20 Ways to Make Chicken a Fast and Fancy Dinner

20 Ways to Make Chicken a Fast and Fancy Dinner

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Kelli Foster
Jun 11, 2018
(Image credit: Joe Lingeman | Kitchn)

There are basic chicken recipes we all keep in our meal plan rotation — and then there are the chicken recipes that make you feel like a dinner genius. These 20 recipes are the latter.

They come together with minimal effort, yet deliver sophisticated flavor and sometimes an unexpected ingredient that makes your midweek meal feel pretty fancy (think: figs and balsamic glazed chicken, Arnold Palmer chicken thighs, or a vibrant coconut curry soup).

1. Creamy Parmesan Garlic Mushroom Chicken

This recipe draws inspiration from classic cream of mushroom chicken, with a serious grown-up twist that ditches the canned soup and adds lots of garlic and Parm to the situation.

(Image credit: Joe Lingeman)

2. Easy Apricot-Glazed Chicken

A jar of apricot jam can transform a few chicken thighs into a meal that's savory, sweet, sour, and spicy all at the same time. Be sure to serve this over rice, so you can catch all the sticky sauce.

(Image credit: Joe Lingeman)

3. Drunken Chicken and Mushrooms

Pop open a bottle of dry white wine, such as an unoaked Chardonnay, and you'll have something you can cook with and to pair perfectly with the chicken when you sit down to enjoy it.

(Image credit: Joe Lingeman)

4. Braised French Onion Chicken with Gruyère

This cozy chicken dinner is a guaranteed crowd-pleaser. While caramelizing onions isn't fast, you can make this a fast dinner by cooking them ahead of time, ideally in the slow cooker to make it really hands-off.

(Image credit: Lauren Volo)

5. Chicken Saltimbocca with Spinach and Potatoes

Plain ol' chicken cutlets get all dressed up in this one-skillet meal. The prosciutto helps keep the cutlets moist while adding plenty of salty, rich flavor.

(Image credit: Christine Han)

6. How To Make Chicken Tikka Masala in the Electric Pressure Cooker

Yes, chicken tikka masala can have a place in your meal plan. With the help of your instant pot, this flavorful chicken dinner can hit the table in about 30 minutes.

(Image credit: Kelli Foster)

7. Pan-Seared Chicken Thighs with Blistered Tomatoes & Basil

When you want a simple, fresh, and totally delicious dinner, this recipe hits all the high points. With just five ingredients and about 30 minutes, you can be feasting on crispy-skinned, tender chicken piled high with warm, blistered tomatoes and fresh basil.

(Image credit: Kelli Foster)

8. Baked Chicken with Artichokes, Cinnamon, and Preserved Lemons

Inspired by a classic Middle Eastern tagine, this easy weeknight supper leans on preserved lemons and a few warm spices for an ultra-fragrant boost.

(Image credit: Lauren Volo)

9. Roasted Chicken Thighs with Fennel & Lemon

Licorice-scented fennel and the bright pop of lemon join forces to make this fuss-free sheet pan supper taste extra special.

(Image credit: Andrea D'Agosto)

10. Arnold Palmer Pan-Roasted Chicken Thighs

Inspired by the classic summertime drink, these chicken thighs are brined with, you guessed it, tea and lemon juice! It cooks up into a skillet dinner with irresistibly crispy skin and subtle smoky lemon undertones.

(Image credit: Maria Siriano)

11. Balsamic & Mustard Glazed Chicken Thighs and Figs

If your heart skips a beat for recipes that are big on glazes, this is the weeknight dinner for you. Sweet figs, tangy balsamic vinegar, and spicy mustard come together to give chicken thighs the upgrade you didn't know they needed.

(Image credit: Elizabeth Stark)

12. Orange Chicken and Kale Stir-Fry

This is how to give your regular mid-week chicken stir-fry a well-deserved refresh. Tender chicken thighs are paired with shredded Lacinato kale, orange segments, and a sweet and spicy sauce for a stir-fry that's simple yet feels more special than the standard go-to.

(Image credit: Lauren Volo)

13. Tuscan Chicken Skillet

Caramelized mushrooms, sweet sun-dried tomatoes, tender white beans, and juicy chicken breast — every bite of this fast and fancy one-pot dinner is truly delicious.

(Image credit: Kimberley Hasselbrink)

14. Dubliner Cheese and Tomato Stuffed Chicken Breasts

Consider this recipe the most wonderful reason to buy those bone-in chicken breasts. Even more than the crispy skin, you'll love the layer of melted sharp cheddar cheese and sweet tomato nestled underneath.

(Image credit: Brie Passano)

15. Rotisserie Chicken Coconut Curry Soup

With the help of a store-bought shortcut and your pantry, giving classic chicken noodle soup an upgrade has never been easier. This recipe harnesses the convenience of rotisserie chicken, along with curry paste, coconut milk, and rice noodles for a Thai-inspired twist.

(Image credit: Maria Midoes)

16. Caprese Chicken

All it takes is sliced tomato, creamy fresh mozzarella, and a drizzle of tangy balsamic to make tonight's chicken breast instantly more exciting.

(Image credit: Lauren Volo)

17. French Bread Pesto Chicken Pizza

A crusty baguette, a swipe of pesto, and tender chicken gives pizza night a fun, fancy upgrade.

(Image credit: Joe Lingeman)

18. Weeknight Coq au Vin

This classic French stew is usually a weekend affair, but this variation comes together without fuss, thanks to chicken thighs, a handful of dried mushrooms, and plenty of red wine.

(Image credit: Joe Lingeman)

19. Lemon Thyme Chicken Thighs

This recipe couldn't be simpler, but thanks to a unique technique, it churns out some of the crispiest, juiciest chicken thighs on the planet.

(Image credit: Joe Lingeman)

20. Parmesan Chicken and Kale Sauté

A splash of white wine not only helps to wilt the kale but ensures the chicken will be the furthest thing from dry. You might as well pour a glass of that wine for yourself while you're at it.

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