Turn a menu mainstay into menu must-haves with these rockstar chicken recipes
Featured in almost 50% of total menu offerings, chicken is food operators' most-offered meat.* It's reliable and economical—but unfortunately, it can also be predictable. While great chicken dishes will win you new business and keep regulars coming back for more, it's not easy to surprise and delight diners who've seen every chicken dish under the sun.
We challenged the chefs at the Kraft Culinary Centre to come up with inspiring ideas for the three preparations that guests ask for time and again: chicken breast sandwiches, tenders and wings. Read on for their tips on leveraging flavor, texture and originality to deliver dishes that rise heads and beaks above the competition.
*Mintel Menu Insights
A great chicken breast sandwich is the sum of its parts: the bread, the chicken and the accessories. They all come together to create a balance of flavor and texture in every bite. For the most impact, build interest in each component by making bold ingredient choices that speak to originality and freshness.
Grilled Chicken Sandwiches with Chimichurri
The on-trend pretzel bun houses a perfectly cooked chicken breast, fresh baby spinach and tomato. Kraft Mayo with Olive Oil Reduced Fat Mayonnaise adds its silky mouthfeel. For a zing of bold, bright flavor, the chefs made a quick chimichurri, the Argentine condiment that's making big strides in foodservice.
A predictable "Plain Jane" won't bring them back for more.
Say bye-bye to bland and dry with these suggestions from Kraft Foodservice corporate chef, Joseph Barin.
- Marinate 8-24 hours to help hold in moisture and flavor
- Cook to an internal temp of 165°F; chicken will be cooked through but still moist
- If serving chicken breast sliced, let it rest for a few minutes before cutting into it
The party starts when the chicken wings come out. Served up hot, hotter or hottest (check out our Hot-Shot Wings), they're all about the sauce—and this is the perfect opportunity to experiment with global spices. The most important thing is that the sauce is well balanced and clings to the chicken wings for a flavor wallop in every bite.
Our chefs baked the wings, then deep-fried them until golden. They tossed them in a simple plus-two of Open Pit Original Restaurant Recipe Barbecue Sauce, whiskey and molasses. "The sauce is beautifully balanced and caramelized, with just the right stickiness," says Chef Barin.
Where's the sauce? Nobody wants a naked wing.
Whether you serve them up as family-friendly entrées or fun sharables, the success of fried chicken tenders depends on what's on the outside (the battered or breaded coating) and what's served alongside (delicious dipping sauces). Dips can be as simple as a pour of
Kraft Honey Mustard Dressing or Bull's-Eye Honey Smoke Barbecue Sauce, or an easy but innovative sauce using Kraft Mayonnaise.
Chicken Waffle Tenders
With one extra step, our chefs turned a standard breaded chicken finger into a signature dish. Once deep-fried, they dipped it in waffle batter, then fried it again for a coating that's crunchy on the outside, but soft and chewy on the inside. "It's like carnival fare," says Chef Barin.
These chicken tenders say "fried" but not "fresh."
Create daily specials and offer guests more options using basic Kraft products and a handful of add-ins.