Spring clean your cooking repertoire with these eight simple and delicious recipes that make use of everyone’s perennial favorite — chicken.

Bright and fresh chicken dishes are perfect for this time of year when we crave lighter fare but still want hearty and satisfying meals. These winner chicken dinners come from my go-to dinner collection and range from a sophisticated roasted whole chicken to a simple one-pan chicken stir-fry — each are flexible to use whatever cut of chicken is your favorite, and with the exception of a new twist on oven-fried chicken, each are given a seasonal update with loads of farmers market herbs and vegetables.

Lemony Roast Chicken and Spring Vegetables

Serves 6

Hit the Tulsa Farmers’ Market shop in the Mother Road Market to stock up on spring’s first vegetable offerings. This one-pan dinner can be tailored to anyone’s veggie tastes fennel, asparagus and cherry tomatoes are also great additions.

1 whole chicken (between 3-5 pounds, preferably), patted dry with paper towels

½ pound fingerling potatoes, halved

1 onion, sliced into wedges

Finely grated zest and juice of 2 lemons, reserve the squeezed lemons

2 tablespoons Dijon mustard

2 tablespoons olive oil

1 teaspoon salt

¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

½ cup white wine

½ cup chicken stock

1 bunch radishes (or half of a 16-ounce bag), trimmed and halved

2 bunches small carrots, trimmed and cleaned

1. Heat oven to 425 degrees. Scatter potatoes and onions in the bottom of a large roasting pan or oven-safe dish.

2. Whisk together the lemon zest and juice, Dijon mustard, olive oil, salt and pepper in a small bowl. Stuff the reserved lemons inside the chicken cavity.

3. Place the chicken on top of the potatoes and onions. Smear the Dijon mixture over the chicken. Add half of the chicken stock and white wine to the bottom of the pan. Roast the chicken for 45 minutes; then add the carrots and radishes to the pan. Periodically check the chicken and add more wine and chicken stock, if necessary. Continue to cook until the internal temperature of the chicken is 165 degrees, about 1 hour to 75 minutes.

Oven-Fried Chicken Thighs (or legs, or wings, or breasts, or chicken tenders)

Serves 4 to 6

Fried chicken is one of life’s greatest gifts, but the smell and mess left in the kitchen after a good chicken fry is less to be desired. Enter, the oven. Fried chicken can be just as delicious when cooked in the oven, with little or no mess. Kids will snatch these chicken pieces up, especially to dip in a batch of homemade ranch dressing, or pair with a crisp broccoli or cabbage slaw and a glass of rosé.

3 pounds bone-in chicken parts (with skin or without)

1 cup all-purpose flour

2 tablespoons kosher salt, plus more for serving

2 teaspoons coarsely ground black pepper

2 teaspoons paprika (or chili powder, or Chinese Five Spice, or curry powder)

5 tablespoons unsalted butter

1. Heat oven to 425 degrees. Put the butter in a roasting pan large enough to fit the chicken in one layer without crowding. Add flour, salt, pepper and paprika or other seasoning to a large zip-top bag. Add the chicken to the flour mixture in batches, tossing it around until each piece is completely coated. Remove chicken pieces to a plate, shaking off any excess flour mixture back into the bag.

2. Lay the chicken pieces in the pre-heated roasting pan, skin side down. Roast until well browned and crisp on the bottom, at least 30 minutes and up to an hour for bigger pieces. Use a metal spatula to scrape the pieces up and flip them over. Continue to cook until the other side is browned, 20 to 30 minutes. Remove from oven and sprinkle with salt, then serve immediately.

Chicken and Asparagus Stir-Fry

Serves 4 to 6

This quick stir-fry is best served over steamed white or brown rice.

1½ pounds boneless skinless chicken thighs or breast, cut into 1-inch pieces

2 tablespoons vegetable oil, divided

1 pound asparagus, ends trimmed and stalks cut into 1½-inch pieces

1 yellow onion, sliced into thin strips

8 ounces shiitake or button mushrooms, stemmed and sliced

¼ teaspoon red pepper flakes, plus more for garnish

1 tablespoon peeled and finely grated fresh ginger

4 cloves garlic, minced

¾ cup low-sodium chicken broth

¼ cup soy sauce

¼ cup honey

2 tablespoons cornstarch

Salt and freshly ground black pepper

1. Heat 1 tablespoon vegetable oil in a large wok or deep skillet. Once oil is hot, add chicken and season lightly with salt and pepper. Cook, tossing often, until cooked through, about 6 to 7 minutes. Transfer chicken to a plate and set aside.

