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Recently, we asked our cooking idol Padma Lakshmi if she could share any brilliant cooking advice. We loved her answer: “Try to understand spices—it can truly revolutionize your cooking.”

In fact, she’ll often cook lean protein, brown rice and vegetables and simply change the spices for completely different results. Sumac, za’atar and Urfa chile are some of her favorites.

Challenge accepted, Padma. Below, three ways to cook the same chicken so it tastes completely different. 

RELATED: Padma Lakshmi Reveals the 3 Reasons She’s Succeeded in a Male-Dominated Industry

Cooking SL

One-Pan Sumac Chicken

A pinch of this Middle Eastern spice adds bright, tangy flavor and a beautiful pop of red color.

Get the recipe

The Mediterranean Dish

Za’atar Roasted Chicken

This eastern Mediterranean spice blend is a sprinkle of earthy, nutty, toasty culinary magic.

Get the recipe

Beauty and the Foodie

One Skillet Chile Pepper Chicken

If you can get your hands on Urfa pepper, go for it: the Turkish chile lends a complex salty, sweet, smoky and sour flavor.

Get the recipe

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