Best recipe I got off a cooking show is...
This is such a deceptively simple one that people never believe it until they eat it!
One of the very early episodes of The Frugal Gourmet (Jeff Smith) featured his method for boiling a whole chicken and several spin-off dishes using the cooked meat. The meat ends up being more poached than boiled. The method is super easy and the most succulent meat results.
Essentially the skin is seared when first dropped into the boiling water. The bird is removed almost immediately when the water stops boiling. Bring to a boil again, insert bird, cover and turn off the heat. After an hour the bird is done! Drain, once chicken has cooled you can skin and bone, reserving the juices - the gelatin helps keep the meat longer.
This very plan sounding preparation results in surprisingly delicious meat, perfect for a great many quick recipes. You won't believe there is no seasoning used!
For years I gave out a chicken salad recipe to any who asked. Invariably they didn't get the same result. I'd inquire if they started with chicken prepared this way. No one ever did, it just seemed too silly to switch their method of boiling chicken...
The best healthy recipe I got was from Rachael Ray. I have made it for friends and family many times and everyone loves it. The below recipe is from the show but I have made some minor modifications that perfected it.
4 large or 6 medium boneless skinless chicken breasts
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
6 medium red, white, or Yukon gold potatoes peeled and cut into quarters
6 carrots, peeled and cut into large pieces on a diagonal
5 ribs celery, cut into 1½” pieces
2 large or 3 medium brown onions, cut into large chunks
1 ½ cups Madeira wine
3 teaspoons sugar
1 teaspoon sea salt
2 Bay leaves
2 - 3 garlic cloves, minced
1 tablespoon paprika
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1 teaspoon dried thyme
½ teaspoon black pepper
½ teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 quart chicken broth
2 small cans tomato sauce
1/2 cup chopped flat-leaf parsley
Crusty Portuguese bread or other chewy, farm bread
Season chicken breasts with salt and pepper and place in large pot. Pour in wine, add sugar, salt, and oil. Add chicken broth, bay, garlic, and spices. Place over high heat and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to simmer, cover, and cook for 15 minutes. Remove bay leaf. Remove chicken and slice on an angle into 1-inch strips – set aside in covered bowl to keep warm.
Place potatoes, carrots, celery and onion in pot. Cover pot and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer 20 minutes.
Remove the cover from the vegetables and stir in tomato sauce. Set cooked chicken into the pot and heat through, 5 minutes. Adjust seasoning. Ladle Portuguese Chicken into shallow bowls and garnish with parsley. Serve with crusty bread for dipping.