Reinventing the Chicken Breast

Chicken breast is fantastic. Chicken breast is just plain boring. Chicken breast is healthy and economical. Chicken breast is OK, but it's not something to order when eating out. For goodness sake, chicken breast is what gets put on the table when nothing else comes to mind. Whatever people think of chicken breast, it's all been said before. For something that's supposedly so banal, it sure does get a lot of people talking; so much so that it starts to sound like a room full of clucking, well, chickens. Never mind all of the discussion about where the chicken comes from — that's a whole book (or episode of Portlandia).

To add constructively to the dialogue, we've assembled some of our best recipes that will get even the most jaded cook excited again about this staple of the American dinner table. Forget any preconceptions of dry, stringy meat or dull, uninspired creations. These are recipes that we think will become favorites, made over and over again. So here are some highlights:

Erin Swing, gluten-free chef and author of the blog The Sensitive Epicure, illustrates basic elements of Thai cooking with her recipe for Thai chicken in green curry, which is a great introduction to the myriad flavors of the cuisine while still keeping things fairly simple. Swing makes a strong and convincing case for making takeout at home (don't think about that too much — it's an oxymoron), and with a little ready-made green curry paste, cuts down on the time needed to make this flavorful dish.

Wini Moranville, author of The Bonne Femme Cookbook, showcases her tried-and-true "sauté, glaze, and serve" approach to French cooking with this lovely recipe for chicken calvados. There's no need to actually use calvados from France though; to save a little money (or just make life easier), she suggests going with whatever apple brandy you might find locally.

Yasmin Fahr, resident Cook channel editor here at The Daily Meal, created a quick and easy chicken and quinoa salad for our themed in-house recipe contest one week, incorporating the best of the season in this transition from winter to spring with a little radicchio and asparagus. Throw in some leftover chicken or make this salad at night and take it to work the next day. Unlike most salads, it only gets better as it sits.

And Mark Bittman, who needs no introduction, offers up a simple and complete meal with his Grilled Chicken Paillards with Endive and Radicchio.

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