It's so easy to get in a rut when it comes to cooking chicken, especially chicken breasts.
Grilling, sauteeing, roasting. Whole breasts, breaded cutlets, cubed stir-fry. Everyone has a go-to method to cook the most popular protein in the country — Americans eat nearly twice as much poultry as beef per capita per year — but it's good to mix up the techniques from time to time.
If you usually cook chicken breasts or thighs whole, try cutting them into pieces to roast or grill on skewers. If you usually slice and saute chicken breasts in butter, try leaving them whole and pounding them thin before coasting in bread crumbs and pan-frying in oil. If you've never cooked a whole chicken in a slow cooker, it's about time to make enchiladas.
By changing the seasoning, cooking vessel, type of oil, level of heat or how (or if) you cut up the meat, you can avoid chicken boredom. This sheet pan chicken from Amy Rains' "One-Pot Gluten-Free Cooking" (Page Street Publishing, $21.99) offers a guide for one infinitely customizable technique: Baking cubed chicken on a sheet pan with the vegetables and seasoning of your choice. She uses a Greek-inspired combination of olives, artichokes, feta, oregano and red wine vinegar, but you could take this in literally any direction of the compass using the same method.
Sheet-Pan Greek Chicken
This super easy Greek chicken is packed with tangy flavor, plenty of veggies and some fresh basil to make your taste buds sing! It is sure to become a weeknight staple. The ingredients can also combine for a warm Greek salad served over a bed of greens. Make this dish on the weekend to enjoy for lunches throughout the week.
— Amy Rains
1 1/2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken breast, diced into small pieces
2 tablespoons olive oil or avocado oil
1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1/2 teaspoon Kosher salt, plus more to taste
1 red bell pepper, chopped
1/2 large red onion, chopped
1 cup finely diced Yukon Gold potatoes
1/2 cup marinated artichokes
1/2 cup diced cherry tomatoes
1/3 cup Kalamata olives
1/3 cup crumbled feta cheese, optional
1/4 cup finely chopped fresh basil
Greens or rice, for serving
Ground black pepper, to taste
Heat the oven to 375 degrees and arrange the oven rack in the center position. Place the chicken in a large bowl or container.
In a separate bowl, whisk together the oil, red wine vinegar, lemon juice, Dijon, oregano and salt for a quick marinade. Pour it on top of the chicken.
Scatter the red bell pepper, red onion and potatoes across a large sheet pan. Then pour the chicken and marinade on top of the vegetables. Toss so that the chicken and vegetables are evenly coated with marinade and they remain in a single layer.
Place the chicken and veggies in the oven to bake for 15 minutes, then bump up the temperature to 425 degrees to get everything extra toasty. Cook for another 10 to 12 minutes, or until the potatoes are softened and cooked through.
Remove the pan from the oven, add the artichokes, cherry tomatoes, Kalamata olives and feta cheese, if using. Top with fresh basil. Serve over a bed of greens or rice. Add salt and pepper to taste. Serves 4.
— From "One-Pot Gluten-Free Cooking: Delicious Recipes with Easy Cleanup — in 30 Minutes or Less!" by Amy Rains (Page Street Publishing, $21.99)