The Best Chicken Recipes for Summer

Poultry doesn't have to be boring—here's how to make it shine when it's hot out.

  • Herbed Chicken Cutlets with Panko and Parmesan. Good news, grown-ups: as long as you refer to them as breaded chicken cutlets, you can still get away with eating chicken fingers. Add crispy panko breadcrumbs, zesty Parmesan cheese, and some fresh herbs and you’ve made chicken fingers into a dish that’ll make you seem like a real adult.
  • Roasted Butterflied Chicken with Cardamom and Yogurt. Roast chicken again?! Stop yawning—this recipe turns roast chicken on its head. The chicken is bathed in an intoxicatingly spicy marinade, butterflied, and flattened it in a cast iron skillet to roast. It’s incomparably crispy skin and bright, fragrant flavors will make it the best roast chicken you’ve ever had.
  • Chicken Cutlets Grilled in Charmoula with Quick-Cured Lemon Confit. Hit chicken with flavor from three directions and there’s no way it won’t be delicious. In this dish, tender cutlets are coated in a spicy North African marinade, grilled until charred and juicy, and then served with a sweet-tart lemon confit.
  • Tandoori Murgh Chicken Based in Yogurt Sauce. So you haven’t run with the bulls or jumped out of an airplane. That doesn’t mean you can’t live a little—even on a weeknight. Spice up your life, and your chicken, with this Indian-inspired baked chicken. Then go do something crazy.
  • KFC Korean Fried Chicken Wings. You don’t know the first thing about addictive food until you’ve tried these wings. They’re coated in a spicy ginger soy sauce and fried not once, but twice, giving them a ridiculously crispy skin. You can’t have just one.
  • Pan Roasted Chicken Breast with Dijon Sauce and Crispy Pancetta. There’s no flavor better than bacon. That’s why these chicken breasts are seared in bacon renderings until their skin is perfectly brown and addictive. Then, they’re finished off in the oven to achieve wonderfully tender meat and topped with crispy bacon. Because why not add bacon to anything you can?
  • Green Chile, Chicken, and Posole Soup. One surefire way to make any dish exciting is to add hot peppers. And chicken is no different. Just add cooked chicken breast to a roasted poblano soup, and you’ll have a dish that’s perfect for summer. You’ll wonder why you ever thought chicken was bland.
  • Warm Chicken Salad. If you can polish off a whole roast chicken in one meal, we salute you. If not, here’s something exciting to do with the leftovers: warm them in a pan with boiled potatoes and vinaigrette, and then serve over lettuce for a salad that can actually pass for a meal.
  • Rosy Chicken. If multitasking is an artform, this recipe is the Mona Lisa. Instead of making chicken and then covering it with sauce, you can make both at the same time. You’ll come away with a chicken roasted in the fresh flavors of tomato (and you’ll only have to clean one pan).
  • Classic Southern Buttermilk Bathed Fried Chicken. Forget the best thing you can do with chicken—fried chicken is, indisputably, the best thing you can do with food in general. Because there’s nothing better than intensely flavorful, perfectly spiced chicken with a crisp, dark skin. Nothing.

It’s too easy to make chicken boring. You’re feeling lazy (and hungry) so you grab a rotisserie chicken from the supermarket and eat it cold, straight from the package, during the ride home. Or you grab a plain chicken breast, throw it in the oven, and call it dinner. It’s not a crime to eat chicken like this, but we know that you—and your chicken—deserve better.

So now that it’s summer and the pace of life is a little slower, treat yourself to exciting, lip-smacking chicken. Bathe it in buttermilk, roast it in the oven, or listen to it sizzle in a hot frying pan. Here are 10 recipes that push chicken to its highest potential.

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