The Versatility of Chicken

Chicken is generally perceived as the perfect ingredient for quick and easy cooking – In spite of this, chicken can also end up being dry, tasteless and overcooked. Then again, it’s as easy to prepare chicken right, if you follow a few simple rules.

Always Buy Wholesome Chicken – All good cooking starts with great ingredients. Try to buy a free-range chicken; since you will never get good nutrition from battery farmed chicken meat. Intensively farmed meat generally is fatty and pretty much tasteless.

Stewing, Casseroling or Braising Chicken – Bizarre as it may sound, cooking chicken (-or any meat for that matter) in a liquid, like wine or stock can actually strip the meat of its moisture by means of osmosis. Chicken is extremely lean meat, therefore you need some fat. Add pieces of pork belly, chopped bacon, or a few tablespoonful’s of olive oil to your casserole, and the chicken should stay nice and moist.

Roasting Chicken – The biggest problem to overcome with roasting is that once the thickest parts of the chicken are cooked; the breasts will be bone-dry and completely overdone. Here’s the trick- Don’t stuff the chicken; rather add a few pieces of lemon to the bird’s cavity. This will add moisture and flavour to the chicken, while still allowing the heat to permeate. One can also make a paste of butter, pepper, salt, herbs, and some garlic and rub this mixture all over the chicken. Place the chicken breast-side down in your roasting tin, then into a medium hot oven (180C). After about 45 minutes, turn the chicken breast-side up. After another 30 minutes, use a food thermometer to check that the thickest parts of the chicken have reached 75C. Alternatively, you can skewer the chicken, and if the expelled fluid is clear – the bird should be cooked. Remove the chicken from the oven and allow it to rest for no less than 15 minutes before carving. This resting period allows time for the cooking juices to run into the bird’s meat.

Stir Fry Chicken – First, Cut a chicken breast into bite-size strips. Afterwards, season the meat well with plenty of black pepper and salt. Place a wok (-or frying pan) onto a very high heat, add a little oil and then the chicken. Stir frequently, allowing the meat to settle for only a couple of seconds at a time. The chicken should develop a few golden-brown patches. Eat as soon as possible – you will quickly be reminded of just how juicy chicken should be.

Chicken is probably the most versatile protein ingredient on the planet – Why not learn how to cook it properly. It’s economical and can be very tasty – simply learn a few cooking techniques, and you’re A-for-AWAY!

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This article was provided by Food lover and travel enthusiast, ScribeZA, for an online recipe provider that features numerous Chicken Recipes.

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