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Creative chicken recipes for family dinners

Vicki Clinebell majored in journalism at the University of Colorado, and headed an advertising agency before beginning a long career in broadcasting, spanning production and copywriting to sales and management for an ABC affiliate statio...

Bye-bye boring! Revved up chicken dinners

Get creative cooking chicken and you'll have the family rushing to the dinner table.

Chicken parmigiana

Is your family getting bored with the same old broiled or baked chicken dinner? There are dozens of ways to make a delicious chicken meal that will bring you rave reviews!

1

Dress it up

A weeknight winner that's quick and easy is chicken parmesan. Lightly bread boneless chicken breasts to serve over linguini, top with an herbed tomato sauce (jarred or canned) and melt rich mozzarella or parmesan cheese as the topper. Pound chicken breasts flat, scallopini-style, and dredge in lemon juice and bread crumbs; saute for 3 minutes on each side. Serve over wild rice. Add some Mexican flair to dinner with chicken and black beans. Create a homemade salsa with black beans, corn and coarsely chopped tomatoes. Cut chicken into strips and bake or grill, then wrap in a warm tortilla and add the salsa. You can load on other toppings... guacamole, chopped onion and grated cheese.

2Fast and fancy

One pan and 20 minutes is all it takes for a tangy pan-roasted chicken cutlet dish with maple/mustard sauce. Combine maple syrup and dijon mustard, brush chicken cutlets with the mixture and roast. Spoon the remaining sauce mixture over the cutlets before serving. A sweet combination of vermouth, dried cranberries and fresh tarragon makes an aromatic sauce that dresses up baked chicken. Simmer the sauce while the chicken bakes, then ladle the hot mixture over each serving.

3Family favorites

Nothing could be easier than a hearty chipotle chicken soup! Navy beans, chicken chunks, canned tomato and chipotle chilis simmer together on the stovetop for a smoky soup that's rich and filling, served with toasted baguette rounds. For a simple dinner when you're in a hurry, pile grilled chicken, feta cheese, refried beans and slaw on a crunchy tortilla shell. Grilled chicken tortillas can be topped with salsa and slices of avocado. Toss together penne pasta, baked chicken and canned tomatoes... spice up your tomatoes with a few pinches of your favorite spices and top the dish with some freshly-grated parmesan. Season boneless, skinless chicken thighs with chili powder, garlic powder, cumin, paprika and ground red pepper over a honey-rub. It's a spicy dish that's delicious with a side of coleslaw.

Who doesn't like pizza? Top your dough with shredded roasted chicken, tomato chutney and diced tomatoes for a rich barbecue flavor.

4Lighten up

Combine colorful, fresh vegetables with shredded chicken and a favorite pasta for a delicious main dish salad tossed with vinaigrette that can be served hot or cold. Stir-fry chicken with broccoli, carrots, cauliflower and snow peas, then arrange on red-leaf lettuce with a side of hot breadsticks. It's a light meal packed with vitamins, nutrients and great flavors.

Chicken is a fabulously versatile main dish, and the ways to serve it are limited only by your creativity!

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