Over the years, we’ve found that our readers can’t get enough chicken recipes! In fact, even if we post recipes involving pork, lamb, or beef, we often get questions about whether or not chicken can be substituted. We understand—we also enjoy a good chicken dinner.
In a recent conversation, we were discussing each of our favorite chicken recipes from the blog. It was interesting to hear what everyone’s picks were, so we thought we’d put it all together in this post––each of The Woks of Life family members’ Top 5 favorite chicken recipes, in one list!
Judy’s Favorite Chicken Recipes:
We have many winning chicken recipes to choose from, Asian or otherwise. Are you surprised that my picks are all Chinese? That’s not a trick question! Obviously I may be a bit biased… – Judy
Our classic Chinese takeout fried chicken wings are super popular, and while I agree they’re pretty awesome, I’d pick this fried chicken with Xinjiang spices any day of the week. The inspiration for this recipe came from a street stall in one of Beijing’s hutongs (alleyways). Bill and I knew we couldn’t indulge in fried chicken all the time, but that didn’t stop us from gawking at it every time we passed the vendor on the way to and from the produce market. Bill often did more than gawk—he couldn’t resist buying a small bag of crispy chicken on the way home!
Ok, so this recipe came from the many BBQs we attended at Bill’s aunt and uncle’s house, way before the birth of this blog. For me, this is the best way to season chicken wings for the grill, hands down. And all you need is salt and pepper. The real key is the overnight marinating time. Anyone who’s had these Three Ingredient Grilled Wings are amazed at their flavor and simplicity. I think it’s THE grilled chicken recipe we can all agree on.
I usually don’t like sweet takeout dishes, and I rarely order them because I find they’re really hard for restaurants to get right. But this orange chicken makes my list because its flavor is so memorable. I can taste it even as I am writing about it now. The addition of star anise did wonders to the dish, elevating and blending with the sweet/sour flavor of the sauce. Give it a try!
Maybe it’s because it’s so traditional, or maybe it’s force of habit, but I just can’t say no to this dish. If it’s on a menu, I’m ordering it. Unconsciously, I think it’s my way of judging a Shanghainese restaurant. This deboned drunken chicken recipe is packed with umami and the right amount of wine flavor. Not to mention, it’s so much easier to eat after de-boning!
I love a traditional Cantonese White Cut Chicken, which made this list as one of Kaitlin’s picks. With its signature ginger scallion oil dipping sauce, who wouldn’t? However, it can be a little time consuming to prepare. This quick and easy Poached Chicken with Scallion Ginger Sauce definitely curbs that craving, and it’s fast to make!
Bill’s Favorite Chicken Recipes:
Everybody loves chicken! When I think of my favorite chicken recipes on our blog, I think about not only the flavors, but also the memories that go with them. – Bill
I grew up with many chicken dishes in my parents’ kitchen. But the best comfort food chicken dish has to be this Steamed Chicken with Mushrooms & Dried Lily Flowers. Not only is it delicious, with a delicate, silky texture, I have fond memories of my mom preparing and cooking it at home when I was young. The sauce poured over steamed white rice is a favorite among kids.
Soy sauce, spices, sugar, and lots of wine added to the poaching liquid makes this Soy Sauce Chicken (See Yow Gai) one of the tastiest chicken dishes on our blog. My sister thinks this recipe is better than the chickens you get from Chinatown. You know the ones—hanging next to the char siu and Cantonese roast ducks!
Sticky Oyster Sauce Chicken is a quick and easy dish braised in the wok. The velvety, sticky sauce is made from basic ingredients like oyster sauce, soy sauce, sesame oil, fresh ginger, and scallions. It’s so easy to make, we as kids were able to cook the dish by ourselves. The most prominent memory I have of this dish? When I cooked it for friends from my first job after college!
Baked Five Spice Chicken is one of those weekday dishes we cooked often when Sarah and Kaitlin were growing up. Marinated the night before and ready to place in the oven when Judy and I got home from work, it was an easy but very tasty meal. Just ask Sarah and Kaitlin!
(Sarah here. It’s true. Five spice chicken is one of my favorites to this day!)
Droolworthy” Chicken, or Kou Shui Ji, is one of those dishes I discovered later in life when I lived and worked in Beijing. Made from poached chicken, the spicy and flavorful sauce is to die for. Typically served as an appetizer, it can be easily turned into a main dish for dinner.
Sarah’s Favorite Chicken Recipes:
My favorite chicken recipes include some of my favorite things to eat as a kid, as well as some new favorites I’ve discovered in the last few years. – Sarah
There’s just something about a rich curry sauce soaking into a pile of steamed white rice that makes me indescribably happy. This Chicken Curry really does take just 15 minutes to make too. It’s so satisfying and packed with flavor, you’d think the sauce took a whole day to make!
This Roasted Chicken with Sticky Rice my have been the one to push me to start the blog in the first place. I would ask my dad to make it for every family gathering, and I wanted to know how to make it myself. It’s actually a recipe my aunt invented, based off of a traditional whole roasted chicken with sticky rice, but made easier with de-boned chicken thighs arranged in a casserole dish. Writing down these family recipes is exactly what this blog is all about!
Chicken Adobo is one of those recipes I’ve discovered recently, and I LOVE it. I make it pretty often, because it’s so easy and tasty, and that silky sauce over rice is everything. My version is slightly non-traditional, or, as some commenters have pointed out, a regional variation, since it includes coconut milk in addition to soy sauce and vinegar.
I find myself buying lemongrass and daikon radishes and keeping them in the fridge just to be able to whip up this Lemongrass Chicken Banh Mi whenever the mood strikes. You’d be hard-pressed to find a more satisfying sandwich than this!
Whenever we ordered Chinese takeout growing up, my request was always Chicken Lo Mein. Since then, I’ve found it harder and harder to get lo mein from restaurants that tastes like it did during my childhood. Well, no more! I tested and perfected my own chicken lo mein recipe, and I must say, it is exactly as I remember.
Kaitlin’s Favorite Chicken Recipes:
This was a tough list to narrow down, and alas, turkey is not chicken (otherwise my Disney copycat Smoked Turkey Legs would have definitely made the list). My top five are mostly Cantonese classics or Cantonese-inspired dishes. My mother will be the first to lament that both Sarah and I ended up with more Cantonese than Shanghainese tastes in food, but she can’t be too mad because the “Spanish” Chicken Stew she’s been whipping up for years also made my list of favorites! – Kaitlin
A major family favorite over the generations, the pure taste of a Cantonese Poached Chicken is chicken-y flavor at it’s absolute finest. No frills. Just silky, perfectly cooked chicken.
White pepper may be one of the most underrated spices out there. When you sprinkle it all over crispy baked chicken wings? The reviews for these Baked White Pepper Chicken Wings speak for themselves, and it has quickly become a new go-to.
As one of the easiest and most delicious dishes in my mom’s cooking arsenal growing up, I’ve been eating her “Spanish” Chicken Stew for years and years. There’s nothing like digging into a big plate, topped with a good vinegar-y hot sauce like Louisiana Crystal.
Whenever we eat Chinese food out, I’m the first one to inquisitively poke my nose in the “American” section and try to convince everyone to order General Tso’s Chicken. The crispy goodness of that nearly over-breaded chicken…and the crunchy broccoli? There’s no downside. The fortune cookie at the end of the meal always tastes that much better when I’ve had my fix.
Peruvian Chicken & Green Sauce is a major crowd pleaser. Whenever we make it for guests, everyone can’t get over how incredible the green sauce is, especially with some white rice!
That’s all folks! Enjoy these chicken recipes, and happy cooking!