it means we’re successful.”

This Spinach Salad with Smoked Chicken, Apple, Walnuts, and Bacon is the perfect quick dish for future Seattle foragers, who will be able to pick fresh apples and walnuts after the first phase is completed next spring. For now, it’s equally delicious with store-bought produce.

Related: More Salads with Chicken
Quick Chicken Recipes
Fantastic Salads

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Paul Bocuse’s Chicken in Vinegar Sauce

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Chicken in Vinegar Sauce

© Tina Rupp / Chicken in Vinegar

Yesterday, 20 talented young chefs gathered in Brussels to compete in the European leg of the Bocuse d’Or, often referred to as the Olympics of Cooking. Each chef was given five hours and 35 minutes to prepare two dishes: sole with shrimp and a poultry dish. Today, the judges will announce the 12 teams that will be advancing into the international competition, which will be held in Lyon, France, from January 29-30, 2013 (US finalist Richard Rosendale was chosen in January). The prestigious competition was named for and founded by master French chef Paul Bocuse, whose recipe for Chicken in Vinegar Sauce, a lighter version of the classically buttery French dish, is ready in just 40 minutes.

Pairing: Fast French Dishes
Recipes from the French Masters
Star Chefs' Recipes

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Celebrate Spring with Spring Chickens

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Spice-Rubbed Poussins

© P-A Jorgensen / Spice-Rubbed Poussins

As of today, spring has officially sprung. There are, of course, amazing vegetables and fruits appearing in farmers' markets, but another seasonal specialty to look for is spring chicken, a.k.a. poussin. These small chickens are incredibly juicy and tender, especially when marinated in a savory mix of shallot, thyme, curry, ginger and other spices, as Fabienne Escoffier does in her recipe for Spice-Rubbed Poussins. Serve with a seasonal side dish from F&W’s spring produce guide.

Related: Delicious Spring Recipes
Tasty Spring Desserts
More Amazing Chicken Recipes

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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.