Canadians love their chicken! To keep the family excited for weeknight dinners, we've put together this guide to all of the chicken cuts, complete with recipes and cooking hacks.
Chicken thigh cooking hacks
Thighs are one of the most flavourful and juicy cuts of chicken. Plus, they're versatile, too! Roast, bake, grill, slow cook, or fry them-they can do it all. And since chicken thighs often come in large packs, they're an excellent option for large families, BBQs, or meal prepping in advance.
Cook chicken thighs on a wire rack
For evenly cooked chicken thighs, opt to roast on a wire rack over a baking sheet. This trick can be used for other cuts as well, like breasts, and helps eliminate soggy skin, allowing chicken to brown evenly for more flavour. While the chicken roasting is great hack on its own, get the most bang for your cluck by placing vegetables (like potatoes, carrots, or other root veggies) on the tray underneath to cook at the same time. Pull out a complete one-pan meal ready for the whole family!
Chicken thigh recipes
This sheet pan meal can be adjusted to include the wire-rack cooking hack above or simply follow the recipe for a Mediterranean-inspired dish with the bold flavour of olives and heat from chorizo.
Tip: Braising chicken thighs gives you ultra tender meat, while the freshness of lemon and veggies like potato and carrot make it a complete dish.
Chicken wing cooking hack
We know you're no stranger to a bowl of wings, but there's always something new to learn! Whether fried and breaded, baked and slathered in a spicy sauce, or oven-roasted and seasoned with herbs, chicken wings are perfect for parties or family dinners.
No-fry crispy wings hack
Give your baked chicken wings an upgrade! There's just one simple step to add: When seasoning wings with salt and pepper before baking, toss wings in baking powder (one tablespoon per couple of pounds of wings is enough) and bake. Tip: The baking soda helps the skin get nice and crisp, but make sure to serve them right away once tossed in your choice of sauce. Like a sauced fried piece of chicken, the crispiness can only last so long.
"Velveting" chicken cooking hack
Many Asian restaurants make use of this trick to tenderizing meat using baking soda, also known as "velveting" chicken. Toss chicken wings with baking soda and let marinate for about 20 minutes before rinsing, then cook as normal.
Chicken wing recipes
Chicken wings are a classic game-day dish, and this recipe, featuring Buffalo and BBQ sauces and seasoned with chives and thyme, has the hit of zing needed for any sports gathering.
Looking for a staple chicken wing recipe that even a kitchen newbie can whip up? Look to this approachable dish for a signature grilled chicken wing with an easy-to-put-together marinade of wing sauce, red wine vinegar, and soy sauce.
Chicken drumstick cooking hacks
Drumsticks are another family size option, perfect for families looking to keep some extra cash in their pockets. Drumsticks are sold bone-in and skin-on, making them not as lean as a chicken breast but packed with flavour. Drumsticks can be cooked in a similar way to thighs.
Hanging drumsticks cooking hack
For the most evenly cooked and uniformly browned drumsticks, air circulation is key. You want to avoid soggy skin or drumsticks that rest on one side in the rendered fat. Aside from ensuring that you flip and turn the drumsticks, there's a few tricks to getting that even roast! Opt to bake on a rack on top of a sheet pan or cook over a bed of veggies. Or try the viral social media hack that uses a wire rack to hang drumsticks and cook in the oven, placing a sheet pan beneath to catch any drippings.
Chicken drumstick recipes
Sweet and spicy, this drumstick recipe is inspired by the aromas of Asian cuisine. With a side of baby bok choy and seasoned with ginger root, garlic and sriracha, these drumsticks deliver big on zest.
Ginger and brown sugar combine for a satisfying one-pan meal that's beginner-friendly without sacrificing flavour.
Chicken breast cooking hacks
Chicken breasts are a popular lean cut of meat. When meal-planning, consider the value of family-size packages: they're great for big-batch meal prep, freezing for easy access later in the month, or cooking right away for a large family meal. Check your local Safeway flyer for more deals and info on Compliments Family Size Naturally Simple Chicken.
- Pound chicken breasts to an even thickness to help them cook evenly. Tip: Use a resealable plastic bag and meat mallet for easy no-mess results.
- Baste chicken in mayonnaise for extra crispy skin.
- Marinate chicken in yogurt to tenderize. Marinades with acidity help break down chewy fibres while adding flavour and moisture to the meat. Learn more here
Chicken breast recipes
Oka, a Québécois cheese, is stuffed into succulent chicken breasts and topped with a sweet maple glaze in this recipe. Enjoy the savoury-sweet combo that accents the juicy chicken breast!
Pesto, mozzarella, and roasted red peppers make for an Italian-esque chicken recipe that's short on prep time but big on taste. Family-friendly, too, which means it may just become a go-to for busy nights.
Whole chicken cooking hacks
Whole chickens are a great option for dinner parties, larger groups, or families, and while they may seem intimidating, they're actually pretty easy to cook. Whole chickens are most often roasted, but they can also be done in a slow cooker or on the grill. Another bonus? Your chicken leftovers can be repurposed into a number of dishes, like this mac 'n' cheese
Whole chicken cooking tips
- To speed up the cooking process for your roast chicken, try spatchcock cooking! This method consists of removing a chicken's backbone and cracking the breastbone so it lies flat.
- After repurposing the roast chicken leftovers, don't throw away the bones! Use your stovetop or slow cooker to create a broth from veggie scraps and chicken bones.
Whole chicken recipes
Get the basics on how to roast the perfect turkey or chicken in this handy guide. Serve up golden poultry with crispy, roasted skin on the outside and juicy meat on the inside.
Treat your loved ones to melt-in-your-mouth flavourful chicken with bold sage and decadent butter flavours with sharp onions.