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Chicken recipes for the whole family! If you're looking for easy and delicious chicken recipes, you've come to the right place. We've got chicken casserole recipes, recipes for chicken curry, chicken breast recipes... You name it! Chicken has got to be one of our favourite meats to cook with. It's cheap, versatile and is a real crowd-pleaser with the whole family. If you love cooking chicken, take a look at our guide for what type of chicken to buy, how to store, prepare and cook chicken and what tasty flavours you can use to create delicious chicken recipes.
Chicken is not only tasty, it's full of nutrients that your family needs. As well as being a great source of protein, it is also rich in vitamin B6 and B3, which help your body's metabolism by turning protein into energy. As well as providing a dose of potassium and amino acids, which aid your body's growth and maintenance, chicken is also full of selenium, which produces antioxidants and has been linked to cancer protection.
Beware of the skin! It may be very tasty but it can almost double the amount of fat in your chicken. Cook the chicken with the skin on but remove before eating to get all the flavours in your meat without all the fat - best of both worlds!
Types of chicken
Fresh or frozen?
Fresh chicken lasts 2-3 days in the fridge so if you're planning on using it immediately you should go for fresh chicken as it's easier to prepare. Make sure the chicken feels supple and doesn't smell funny to ensure it's fresh. You can freeze fresh chicken buy washing it, patting dry, wrapping in tight parcels and putting in the freezer. Always freeze chicken on the day you bought it.
Frozen chicken is often cheaper so if you're doing a big shop for the month a bag of frozen portions will save you some cash. Make sure the chicken is completely frozen and has no liquid in the package - as this means it has defrosted slightly. To defrost a chicken, you need to allow it to defrost in the fridge and not at room temperature - make sure you place it on a plate to collect any of the juices.
Chicken juices can contaminate other foods so make sure, however you store your chicken, that no juices can escape the packaging and get onto other foods.
It is very important to check the sell-by date when buying chicken. Do not buy or eat chicken even slightly past the sell-by date.
Cuts of chicken
Whole chicken. The best way to cook a whole chicken is, of course, to roast it. You can buy it with or without the giblets (organs) inside. The giblets can be used in a stock or gravy for extra flavour but they aren't for the squeamish! A little oil and lemon is all you need to bring out the flavours in your roast - or you could try something a little different with one of our roast chicken recipes.
Whole chickens are cheaper than buying the parts separately so if you're feeling brave you can buy a whole one and cut it down into joints. We have a step-by-step guide for how to joint chicken if you fancy giving it a go. If you don't fancy this, ask your butcher to do it for you.
Chicken breasts. Breasts have the lowest fat content of all cuts of chicken and you can buy them with or without the skin. Breasts are really versatile and can be stuffed, grilled, baked or fried and, when chopped, used in pasta dishes, salads, pies and many, many more recipes.
Chicken thighs. Thighs are a cheaper alternative to breasts and some people say they're a lot tastier as the meat is a little darker and has a richer flavour. They can be bought boned or boneless and can be used in a variety of different meals - casseroles, traybakes and stuffed are just some of our ways with chicken thighs.
Chicken drumsticks. Similar to thighs in taste and texture, drumsticks are good on the BBQ and are delicious baked with a tasty marinade. They're wonderfully messy as well so the kids will love eating them!
Chicken wings. The cheapest cut, wings are quite fatty and have very little meat on them compared to other cuts but they're delicious on the BBQ and make great party food snacks as you can eat them with your hands.
How to cook chicken
When preparing chicken you have to be a lot more careful than with other foods and meats. The bacteria on raw chicken can cause salmonella poisoning so it's important not to let it touch any other raw food or cooking utensils before it is cooked. When preparing you need to use separate chopping boards and utensils to other foods - or make sure you wash them thoroughly before using them again. Surfaces and utensils should be washed with warm soapy water to rid them of raw juices. Your hands are equally as important and must be washed regularly when handling chicken to ensure you don't contaminate other surfaces.
When cooking chicken you need to make sure it is cooked all the way through before serving. If you see any pink areas, it needs to be cooked longer. Thigh and drumstick meat will look a little grey when cooked. To check a whole chicken is cooked, insert a skewer into one of the joints and if the juices run clear, it's ready.
Ways to cook chicken
Baking is the healthiest way to cook chicken. It allows the juice and flavours to develop so the meat will need less seasoning once done.
Frying is less healthy but is great if you're in a hurry. Use one calorie oil spray rather than oil or butter if you want to keep the calorie down.
Barbecuing can be delicious but you have to be very careful about making sure it is cooked properly - check our guide for barbecuing chicken.
Poaching or steaming are other, slightly old-fashioned, ways to cook chicken but are also great as a healthier alternative to frying.
