5 Alternatives to Chicken Breasts

By Allison Fishman

Published on October 29, 2009

During this ever-growing rush towards the holidays, it seems that we have less and less time to make quick (and delicious) meals at night—we've got Halloween to dress up for, Thanksgiving to look forward to, and holiday parties to plan. No excuse, though, for resorting to the easiest item to cook in the supermarket when you need to feed yourself: I'm talking about boneless, skinless chicken breasts.

Sure, there can never be enough recipes for chicken breasts. They're cheap, fast, and low in fat—a trinity of positive attributes. But aren't you getting tired of them?

Here are five alternatives that are just as simple to make, and much more tasty:

1. Chicken Cacciatora
Since chicken breasts are low in intramuscular fat, they dry out if you overcook them. Dark meat is more forgiving. For something simple and tasty, try this recipe for chicken cacciatora from Angela's Food Love. The Italian countryside photography alone is worth a look.

2. Shrimp Aragonate
You think chicken is quick? Try shrimp: they go from raw to cooked in less than three minutes in a skillet or on the grill. Or, this approach for oven-roasted shrimp with garlicky herb breadcrumbs.

3. Grilled Scallops with Fennel
Scallops are more expensive than chicken, but even pricier if you reserve them for dinners out instead of making them at home. Try this recipe for grilled scallops from Sippity Sup. If the weather's not right for grilling, just melt a tablespoon of butter in a cast-iron skillet and sear until the scallops brown on the first side (about two minutes), turn, and cook for another minute on the flip side.

4. Seared Duck Breasts
Seared duck breasts are almost embarrassingly easy to make, and you don't even need to add fat to the pan. Check out this two-ingredient recipe from my blog, In Your Kitchen. Serve this with a side of wild rice tossed with dried cherries.

5. Roast Turkey Breast with Apple Gravy
If you must have your white poultry meat, a bone-in turkey breast is easy to cook, and much easier to cut up than a whole roasted chicken. Plus, you'll have leftovers for fresh roasted turkey sandwiches for the following week.

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