2. Return wok to burner, reduce to medium-high heat and add remaining 1 tablespoon oil. Once oil is hot, add asparagus, onion, mushrooms and red pepper flakes and sauté until tender-crisp, 4-5 minutes, adding garlic and ginger during the last 1 minute of cooking.

3. Meanwhile, whisk together chicken broth, soy sauce, honey and cornstarch in a measuring cup or bowl until well blended.

4. Pour chicken broth mixture into skillet with the vegetables and bring mixture to a gentle simmer, stirring constantly. Allow mixture to gently simmer, stirring constantly, until thickened, 1-2 minutes. Toss chicken into mixture and serve immediately.

Tuscan Chicken Paillards

Serves 4 to 6

A paillard (“pie-yard”) is a piece of meat that has been pounded thin and then grilled or sautéed. Serve this zesty chicken the Tuscan way — topped with a quick toss of arugula or baby kale and cherry tomatoes drizzled with balsamic vinegar, extra-virgin olive oil and a sprinkling of shaved Parmesan cheese.

2 cloves garlic, minced

2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh rosemary

Grated zest and juice of 1 lemon

2 tablespoons

balsamic vinegar

¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil

¼ teaspoon freshly ground pepper, plus more for seasoning

6 boneless, skinless chicken breasts (about 2 pounds)

Coarse salt

1. Combine garlic, rosemary, lemon zest and juice, vinegar, olive oil and ¼ teaspoon pepper in a large resealable plastic bag; set aside. Place a chicken breast between 2 sheets of wax paper. Using a meat pounder, pound to ¼-inch thickness. Transfer to plastic bag containing marinade and repeat with remaining chicken breasts. Chill for 2 hours.

2. Heat a grill or grill pan to medium-high heat. Remove chicken breasts from marinade, letting excess drip off. Grill until browned and cooked through, about 3 minutes per side. Transfer to plates or serving platter, season with pepper and salt and serve.

Creamy Chicken Noodle Soup

Over the holidays, I made a creamy turkey soup enriched with leftover green bean casserole and my family loved it. I’ve lightened that version up a bit — think of this as a healthier but still hearty chicken pot pie soup.

8 cups low-sodium chicken broth

1½ pounds boneless skinless chicken thighs (4-6)

Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste

3 tablespoons olive oil

1 onion, thinly sliced

4 cloves garlic, minced

3 carrots, peeled and sliced into coins or half circles

3 stalks celery, thinly sliced

½ cup frozen peas

3 sprigs fresh thyme (or ½ teaspoon dried thyme)

2 sprigs fresh rosemary (or ½ teaspoon dried rosemary)

2 bay leaves

½ cup heavy cream

¼ cup all-purpose flour

8 ounces medium egg noodles or your favorite pasta

Chopped fresh parsley, to serve

1. Bring chicken broth and 4 cups water to a simmer in a soup pot.

2. Season chicken with salt and pepper and add to the pot. Simmer gently until chicken has cooked through, about 20 minutes.

3. Meanwhile, heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add onion and cook until it starts to soften, about 5 minutes. Add garlic, celery and carrot and cook, tossing, for a minute.

4. Remove chicken thighs from the pot and set aside until cool enough to handle. Shred meat, discarding any bone or fat. Add shredded chicken back to the pot, along with sautéed vegetables, peas, thyme, rosemary, bay leaves and pasta. Simmer until pasta is al dente, 8 to 10 minutes.

5. In a large bowl, whisk together heavy cream and flour (alternatively, shake together in a jar). Whisk mixture into soup and simmer for 2 minutes until soup thickens slightly. Remove bay leaves and season to taste with salt and pepper. Serve, garnished with parsley, if desired.

Grilled Fajita Bowls

Serves 4 to 6

This is a go-to meal for many weeknights because I can prep all of the ingredients ahead of time and throw dinner together when we get home from sports. A rice steamer comes in handy to cook rice ahead of time and hold it warm until dinner time — we use ours at least a few times a week. Add a handful of chopped lettuce to make this a main dish salad.

4 tablespoons olive oil, separated

Grated zest and juice of 1 lime

1 teaspoon dried oregano, preferably Mexican

1 teaspoon chili powder

1 teaspoon kosher salt

¾ teaspoon ground cumin

½ teaspoon garlic powder

¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

1½ pounds boneless skinless chicken thighs or breasts, thinly sliced into strips

2 large bell peppers, any color, seeded and sliced into strips

1 large onion, thinly sliced

Steamed white or brown rice, for serving

Toppings: guacamole or sliced avocado, pico de gallo or salsa, sour cream, lime wedges, cherry tomatoes, grilled corn, chopped cilantro, black beans

Warmed corn or flour tortillas, for serving

1. Combine 2 tablespoons olive oil with the lime juice and zest, oregano, chili powder, salt, cumin, garlic powder and pepper in a large zip-top bag. Add the chicken and massage the mixture into the chicken. Refrigerate at least 30 minutes and up to 3 hours.

