Presenting the Winners from Our Chicken Tonight Contest

Updated: Oct. 18, 2023

Hundreds of home cooks entered our Chicken Tonight contest. These 12 are the winner-winner chicken dinners.

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Grand Prize: Sweet and Spicy Chicken with Pumpkin Waffles

Whether you’re indulging for brunch or dinner, these chicken and waffles do it all. The Sriracha syrup adds a special touch, but maple syrup would do the trick too. —Trisha Kruse, Eagle, Idaho

Check out our contest page to learn more about our contests and submit your own recipes for consideration.

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1st Place: Lemon Basil Chicken Salad

This 15-minute Chicken Salad Chick copycat recipe has become one of my very favorite meals. But it needn’t even be a meal! The chicken salad is so scrumptious on crackers or as the dip on a crudite platter. —Laura Wilhelm, West Hollywood, California
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2nd Place: Mediterranean Braised Chicken Thighs

This chicken and artichoke dish was inspired by a-once-in-a-lifetime trip to Santorini for my parents’ 40th anniversary. It’s cooked in a big skillet until the chicken basically falls of the bone and all the flavors meld together into a sauce that will literally have you spooning into your mouth. It’s really a showstopper! —Grace Vallo, Salem, New Hampshire
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3rd Place: Cranberry-Orange Chicken Risotto

This pressure-cooker chicken risotto is impressive enough to be on a restaurant menu. The ingredients are comforting and make for a super filling dinner at home. —Christiane Smith-Lafarier, Leominster, Massachusetts
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Most Innovative: Guacamole Chicken Salad Sandwiches

Inspired by a local restaurant’s truly inventive guacamole studded with pomegranate seeds, this chicken salad recipe is extremely simple to make since rotisserie chicken is used. I serve this salad on homemade tomato bread, which lends a delightful contrast in flavor and color, or on lettuce leaves. —Debra Keil, Owasso, Oklahoma
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Runner-Up: Arroz Verde con Pollo

This Peruvian-style recipe is hands-off and surprisingly family-friendly—even my 16-month-old son loves it. Want it spicier? Use jalapenos instead of poblanos. —Libby Kast, Madison, Wisconsin
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Runner-Up: Basil Chicken with Smoked Tomato Jam

I grow my own herbs and veggies in the summer, and when they are at peak, I incorporate them into my recipes. This is one I developed using fresh basil, parsley and tomatoes when they were at their best and ripest. —Sheryl Little, Cabot, Arkansas
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Runner-Up: Chicken and Cashew Steamed Buns

Steamed buns are a great snack or starter. Cook them in batches so the steamer is not overcrowded; they will puff slightly as they cook. Serve them with hoisin or soy sauce for dipping. —Greg Fontenot, The Woodlands, Texas
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Runner-Up: Mighty Nice Curried Chicken with Rice

This was one of the first chicken recipes I prepared for my husband more than 54 years ago. His exclamation? “Mighty nice!” That’s how it got its name. Sometimes I add extra broth to make more of the yummy sauce. —Kay Stansberry, Athens, Tennessee
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Runner-Up: Sweet and Hot Chicken with Dill Pickle Sauce

This is my low-carb version of Nashville hot chicken. We try to cut carbs as much as possible, so the fried breaded version and the sandwich version of this dish were out. Instead, I make a baked rendition with the same delicious flavors. This is also amazing made with chicken tenders and served in wraps. —Fay A. Moreland, Wichita Falls, Texas
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Runner-Up: Three-Cup Buttermilk Fried Chicken

This recipe combines my Chinese roots with the southern-style fried chicken I’ve eaten over the past few years in Oklahoma. Three-cup chicken gets its name from the quintessential ingredients: soy sauce, Shaoxing wine and sesame oil. —Edward Chiu, Broken Arrow, Oklahoma
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Runner-Up: Twice-Cooked Fried Chicken

Fried chicken is my favorite food, so it’s no surprise that I’ve tried dozens of recipes looking for the perfect batch. This recipe is the result of my mission to create my own foolproof rendition. —Audrey Alfaro, Rapid City, South Dakota