Janet's Notebook
Easy, Delicious Weeknight Chicken Dinners

Grilled Spatchcock Chicken

I have a confession: I love chicken! Cooking with it, eating it, and coming up with creative recipes for it are all a joy for us in the Test Kitchen. Not only is it fairly inexpensive, but the meat is so versatile that you can season and cook to suit your mood du jour!

Happily, every once in awhile I'm able to sit down and catch you up on all the latest yummy chicken bites that you all have been sharing with us. From kooky to classic, there's never a shortage of good ideas for this most humble (and delicious) of birds.

Take for example Judy Armstrong's Spatchcock Chicken recipe. Filled with goat cheese, spinach and sun-dried tomatoes, this chicken recipe is prepared in the true spatchcock style... a new one for this cook! As I quickly learned from Judy, this is a simple technique that has a huge pay-off! The deceivingly simple process involves splaying the bird open and flattening it out before cooking. Grilling is Judy's cooking method of choice. "This dish presents beautifully for a special dinner for family and friends," she says. "Spatchcocking a chicken is so much easier than it sounds!" Further adding to the recipe’s appeal, is the rich, bold stuffing that is carefully tucked under the bird's skin prior to cooking. "The stuffing keeps the grilled chicken moist and adds so much extra flavor!"

Equally bold in flavor is Dana Moore's Baked Chicken and Dumplin's. "I wanted chicken and dumplings for supper but I didn't want to go through the hassle of making the dough for the dumplings," she explains. "And I also wanted to be able to put it in the oven. So, I came up with this!" The mixture of buttery chicken, creamy soup, sour cream and a simple combo of milk and flour transform into a savory serving of comfort on a plate! Part casserole, part traditional chicken & dumplings, this is a wonderfully easy way to whip staple ingredients into something special for a last minute dinner. Now, who doesn't love that?!

But wait, there's more! "Do you remember 'hobo packs' from your growing up years?" asks Pittsburgh's Lynn Zak. Inspired by those little packs of grilled goodies wrapped in aluminum foil, Lynn has deftly developed her delicious recipe for Italian Chicken Packages. "This is the same idea [as hobo packs], only with chicken instead of hamburger meat... The basil and olive oil give these packs a distinctive Italian flair!" Indeed they do. Each beautiful piece of chicken is wrapped in the flavors of Italy and positively oozing cheesy deliciousness. Opening the steaming foil packets is akin to unwrapping a gift at the dinner table. Try it at your next dinner party for an unexpected "wow" moment.

So simple yet so delicious, these chicken recipes from talented home cooks perfectly represent what Just A Pinch Recipes is all about. Not every meal has to cost a lot of money or take hours to prepare in order to be tasty. Bringing the family together over a home-cooked meal can be as simple as adding in a dash of TLC to quality ingredients that you already have on hand. Viva la chicken!

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georgette ross - Aug 22, 2012
yo all My user name is wrong. It is skygirl. Not sktgirl ha Thats what I get for typing so fast. I was a flight attendant for 43 yrs for American Airlines from 1966-2008. 42 yrs. I,ll have to post a few recipes F/A cook book. Hope everyone is having a blessed day.
georgette ross - Aug 22, 2012
Never mind Brenda. DA I scrolled up and there it is. Sorry friend ha
georgette ross - Aug 22, 2012
This is Georgette. Where is this recipe Brenda? Could you e-mail it to me please. rskygirl@aol.com Thank you so much. God Bless
dottie weber - Aug 12, 2012
I would love to make this using a chicken.Is there another cheese that I could substitute for the goat cheese?It sounds so good.
brenda Cook - Aug 12, 2012
I love these recipes. I thank you all for all the great ideas you have given me. God Bless . And have a great Day! Brenda C.
georgette ross - Aug 9, 2012
What a fun dish. All the things I love. Chicken and goat cheese yummer do
betty timms - Aug 7, 2012
chicken is my favorite always chicken
toni mize - Aug 7, 2012
Rose: Thank you for the turkey information. I am looking forward to trying this real soon. We eat turkey quite often throughout the year as we eat more wild game on Thanksgiving. I think the presentation is great and I hope the carving at the table will be easier than a stand-up turkey.
Rose O'Connell - Aug 7, 2012
I have done this with a turkey and it worked very well.
Cynthia williams - Aug 7, 2012
sound delicious
toni mize - Aug 7, 2012
I would assume that this process could also be done with a turkey. Has anyone tried that bird?
Michele Copley - Aug 7, 2012
Janet, Hi, well, this is a very appealing presentation of a whole chicken; one always can use and seek new ideas and more recipes of how to effectively roast or cook chicken and with using different aromatic seasonings and ingredients, for making it wonderful, like when using the chicken in home-cooked Italian burgers!...So thank you for posting this photo and the other just a pinch recipes you gave to us! Shelly Anne