This and every summer, grill some chicken. With corn. With peaches. With tomatoes. With abandon! Or don’t: You can still evoke the flavors and smells of the season inside using the stovetop or the oven (or a store-bought rotisserie chicken, when it gets unbearably hot). Below is a sampling of some of the most flavorful summertime chicken recipes New York Times Cooking has to offer.
1. Grilled Chicken and Corn With Tartar Butter
Chicken thighs, corn and okra? All grilled to charred, tender perfection? That’s the kind of dinner summer dreams are made of. Kay Chun pairs them with a tartar butter, flavored with the same tangy elements as everyone’s favorite fish-dipping sauce: slightly sweet dill pickles, briny capers and vegetal parsley.
Recipe: Grilled Chicken and Corn With Tartar Butter
2. Ginger Chicken With Crisp Napa Cabbage
Summery chicken can be made on the stovetop, too. Yewande Komolafe lightly pounds chicken breast for evenly cooked pieces that more quickly soak up a heady, olive oil-based marinade of grated ginger, grated garlic, cilantro and a bit of ground cayenne for kick. Paired with a verdant cabbage salad bedazzled with cucumbers, chives and mint, this chicken dinner is at once fresh and well rounded.
Recipe: Ginger Chicken With Crisp Napa Cabbage
3. Joojeh Kabab ba Holu (Saffron Chicken Kababs With Peaches)
These skewers of saffron-fragrant chicken, blistered cherry tomatoes and softened peach slices from Naz Deravian are especially stunning when presented on a lavash-draped serving platter at a dinner party. That’s precisely what one New York Times Cooking reader did, to great fanfare: “It was a beautiful presentation,” Michelle wrote. “I served with a yogurt sauce made with full fat Greek yogurt, salt, chopped shallot and chopped mint and a watermelon salad. What a delight!”
Recipe: Joojeh Kabab ba Holu (Saffron Chicken Kababs With Peaches)
4. Grilled Chicken With Tomatoes and Corn
Here’s a recipe that could very well change the way you rest just-cooked beef, poultry or pork. Instead of wasting all of those smoky juices on your cutting board, lay freshly grilled chicken thighs, smoky from chili powder, on a bed of tomato slices, corn kernels and red onion rings, as Ali Slagle does. The heat softens the vegetables and draws out their moisture, which mingles with the chicken drippings for an intoxicating makeshift dressing.
Recipe: Grilled Chicken With Tomatoes and Corn
5. Tajín Grilled Chicken
Tajín only improves summer eating. It’s exceptional on mango, in an ice-cold mangonada and on the rim of a margarita, certainly. But it’s also a great shortcut for adding punchy citrus and chile flavors to a marinade, as Rick A. Martínez does here. But when it comes to Rick’s sauce, don’t stop at chicken! “I’ve used it with shrimp and salmon,” wrote one New York Times Cooking reader. “This evening I mixed in some mayo for terrific dressing on a napa cabbage slaw. A keeper!”
Recipe: Tajín Grilled Chicken
6. Crispy Baked Chicken
For the familiar flavors of barbecue chicken without any actual barbecuing, break out this recipe from Ali Slagle. A simple rub of brown sugar, paprika, ground cayenne, salt and pepper imbues the poultry with a sweet smokiness that evokes your favorite barbecue potato chip. And the crispy skin rendered from low, slow cooking provides welcome bites with a little crunch.
Recipe: Crispy Baked Chicken
7. Roasted Chicken Thighs With Blueberries
Take a beat from all of those blueberry cobblers and pies in favor of a more savory application for the fruit. When paired with whole-grain mustard in this recipe from Ham El-Waylly, cooked blueberries transform into a jammy sauce for chicken with plenty of verve. Whatever you do, don’t skip the tarragon leaves, which several readers applauded for the complexity it lends.
Recipe: Roasted Chicken Thighs With Blueberries
8. Huli Huli Chicken
The original recipe for huli huli chicken might be a trade secret, but the cookbook author Alana Kysar gets close to the Honolulu businessman Ernesto Morgado’s famed teriyaki-style sauce. Sweet with brown sugar, salty with soy sauce, biting with ginger and garlic, and acidic with rice vinegar — all enhanced by the presence of ketchup — the marinade is as balanced as it gets.
Recipe: Huli Huli Chicken
9. Chicken Salad With Nectarines and Goat Cheese
The 1980s called, and they’d like for you to let goat cheese-forward salads back into your hearts. Here, Ali Slagle whisks goat cheese with a little buttermilk and lemon zest to create a creamy base for tangy nectarines and peppery greens. This is the ideal salad for using up any leftover grilled or rotisserie chicken you have lying around.
Recipe: Chicken Salad With Nectarines and Goat Cheese
10. Thai-Style Coconut Curry Chicken Tacos
This five-star recipe from Kay Chun manages to create extraordinary flavor in just 25 minutes. Thai red curry paste and coconut milk do the bulk of the work, and some lime juice, pico de gallo and avocado carry these weeknight-friendly tacos across the finish line.
Recipe: Thai-Style Coconut Curry Chicken Tacos
11. Berry-Jam Fried Chicken
As Nicole Taylor writes in this picnic-primed recipe, almost any summer-fruit jam will work as the base of a fried chicken marinade. After a bath in strawberry jam cut with vinegar, chicken cutlets — an optimal cut for fuss-free eating — are dredged in flour spiked with ginger, thyme, onion powder and garlic powder. The results are equal parts flavorful and crunchy.
Recipe: Berry-Jam Fried Chicken
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