Slow cooking, if you overcook chicken in the oven it can become really dry but that doesn't mean you can't slow cook it. If you have a slow cooker you can add it to a rich sauce a cook for up to 8 hours for a deliciously rich flavour. See our slow cooker recipes for some ideas.
Flavours that complement chicken
- Cajun spices
- Curry powder
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This easy chicken casserole recipe is a hearty, family-sized meal perfect for making in the winter months. It’s a real winter warmer packed with veggies like mushrooms, onion, celery and carrot, so it can really help you and your family up your 5-a-day intake and you healthy. It’s also a great way to get your kids eating more veg as they’re mixed in with the chicken – they won’t even notice they’re there. This easy chicken casserole only takes 1hr and 15 mins to cook and will serve up to 6 people. This casserole recipe would be perfect served with boiled or jacket potatoes, or rice. You can use all different cuts of chicken in this recipe – try chicken breast meat, thighs or drumsticks. If you have any leftovers, make sure you store them in an airtight container in the fridge. Use within 2 days and thoroughly reheat in the microwave or oven before serving again. It will taste just as delicious so this a great dish to make on a Sunday evening and keep for your lunches during the week – it will save you so much time and money! This chicken casserole is also a filling and nutritious meal that can fit in your diet. A portion of this delicious casserole works out at only 390 calories per serving and 13g of fat – perfect if you’re trying to she pounds in a healthy way!(366 ratings)
You can't beat a classic chicken bhuna recipe and this recipe is exactly that. Plenty of flavour, a kick of spice and tender chicken pieces – a recipe for success! Cheaper than a takeaway, this simple and cheap chicken bhuna recipe is easy to make, which means it is perfect for a weekend supper. The thick medium-hot sauce made from a tasty blend of flavourings and vegetables perfectly coats and compliments the rich meat of chicken thighs. The best part of making this simple chicken bhuna from scratch is that you adjust the heat to your liking. So if you want to increase the heat of this delicious curry, simply add more chillies. If you or someone you’re cooking for is vegetarian, you could also make a veggie version by replacing the chicken with a selection of vegetables such as peppers, potatoes and cauliflower. For added effect serve in balti dishes with pickles, chutney and poppadoms or naan bread. This recipe serves 4 people and should take 55 mins to rustle up, so you can have it ready on the dinner table in less than an hour.(182 ratings)
This Hairy Bikers' easy chicken curry recipe is one that you'll want to make time and time again. This recipe for chicken curry takes only 15 minutes to prepare and 40 minutes to cook, so you can have it on the table in under an hour. This simple chicken curry serves six people, so you the whole family can enjoy it and you can still keep leftovers for lunch the next day. Just keep it in an airtight container in the fridge and it will keep for a few days. This easy chicken curry recipe is the perfect takeaway alternative on a Saturday night – making it yourself means you know exactly what you’re eating so you can be eat a healthier meal. Bursting full of flavour, this chicken curry is made with a homemade tarka masala sauce infused with garlic, root ginger and green chillies. As you’re making this chicken curry recipe from scratch, you can adjust the heat to your taste and make it as hot or as mild as you want it to be. The chicken in this recipe is cooked until tender and succulent so this curry recipe tastes even better. Serve with naan bread or rice. This recipe is taken from Mums Know Best: The Hairy Bikers' Family Cookbook.(361 ratings)
This tasty chicken chow mein recipe is a quick and easy to prepare healthy veg-filled dinner with lots of flavour. This delicious Chinese stir-fries recipe is a courtesy from celebrity chef Ken Hom, so you know it’s a good one. Stir-fries like this chicken chow mein, require a wok, so make sure you’ve got one in your kitchen before you start chopping up the ingredients. This chicken chow mein takes only 40mins in total to prepare, so you can have a delicious meal made from scratch on the dinner table in less than an hour. First off you’ll need to cook the noodles in boiling water, but don’t forget to set 10mins aside to marinate the chicken. Noodles can dried or fresh, fresh will taste much better. For the marinade, which really packs a pungent flavour in the chicken, you will need soy sauce, dry sherry, sesame oil, salt and freshly ground white pepper. Although this recipe includes chicken and certain vegetables like mange tout and onions, you can use swap or add any ingredients you’d like such as fish, meat, poultry or other vegetables. Enjoy this quick and simple dish after a busy day or just when you can’t be bothered making anything complicated.(62 ratings)
