Easy enough to memorize; delicious enough to earn a spot in your regular rotation.
Maple syrup is the secret weapon for getting crispy-skinned roast chicken in this recipe from Gena Knox's Southern My Way: Food & Family
cookbook. You mix the sweetener with chopped pecans and some apple cider vinegar, and brush it onto the chicken for the last 25 minutes of cooking; the sugars help the meat develop a beautiful, crunchy exterior.
Get the recipe: Maple Pecan-Glazed Chicken
Knox has a terrific way to jazz up grilled (or grill-panned) chicken, and it only requires four simple ingredients: olive oil, garlic, cumin and lime juice. The vibrant flavors give the dish a warm-weather feel no matter what time of year you're eating it. To complete the meal, try it with a simple avocado and tomato salad, or black beans and rice.
Get the recipe: Lime Grilled Chicken
Toasted baguette cubes can take a Caesar salad from good to great, and it turns out they can also work their magic in a one-pan chicken-and-vegetables dish, as Kelsey Nixon shows in her cookbook Kitchen Confidence
. The croutons add a subtle crunch to the dish, softening slightly as they soak up all the flavor from the meat and vegetables (you can use whatever's in season, from parsnips to sweet potatoes to carrots to sugar snap peas).
Put down the mayo and step away from the chopped celery: Chef Jody Williams has shown us a totally new (and amazing) way to make an American classic. The author of Buvette: The Pleasure of Good Food
lays torn pieces of a still-warm roasted chicken (use a rotisserie one if you like) atop a bed of salad greens, boiled potatoes and haricots verts. Everything gets drizzled with a Dijon vinaigrette, and you've got a dish that feels light enough for lunch yet substantial enough for dinner.
This dish came about out of necessity, improvised with items Sweet Paul
magazine creator Paul Lowe had on hand when some unexpected guests showed up. As Lowe explains in his book, Sweet Paul Eat & Make
, you simply lay chicken thighs in a baking dish; scatter lemon wedges, olives and capers over the top; pour lemon juice and olive oil over the chicken; and, bake for 25 minutes. The lemon juice makes the chicken tender and the capers and olives mix with the juices to create a tasty sauce.