Skillet chicken and other weeknight recipes our kids love


By Margaux Laskey, The New York Times

You might assume that the children of New York Times food editors and writers have adventurous palates. Surely, you might think, a person who spends so much time cooking and eating would raise a fearless eater who happily devours composed salads for school lunch. But you’d be wrong. Most of our kids are just as picky as anyone else’s.

Who knows why some kids are so tough to please at the table? Maybe their tastes are still developing, perhaps it’s one of the few ways they can exert their independence, or it’s possible they have legitimate biological sensitivities to certain tastes, textures and smells. Whatever the reason, just like you, we struggle daily with what to cook for our kids that they’ll actually eat and enjoy.

Here are a handful of recipes our kids really do love. Not to say yours will, too, but here’s hoping.

1. Skillet Chicken With Tomatoes, Pancetta and Mozzarella

Skillet chicken with tomatoes, pancetta and mozzarella, a Melissa Clark recipe known to kids as “pizza chicken,” in New York, Sept. 21, 2022. Dishes that children will happily eat over and over. food stylist: Simon Andrews (Christopher Testani, The New York Times)

With a topping of tomato sauce and fresh mozzarella, it’s no wonder that I always think of this easy skillet dish as “pizza chicken.” It’s a tangy, milky, gooey, lovable meal that’s somewhat reminiscent of chicken Parmesan, but with succulent bone-in chicken pieces instead of breaded and fried cutlets. Even better, it has pancetta and anchovies for complexity of flavor, and the whole thing comes together in under an hour.

By Melissa Clark

Yield: 4 servings

Total time: 45 minutes


  • 3 1/2 pounds bone-in chicken pieces (or use a 3 1/2 pound chicken cut into 8 pieces)
  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • 5 ounces pancetta, diced
  • 3 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
  • 2 anchovy fillets
  • 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 1 (28-ounce) can whole plum tomatoes
  • 1 large basil sprig, plus more chopped basil for serving
  • 8 ounces bocconcini, halved (or use mozzarella cut into 3/4-inch pieces)



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