This classic one-pot chicken and prawn paella Spanish dish is not only delicious, but it also saves on the washing-up! Not all traditional paellas use chicken, but we like it better this way. Cooked in just 1hr this delicious paella serves 4 people. This classic dish is infused with chorizo sausage, onion, garlic, saffron and paprika. Serve with a cut of crusty bread and drizzle in lemon juice before serving. Make this paella extra healthy by swapping the rice for brown rice instead. This easy paella recipe is perfect if you want to bring a taste of your favourite summer holiday, home. This meal is great for sharing with the whole family. Leftovers can be stored in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 2 days. Reheat thoroughly before serving again. This recipe is just perfect served with freshly baked bread or crusty baguette for dipping into the meat and spice juices.(207 ratings)
Chicken and bacon risotto is a quick and easy meal for the whole family. Our recipe takes just 40 minutes and is great for the midweek rush! This recipe serves 4 people and is the perfect option for everyone to enjoy together. A portion of this dish works out at 575 calories. It's much healthier than readymade risotto and you have control over exactly what goes into it too like salt content and fat. We've used pudding rice and chicken thighs in our risotto to make our savoury meal for 4 even cheaper at just 97p per person! This dish is a great way of sneaking veg into your kids diets. Add handfuls of chopped spinach, grated mushrooms and any other veg you fancy to get your little ones eating some of their 5-a-day. This dish is best made and eaten on the same day but leftovers can be stored in the airtight container in the fridge for up to 2 days. Make sure you reheat thoroughly before serving, the rice needs to be piping hot.(68 ratings)
This quick creamy chicken pasta takes only 25 mins to rustle up. This dish also uses a great cheat which will save on time as well as money - tinned soup. The tinned mushroom soup makes a delicious, thick mushroom sauce for your chicken pasta dish. Add chopped mushrooms and a handful or two of spinach to get some of your 5-a-day in there too. This recipe serves 4 people and is the perfect midweek option for the whole family. A portion of this speedy pasta works out at only 370 calories per serving making it a great option if you're counting calories too. Leftovers can be stored in an airtight Tupperware in the fridge for up to 2 days. Reheat thoroughly before serving again.(194 ratings)
This delicious and healthy lemon chicken and pea risotto recipe is so easy to make at home. It will take only 45 mins to prepare and cook this dish which is pretty speedy for a risotto. This recipe serves 4-6 people. It's a great way of using up leftovers too - a portion of rice that's leftover in the cupboard, a serving a chicken from your roast dinner on Sunday or those frozen peas that have been rattling around in the freezer for months. Other vegetables like courgette, green beans or broccoli would also work well in this tasty risotto. You can use long grain rice if you don't have risotto rice. This dish is best made and eaten on the same day but if you have any leftovers make sure they cool quickly and pop into an airtight container in the fridge to store until needed. Reheat thoroughly until piping hot.(46 ratings)
Thai green curry is a quick, easy and economical recipe, that's mild and creamy for an ideal midweek meal or a special supper. Using a ready-made curry paste saves a lot of time but will still give a really authentic and fragrant flavour. If you can't find fish sauce (also called nam pla) then add a splash of light soy sauce. Instead of the chicken you could use chunks of lean pork fillet or for a seafood version use 450g white fish fillet, cut into chunks and 150g large peeled tiger prawns and simmer for only 10-15 mins.(39 ratings)
Hairy Bikers' Thai chicken and coconut curry recipe is the perfect quick and easy dinner from The Hairy Bikers' show, The Hairy Dieters. This delicious recipe takes a classic dish and reduces the calories to turn it into a healthy family meal. Serving 4 people, each portion of this delicious curry works out at only 283 calories per serving without rice. If you'd like to serve this curry with rice, we'd recommend jasmine rice or basmati rice. Aim to cook no more than 50g per person, so 200g in all. Press the freshly boiled rice into a 200ml metal pudding basin mould that you’ve oiled lightly and lined with cling film, then turn out into the bowls before adding the hot curry. You only need 1 basin or mould as you can reuse it for all the servings(155 ratings)
Slimming World's chicken and potato curry recipe is one of our favourite delicious and simple-to-make Slimming World dinners! It’s guilt-free too, making it the perfect Saturday night alternative to a takeaway. Curry is one the nation's favourite meals and it's not off the menu if you're counting the calories. Diet club Slimming World have taken the classic dish and made it nice and healthy, and the best part is that it has not lost out on any of the flavour. The main way this curry is better for you in terms of calories is that it‘s not made with coconut milk or any other liquids that can add more calories to a curry – it’s simply cooked with water but it still taste absolutely delicious. This recipe is so tasty, even those not following the diet can enjoy it, so you don’t have to cook two meals if you’re following the Slimming World plan. The potato in the mix means you don't need to serve it with rice and sides. This recipe serves 4 people and should take approximately 40 minutes to make. If you’re craving curry, make this light and tasty Slimming World recipe instead of getting a takeaway – it’s a lot healthier and cheaper. Any leftovers can be stored in an airtight container in the fridge for up 2 days. Reheat thoroughly before serving.(441 ratings)