2. Heat a grill pan or large cast-iron skillet over medium-high heat. Add remaining 2 tablespoons olive oil to the pan. When the oil shimmers, add the peppers and onions. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the peppers are crisp tender and lightly charred, about 5 minutes. Transfer to a plate and keep warm.

3. Add the chicken to the pan, letting any excess marinade drip back into the bag. Cook until chicken is cooked through, 5 to 7 minutes, turning chicken halfway through. Add the pepper and onion mixture back to the pan and toss together.

4. To serve, add rice to serving bowls, top with the chicken and pepper mixture and any desired toppings.

Roasted Chicken Quarters with Salsa Verde

Serves 4 to 6

These chicken pieces get their crisp skin thanks to a good rest and patting dry with paper towels before cooking. The quick and simple herb sauce is best served with bread for mopping up. If you’re not up to quartering a chicken, grab four leg quarters from the meat counter.

1 whole chicken (about 4 pounds), quartered

1 tablespoon plus ½ cup extra-virgin olive oil

Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper

2 tablespoons

red wine vinegar

1 cup packed

parsley leaves

1 shallot, quartered

2 cloves garlic

1 tablespoon capers

2 anchovy fillets in oil, drained

½ teaspoon

red-pepper flakes, or more or less to taste

1. An hour before baking, remove chicken from fridge, pat it dry with paper towels and let it rest on a rimmed baking sheet. Heat oven to 450 degrees.

2. Just before baking, rub chicken with olive oil and season liberally all over with salt and pepper. Arrange, skin side up and roast until golden, or until a thermometer inserted into the thickest part of breast (without touching bone) registers 160 degrees, about 30 minutes.

3. Meanwhile, make the herb sauce. Pulse together remaining ½ cup olive oil, vinegar, parsley, shallot, garlic, capers, anchovy and red pepper flakes. Season with salt.

4. Transfer chicken to a serving plate and let stand 10 minutes before serving. Pour any pan juices and crispy bits into the herb mixture. Spoon sauce over chicken and serve.

The Best Chicken Salad

Serves 4 to 6

I have been trying for years to master the simple chicken salad sandwich. It seems an easy task, but more often than not the chicken is overcooked and dry, the sauce too cloying and the bread too squishy to hold up to a sturdy filling. I have combined many recipes along the way to making my favorite, including a foolproof chicken-poaching technique from Julia Moskin of The New York Times that renders the chicken perfectly juicy — the extra poaching time might seem excessive, but trust me, it’s worth it!

About 4 pounds bone-in, skin-on chicken breasts

2 scallions, cut into thirds

¼ teaspoon black


1-2 tablespoons lemon juice

1 cup mayonnaise

1 teaspoon Dijon mustard

1 stalk celery, diced

½ cup minced red onion or finely sliced green onion, optional

½ cup walnuts, almond or pecans, broken into bite-size pieces

3 tablespoons chopped fresh

tarragon, parsley or chives, plus extra for garnish

Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste

1. Choose a heavy pot or Dutch oven with a tight-fitting lid. It should be large enough to hold the chicken snugly but not much bigger. Fill pot about 2/3 full of cold water, but don’t put the chicken in yet. Boil some extra water in a teakettle.

2. Add scallions and peppercorns to water, cover and bring to a rolling boil. Turn off heat and slip chicken pieces into the hot water. If needed, add boiling water from the kettle to cover chicken with water by 2 inches. Replace the lid and let chicken rest in the hot water for about 2 hours. Do not turn the flame back on: The pot will retain enough heat to cook chicken thoroughly and safely. (To test, cut into 1 piece of chicken and check the meat near the bone. If it is still pink, return the pot to low heat, bring the water to a simmer and simmer 10 minutes more.)

3. Lift chicken out of the pot. Remove and discard bones, skin and fat. Pat the meat dry with paper towels, then cut or shred into small bite-size pieces and transfer to a bowl. (Meanwhile, strain cooking liquid and refrigerate or freeze to use as chicken stock.)

4. In a bowl, whisk together juice of ½ lemon, mayonnaise and sour cream. If using, whisk in mustard or brine. Taste and adjust the seasonings and thickness to your liking. Pour over chicken, scraping the bowl clean with a rubber spatula.

5. Add celery, onion if using, nuts, herbs and salt and pepper. Toss gently but thoroughly. Refrigerate, covered, at least 4 hours. Taste and add salt and pepper as needed. Sprinkle with herbs before serving.