Have you been to dinners where hosts have to forcibly coax compliments out of their guests? Awkward, isn’t it? Chicken should be a simple delicacy that everyone can prepare, but it’s not. A lot of people are forced to pretend-smile as they down what could be mistaken for sawdust.
Chicken has a way of drying up and losing its flavor in the process of cooking it. Done the right way, your amazing chicken should have your guests begging for more or, at the very least, showering their hosts in praise.
Here’s how to do that.
#1 Use mayonnaise for a golden crust
We’ve all those picturesque images in cookbooks or Instagram. You know, the ones with perfectly colored chicken in a pot or tray. Brush some mayonnaise onto your chicken before tossing it into your oven for a similar effect. You’ll have that sweet golden coat and some extra flavor. You’re welcome!
#2 Spatchcock your chicken before cooking
Cooking a whole chicken can be a long nightmare. A simple workaround is to take out the backbone with shears (spatchcock). This allows you to flatten your chicken thus cooking it faster and more evenly.
#3 Use parchment paper in the oven
It’s simple but very effective. Covering your chicken in parchment paper before placing it in the oven preserves it’s soft texture and juicy flavor as it cooks. The parchment paper acts as a protective layer.
#4 Shred your chicken with a hand mixer
If you’re looking to make smaller desserts and recipes that need shredded chicken, picking at meat with your fingers won’t work. Warm your meat and use a hand mixer for perfectly even shreds in a short time.
#5 Soak your chicken in brine or spices
Lots of people tend to be overly cautious when using spices with chicken. The result is almost bland chicken.
Soaking your chicken in brine or a mixture of spices for a few hours or overnight allows your meat to suck in that flavor to its deepest layers before you even cook it. You can use ziplock bags or a simple bowl. Once cooked, all your chicken will be rich in flavor.
#6 Tenderize your chicken with yogurt
Mix your yogurt with some spices and soak the chicken in it for a few hours. The lactic acid in the yogurt breaks the protein in your meat to make it tender while the spices you added will give it some zing. The result should be amazing.
#7 Distribute your spice mix over and under the skin
Aren’t you tired of chicken that tastes good on the outside and is just a bland mess on the inside? Loosen the skin on your chicken and rub your spices on the inside of the skin and the surface of your chicken. This helps more flavor run deep as it cooks.
#8 Bake your chicken instead of frying
If you are one of those people who dislike oily food, this is for you. Soak your pieces of chicken in brine or a mixture of spices for a few hours, then sprinkle a coating of your choice. Once baked, you’ll have great flavor without any oily pieces. You’re welcome!
#9 Let your chicken rest after cooking
As you cook your chicken, some of that flavor has a way of dripping out into your pan or pot. This can make hours of work taste like rubbish. A quick fix is to let your chicken rest for a few minutes before serving. This allows your cooked chicken to reabsorb all of that flavor before you serve it.
#10 Use a brick to saute your chicken
This isn’t a prank, trust me. Wrap a brick in some foil and place it on top of your cooking chicken in a pan. The pressure of the brick will help your chicken cook evenly and absorb more of that sauce.
#11 Fry your chicken twice
Many of us love that extra crispy chicken that somehow stays soft on the inside. But, if you fry your chicken longer to get that extra crisp, your chicken tend to dry on the inside.
So how do you do it? Fry your chicken just until the inside is cooked. Once done, let your chicken cool off for about 15-20 minutes then fry it again just long enough for that crispy feel. The exterior will be perfect, but not at the expense of the juicy insides.
#12 Use a cold pan
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Cooking with a cold pan will pile on a few more minutes onto your cooking timer as it warms up. This isn’t a bad thing. This extra time allows your chicken to render out some of the fat to give it an extra crispy exterior.
Source: The Chive