These Chicken Chimichangas are filled with juicy chicken, sweetcorn, tomato salsa and spring onions. This tasty wrap is easy to make: fill the tortilla, fold it together and fry it quickly on a hot pan so it holds together more easily - clever! Chimichanga is traditionally known as a deep-fried burrito, but frying it on a pan requires a lot less oil! This is a fantastic dinner with classic Mexican flavours and suits well for a small evening meal with friends and they are also a handy packed lunch. Serve together with mashed avocado, coriander and cheese(1 ratings)
Slimming World's diet Cola chicken recipe is simply delicious, made with tender pieces of chicken and served with plenty of fresh vegetables for lighter option. This mouth-watering meal is ready in under an hour and serves 4 people. The Diet Cola adds a sweet flavour and sticky texture along with the soy sauce, Worcestershire sauce and passata. If you’ve never tasted this quirky classic loved by Slimming World members, you’re in for a treat. Once you’ve tried it, you’ll be hooked! This delicious recipe only takes 40 mins to make and is well worth the wait. Leftovers can be stored in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 2 days. Reheat thoroughly before serving again and make sure the chicken is piping hot.(307 ratings)
This chicken and tomato pasta bake recipe is so easy! Nothing beats a chicken and tomato pasta bake for a delicious and filling mid-week supper. This one has a lovely rich garlic and tomato sauce and is topped with masses of melting mozzarella cheese. You can choose any shape of dried pasta for this dish we've used spirals but shells, twists or short-cut macaroni will work just as well. To prepare the bake in advance, leave the pasta and chicken and tomato sauce to cool in the dish (without the cheese topping). Cover and chill for up to 24 hrs. To bake from chilled, sprinkle with the cheese and cook at 200°C/400°F/Fan 180°C/Gas Mark 6 for 25-30 mins until piping hot.(229 ratings)
Hairy Bikers' cauliflower and chicken pilaf is a delicious, healthy lunch or light dinner option. It's so easy to make and tastes great too. This recipe serves 4 people and will take only 20 mins to prepare and cook. A portion of this mouth-watering pilaf works out at only 274 calories per serving. The Hairy Bikers say; 'Everyone loves a pilaf but the rice makes it quite a high calorie dish. But if you use cauliflower instead of rice you get all that lovely comforting flavour and texture with far fewer cals. We’re happy putting in the whole spices into our pilaf and we’re used to fishing them out as we eat but if you’re worried you could wrap them in a little bit of muslin.'(8 ratings)
This Hairy Bikers' Spanish-style chicken bake recipe is a perfect one-pot wonder. The Hairy Bikers have captured the classic flavours of Spain in one dish - and it's one of their diet dishes too! At just 370 calories per serving, you'd think this dish would be lacking in flavour - far from it! The powerful flavours of paprika and chorizo give the chicken a lovely Spanish twist. This delicious chicken bake serves 4 people and will take about 1hr and 15 mins to make in total. It’s well worth the wait! The Hairy Bikers use chicken thighs in this recipe to cut down the cost but feel free to use your favourite cut of chicken instead e.g. chicken breast or drumsticks. And the best thing about this recipe - it's all made in one pot! Less washing up and a delicious family meal - what more could you want? This recipe is part of the Hairy Dieters series.(730 ratings)
This cheesy chicken pasta bake will serve 6 kids and is ready in just 40 mins. It's a great way of getting veg into their diet and you can replace the veg in the recipe with their favourites. The sauce is made from butter, chicken stock, milk and plenty of cheese to give it a creamy finish. This recipe uses chicken breasts but if you want to cut the cost down, use chicken thighs instead. Dust with Parmesan before serving. If you want to make this pasta extra naughty, crush crisps or dried onions on top of the bake before serving for an extra crunch of flavour.(178 ratings)
This Mexican chicken pizza recipe is so simple! A quick and easy chicken and sun-dried tomato puree pizza. If you use ready-made pizza dough, it takes only 15 mins to bake! The Mexican chicken is full of flavour and works wonders with the soft pizza base and rich tomato based sauce. This family sized pizza will serve around 4 people and will take only 10 mins to prep. This recipe is a great way of using up leftover chicken from your Sunday roast and makes the perfect Monday dinner treat - the kids will love it! You could even get them helping out making and topping the pizza too before you takeover to pop into the oven. Leftovers can be stored in the fridge and reheated the next day for lunch. Serve with salad and new potatoes for a hearty meal.(6 ratings)