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12 Things to Do With a Whole Chicken (Besides Roast It)

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Roasting is the obvious choice for cooking a whole chicken, but it’s not the only choice. When you’re craving something a bit different, try braising it (in an Italian, Moroccan, or Mexican style), pot-roasting it (which is really just braising), frying, or wrapping it in or under a flaky pastry.

  • Recipe

    Tex-Mex Beer-Can Chicken

    A chile-packed spice rub and mesquite smoke lend a Southwestern accent to this ultra-juicy chicken. You can use either a gas or charcoal grill, but charcoal will produce a smokier flavor.

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  • Recipe

    Southern Fried Chicken

    This recipe uses a dry brine (a spice rub containing ample salt) to add savory flavor without diluting the bird’s inherent chickeny flavor. The salt dries out the skin, so it becomes extra crisp. A dredge in a buttermilk and egg batter gives the pieces a thick crust that snaps and crackles with each bite. Rice flour lightens the coating and prevents bits of the batter from falling off in the hot oil.

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  • Recipe

    Pastry-Wrapped Chicken with Vegetable Stuffing

    Chicken stuffed with aromatic vegetables and wrapped in a buttery bread-like crust, known as “poulet au pain” in France, is the ultimate comfort food. As it bakes, the dough becomes golden and flaky, perfect for eating along with the tender meat and vegetables. It's a bit reminiscent of chicken pot pie. Video: Watch a step-by-step demonstration of how to wrap the chicken.

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  • Recipe

    Poached Chicken with Salsa Rustica

    Aside from the tender chicken, this rustic, one-pot meal is full of aromatic vegetables that cook alongside the bird. Feel free to add more or less of any one or swap in another hearty vegetable.

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  • Recipe

    Pot-Roasted Chicken with Spring Vegetables

    Though this dish is easy to make, you shouldn’t think twice about serving it for company. It’s full of flavor and looks elegant presented in shallow bowls.

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  • Recipe

    Classic Chicken Cacciatore

    Cacciatore, or alla cacciatora, means hunter's style, since this dish is traditionally made in Italy with wild game like rabbit, boar or pheasant. In the U.S., it's typically made with chicken: a whole chicken, cut into eight pieces and then seared in hot olive oil. Once browned, the chicken slowly cooks in a tomato sauce infused with fresh herbs and red wine. It's a simple combination that yields deep flavor.

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  • Recipe

    Chicken Tagine with Prunes and Almonds

    In the Rif Mountains, the people are individualistic and do things their own way—as in this recipe, where they rub cumin into the flesh of the chickens, a procedure unknown in other parts of the country

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  • Recipe

    Braised Chicken with 40 Cloves of Garlic

    Don’t let all the garlic in this recipe scare you. Braising the chicken and garlic together yields tender, juicy chicken and mellow, soft garlic cloves. Spreadable and quite sweet, the garlic is great squeezed out of its skin onto baguette slices for mopping up the aromatic sauce.

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  • Recipe

    Moroccan Chicken with Olives & Preserved Lemons

    I like to serve this dish with saffron rice or with roasted sweet potatoes flavored with cumin.

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  • Recipe

    Pot-Roasted Mediterranean Chicken

    Part of this dish's bright flavor comes from preserved lemons, which are fresh lemons that have been cured in salt. You can make your own), or buy them in grocery or specialty shops (Haddouch Gourmet Imports—866-445-5566—sells preserved lemons. A 10-oz. jar is $6.95). We like to serve this with couscous mixed with garlic and parsley.

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    Recipe

    Chicken with Mexican Charred Tomato Sauce

    You'll want to use two skillets for this recipe, as the skillet used to char the vegetables will need a good cleaning (and reseasoning, if cast iron) before it's used again. Chipotle chiles add a nice smoky heat to the sauce; if you can't find them, substitute a few dashes of your favorite hot sauce or chile paste. Serve this piquant chicken with lime wedges, chopped cilantro and chiles, and sour cream.

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  • Recipe

    Chicken Pot Pie

    A flameproof roasting pan is key to this recipe. The chicken and vegetables are cooked in the same pan, which you'll also use to make a flavorful sauce.

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