Spring chicken: 12 ways to enjoy chicken right now
As we enter spring, our thoughts turn to lighter meals, incorporating the best produce of the season. Chicken is the perennial family favourite because it's a good source of protein with a delicate flavour to suit all tastes, and it's so very versatile. With spring in mind, here are 12 things you can do with chicken right now.
It's economical to poach a whole chicken with aromatics and seasonings and use the delicately flavoured meat over a few nights. Warren Elwin suggests this chicken breast and quinoa salad and chicken soup.
Ray McVinnie offers an alternative to a whole chicken. He demonstrates how to poach chicken breasts, and the result is perfectly juicy and succulent meat for salads, sandwiches and the like.
Chop it up
Learning to chop a whole chicken into pieces is a skill every cook should know. Let Celia Hay from New Zealand School of Food and Wine guide you through the steps.
Make chicken stock
Once chopped into pieces, use the remaining carcass to make chicken stock. Nothing compares to the flavours of homemade stock, and having it on-hand makes these light soups easy to put together.
- Chicken, mushroom and spring onion miso udon soup
- Chicken noodle soup
- Chicken and silverbeet soup with orzo pasta
- Shortcut pho wtih chicken
Add a little sweetness
Bring a bit of sunshine onto the plate by introducing fruity flavours. Mango, pineapple and pear are available year-round and are big hits with chicken.
- Coriander chicken with mango salsa
- Fennel and pear stir-fry
- Chicken and mango salad
- Green chile chicken tacos and pineapple salsa
Partner it with asparagus
Spring heralds in one of our favourite vegetables. Known as the king of spring greens, asparagus is best enjoyed at its freshest. Delicately sweet, it partners well with chicken for memorable midweek meals.
Make a stir-fry
When warmer weather calls for quick light meals, whip up a chicken stir-fry packed with spring greens. Serve with fluffy white rice. Tip: Watch Ray McVinnie's video on how to make the perfect fluffy white rice.
- Crispy garlic and pepper chicken with snow peas and oyster sauce
- Stir-fry chicken with peas and chives
- Speedy chicken stir-fry
- Chicken and broccolini stir-fry
Make a salad
Rejoice in light and fresh salads. Just add lean chicken for protein.
- Chicken, lentil and feta salad with tzatziki dressing
- Chopped chicken salad with sweet basil dressing
- Brown rice, chicken, edamame and snow pea salad
- Spring chicken salad
Fire it up on the barbecue
When the weather fines up, make a beeline for the barbecue and get grilling.
- Teriyaki chicken kebabs
- Lemongrass chicken skewers
- Chicken and lemon kebabs with yoghurt sauce and pita bread
- Chargrilled chicken tenderloins wtih avocado coriander dipping sauce
Introduce spring greens
Green beans, baby vegetables, artichokes... springtime sees a burst of new produce to incorporate into your chicken dinners.
- Shredded chicken with green beans and dill walnut dressing
- Chicken, baby vegetables, wine and cream
- Chicken and avocado salad
- Coconut chicken salad with spring greens
Roll it up
Light, fresh and filled with crunchy greens, spring rolls are ideal for the office, school lunchboxes or an outdoor picnic.
Make a lighter roast
Roasts are too good to be limited to winter. Bring out lighter notes in the marinade with the use of citrus and fresh herbs to enjoy a roast chicken in the springtime.
Turn leftovers into something special
After last night's roast, use the leftovers to transform tomorrow's lunch or dinner into something special.
- Leftover roast chicken salad with citrus soy dressing
- Roast chicken apple slow and aioli baguette
- Deli chicken salad
Wine with that
With the warmer weather soon to be upon us, we recommend serving your chicken dinners with chilled white wine. Canvas wine reviewer John Hawskeby offers two wine recommendations that go well with chicken; Kumeu's benchmark chardonnays and Hawkes Bay selections.
All these recipes in one place
Find these chicken recipes and more in our Spring chicken collection.
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