We love Ina Garten's classic rendition of roast whole chicken, which stuffs the bird with lemon, thyme and garlic to make it "perfect."
Though far from a local specialty, the roasted whole chicken recipe from San Francisco's Zuni Cafe is legendary for good reason - and nostalgic for Anne from her Bay Area days. Here the Smitten Kitchen has streamlined the original. Complement with bread salad as Zuni does, or pick a different side.
The controversial genius of Barbara Kafka's "simplest roast chicken," here annotated by the Food52 editors, is to roast at a 500-degree blaze. Fair enough. Do take care and take thermometer readings, however, as your pastured bird cooks fast and is easy to overcook at such high heat.
Luminary chef Kwame Onwuachi, who for a hot minute graced the DC restaurant scene with his Kith/Kin, shares his Jamaican jerk chicken recipe here. It's not as hard as you may think (especially if you shortcut by using off-the-shelf barbecue sauce).
The chicken is the easy part of making Hainanese Chicken Rice! Most of the work goes into making perfect rice (critically, using chicken stock), and three (!) sauces... but the shortcut potential is obvious, for those of us who aren't purists but want to sample this Southeast Asian classic.
Colombian Chicken Stew by the numbers: 5 ingredients, 1 recipe step, 25 minutes in a pressure cooker, 4.5 stars from reviewers.
Embracing the low-brow, finally, you could do a lot worse than Beer Can Chicken.
Breast and Tenders
In our home, as frequently as we make more traditional red chili, we go for white chili, using breast meat. This elemental recipe adds just four other ingredients to the chicken, resulting in a simple but rich dish. We also prefer to use skinless breast in this 30-minute Indian Butter Chicken (saving skin-on thighs for other uses).
Shred up breast meat to make the central Mexican delicacy chicken tinga, which can be served with rice and salad, or become a filling for tacos or empanadas. (Or use leftovers from a roasted whole bird.)
Did you know that chicken tenders are actually a distinct part of the bird's anatomy, and not just a culinary term? The tender is the little strip that's cupped by the main part of the breast; there are just two per chicken. Their size and shape makes them perfect for a range of cooking methods without preparatory chopping.
Near Country team member Gaby Garcia-Astolfi says this recipe for crunchy, Parmesan-crusted tenders evokes a recipe from her Italian grandmother, while also requiring just a few ingredients and steps. And, Gaby shows us how to cook her grandmother's version in the video linked to here:
Beyond Gaby's endorsement, we like how Spruce Eats has compiled a list of 14 winning recipes for tenders!
Thighs and Drumsticks
Thighs are the chicken part we most often cook up for weeknight meals in our household. Here Ina Garten shows us how to pan-fry them with a creamy mustard sauce, in a "beginner" but standout recipe. (Yes, we often look to the Barefoot Contessa for chicken recipes. Can't go wrong.)
Or, consider "simple but completely genius" miso butter (by David Chang, via Mark Bittman) to give pan-fried thighs an umami-rich glaze and sauce. Alternatively, try a different killer ingredient (preserved lemon) and a clever pan-frying tactic to maximize crispiness of the thigh skin.
One wonderful use of drumsticks is pho, the Vietnamese soup, here made with an Instant Pot or other pressure cooker.
Chef Lola notes that drumsticks make a great Doro Wat (Ethiopian Chicken Stew), even if the traditional way to make the dish is with a whole chicken. Though flavor-rich this is not a difficult recipe. The one unique ingredient, berbere spice, can be found at local markets in our region that serve our large Ethiopian community.
Now let's talk fried chicken, and use both thighs and drumsticks. The Lee Brothers distinguish between Sunday Fried Chicken (which is undoubtedly amazing but not for the faint of heart, or the busy) and Tuesday Fried Chicken (which any of us can prepare). With this annotated take on the Lees, make your own weeknight fried chicken with six ingredients and much less time than you'd imagine. Or, if you have an air fryer, consider this weeknight "fried" chicken recipe endorsed by customer David P. of Northwest DC.
For Korean-style fried chicken, which is sweet, spicy and very crispy, you can use those thighs and drumsticks, or any other part.
Of course the place to start is classic, Buffalo-style, but we're sharing here a recipe for a baked version since frying might be more of a challenge than many want.
Branching out, from Hawaii we have Huli Huli Wings, which use ginger and pineapple for their tangy kick.
> Go to Shop Provisions