Chicken is a dearly beloved bird in the kitchen. You can roast it, deep fry it, tuck it in a wrap or bake it in a pie. You can shred it into noodle broth, braai it over the coals or slow-cook it in a curry. And, to warm even the coldest of hearts, there’s hearty chicken soup to consider. At the table your family might fight over the tasty legs or wings, succulent thighs, crispy skin or the pope’s nose. All we know is that our favourite part is all of it. To celebrate the versatile chook, we’ve rounded up 40 great recipes for you to enjoy at home.
Baked chicken in verjuice with smashed brinjals
Cooked in verjuice, chunky ripe tomato and white beans, this recipe keeps chicken breasts deliciously succulent.
Chicken, leek and mushroom pot pie
This hearty chicken, leek and mushroom pie is perfect for a chilly winter evening.
Chicken with smoked paprika, bacon and white beans
A lovely weekday dinner, this dish is delicious served with couscous, rice or mashed potatoes.
Classic chicken pie
This classic pie has golden, flaky puff-pastry and a piping hot chicken and mushroom filling, with just the right ratio of gravy to tender meat and vegetables.
Coq au vin by Valentine Warner
Try this hearty, boozy, slow-cooked chicken stew, as imagined by Valentine Warner in his cookbook, The Good Table.
Moroccan-spiced chicken pie
A humble chicken pie with a twist. Recipe book author and Scrumptious blogger Jane-Anne Hobbs says, “I’m smitten by the particular fragrance of Moroccan spicing; I’ve used some of the flavours you might find in a chicken tagine. The combination of cinnamon and preserved lemon makes my tongue tie itself in happy knots.”
Open chicken and mushroom pie
This life-saver recipe calls for store-bought puff pastry and a ready roasted chicken. Just make the mushroom sauce and voila!
Puff-pastry chicken pie
One of our country’s classics, this dish makes for the ultimate comfort food.
Slow-cooked chicken and chorizo cassoulet with thyme and gruyère dumplings
This one-pot wonder is a slow-cooked miracle, according to its creator, smitten author Sarah Graham. “You have the spicy robustness of the chorizo, the silkiness of the slow-cooked onions and then the good old dependable chicken sausages.”
BBQ and rosemary spiced chicken
This ultimate sticky barbecue sauce is sweet, tangy and spicy.
Bob Marley chicken wings
“Take your time braaiing these Jamaican-flavoured wings – it’ll be worth it in the end!” says Aletta Lintvelt, author of Go! Weekend Food, a cookbook of local and lekker weekend treats.
Jan Braai’s garlic and peri-peri chicken drumsticks
Need a simple, speedy marinade for your bird on the braai? Try Jan Braai’s garlic and peri-peri chicken drumsticks. “The incision to the bone of each drumstick ensures they will braai quicker than usual, and can be cooked at the same time as chops or boerewors,” advises Jan.
Lemon and herb chicken kebabs
Looking for a great, simple marinade to impress your friends? This inspired recipe comes to us from Jean Nel’s Braai the Beloved Country.
Lemon spring chicken kebabs
These tangy lemony chicken kebabs are sure to be a hit at your next braai.
Buttermilk-battered chicken with Grolsch-infused maple syrup and crispy leeks
This recipe for deep-fried chicken drizzled with sticky and sweet Grolsch-infused maple syrup is not for the faint hearted. Serve it at your next southern-style feast with a bucket of ice filled with bottles of Grolsch.
Crispy garlic chicken with coriander and lemon pesto
This easy chicken recipe is bursting with flavour. Serve it with naan bread for a speedy midweek meal.
Antonio Carluccio’s chicken liver pasta
This rich pasta dish hails from Piedmont in Italy, where it’s known as ‘tajarin con fegatini’. Not to worry though; it’s delicious in any language.
Butternut and chicken Thai red curry with noodles
Fragrant fresh coriander, coconut milk and Thai red curry paste make for an easy, fragrant curry. This is also a great way to use up leftover roast chicken.
The best roast chicken
Few things are as satisfying as a golden, succulent roast chicken. The breast meat should be tender and full of flavour, and the skin crunchy. Perfect the basics and Sunday lunch will never be a chore again.
Classic roast chicken with lemon and rosemary
It may look impressive, but old-fashioned roast chicken is one of the easiest recipes to pull off. This recipe cooks at a relatively high temperature – and is done in 1½ hours.
Jamie Oliver’s golden chicken with braised greens and potato gratin
Fresh from Jamie’s 15 Minute Meals, this chicken recipe makes a super-speedy midweek dinner. Sage, parmesan, bacon and leeks mean it’s not short on flavour, either.
Gordon Ramsay’s stuffed chicken breasts
This recipe for stuffed chicken breasts, or saltimbocca, comes courtesy of Gordon Ramsay’s cookbook, Gordon’s Healthy Eating.
Peri-peri chicken with potato wedges and pan-fried tomatoes
Cooking the chicken slowly and for longer ensures that it’s moist and tender. This peri-peri mix is more sweet than super hot, so it’s great for kids.
Roasted garlic-spiced chicken
Looking for an easy midweek chicken recipe? This rich, juicy roast chicken recipe is simple and full of flavour.
Adam Liaw’s Gong Bao Chicken
This adaptation of the spicy Sichuan dish is the creation of Masterchef Australia winner, Adam Liaw.
Avo ritz revamped
Revamp the 70s classic of avo ritz with chicken tikka, celery and almonds.
Butter chicken bunny chow with tomato and yoghurt
One of South Africa’s favourite street foods, bunny chow was traditionally served in a hollowed-out loaf of ‘government’ bread. Knead baker Evan Faull’s version is sauced to creamy, spicy perfection. Eat with your hands.
Chicken makhani, coconut and okra curry
Also known as butter chicken, this rich, fragrant curry is glorious served with piping hot naan breads. Creator Peter Ayub recommends using thigh meat as it is more succulent.
Fragrant braised chicken
This crowd-pleasing dish deserves its name, calling for five-spice, lemongrass, garlic, ginger, star anise and mint.
Moroccan chicken pastilla
“A Moroccan pastilla is unique in that it is both savoury and enhanced with sweet, in the form of icing sugar, honey and orange blossom water,” says food and travel writer Ishay Govender-Ypma. “Despite my initial reservations, it is a spectacularly scrumptious combination.”
Reza Mahammad’s chicken with apricots
The star of Coconut Coast shared this recipe with us. Says Reza, “A traditional Parsi dish, this is always cooked at special occasions. The potato straws are a traditional Indian garnish.”
Speedy massaman curry
There’s no better way to enjoy an ice-cold beer than with good friends and a hearty curry.
Thai green curry
This easy recipe is guaranteed to give you the authentic, fuss-free southeast Asian favourite in minutes.
Chicken sandwiches with spinach and apple salad
With harissa paste for kick, sliced apple for sweetness and crunch, and plenty of ginger and chilli for zing, you won’t even notice how healthy this lunch is. Make it with rye bread for a low-GI, wheat-free lunch.
Mexican chicken roll
This recipe for Mexican chicken is so versatile: try it with a fresh tomato salsa on a tortilla, or toss it with some spaghetti for a quick, tasty meal. Here we use it to fill floury soft rolls.
Mexican-style chicken wraps
This tasty recipe can be great for parties if all the toppings are set out for guests to build their own wraps.
Moroccan chicken salad
It’s mid-afternoon at work and your energy has left the building… If that sounds familiar, try this power lunch idea that’ll keep you going all day.
Smoked chicken parcels
These fancy frilled parcels seem to be much harder work than they are, making them great for impressing your family members or entertaining. Serve with a side of salsa for freshness and a pop of colour.
Smoked chicken wraps
Roasted red peppers make for a scrumptious, sweet, tangy pesto. Serve with slices of smoked chicken, paprika sweet potatoes, warm wraps and a spoonful of mayonnaise.
Poached chicken with tender-stem broccoli, almonds and grapefruit dressing
Pickled ginger, soy sauce and chilli make a fresh zesty dressing for this chicken. It’s a healthy, low-fat recipe that’s full of flavour, texture and crunch.