How to cook chicken

How to cook chicken? Great question, chicken can be cooked in many ways.

chicken tamales

As we will be going into detail about how to choose, handle and cook chicken, picking up a chicken recipe to prepare may prove the most difficult part of the task.

Chicken tops the lists for the most popular meat. Chicken is reasonably cheap, easy to get and, chicken meat can be prepared in countless ways. How are going to cook that chicken today? It could be a succulent chicken roast with gravy or some barbecued chicken pieces young birds come out delicious on the grill.

Simple cooking, such as steaming or pan-frying, and a sauce is all what is needed some times, while you will undergo under slow cooking zeal others will love a poached chicken with a velouté sauce is simple and elegant while a hearty chicken stew will make everyone feel warm and happy in a cold day, almost as satisfying as chicken soup.

Those are not the only options. Considering chicken goes well with almost everything, some dish of chicken with pasta or rice could in order, or baking, whether a casserole, a pie, or in foil, will seal the juices and produce tender chicken bites, just as tender as fried juicy chicken pieces coated in breadcrumbs or batter.

Don't worry too much about serving sizes... oops! That was badly articulated. Of course there should be enough for everyone sitting down at the table. Do not worry overmuch about leftovers. Left over chicken is easily converted into other tasty meals. When you have tried a couple of recipes, you will find yourself plotting and planning to have some chicken meat left from that weekend roast to solve the problem of one or two mid-week dinners.

Grilling and barbecuing chicken

Better grill poultry in pieces on the bone as bones help to disperse the heat and cook faster while retaining moisture. Young birds, split and flattened, are particularly good for this technique.

The barbecue is perfect to reveal intense flavor but the concentrated heat can dry delicate chicken meat fast. Wings, drumsticks, thighs or kebabs are excellent on the barbecue as long as they are not overcooked.

Marinating the meat before cooking will help to keep it moist, as it will brushing the chicken with oil or melted butter while cooking.

Marinades for chicken

Baking chicken

Chicken salads an cold dishes

Many cold dishes are made with cooked chicken - think also leftovers - meat. To bone the cooked chicken pull off the legs, cutting through the joint first, then slit along the breastbone, loosen the meat and remove each breast half in one piece. Remove skin and slice the meat.

Leftover chicken

There are many things to do with leftover chicken. Make roast chicken slices the base of great sandwiches. Revise the section about chicken salads as these usually required cooked chicken meat, or see how to stretch that chicken to more than one meal.

Chicken with rice or pasta

Chicken soups and stocks

Roasting chicken

Chicken is one of the poultry birds, so read about roasting poultry to know the different methods, temperatures and times to do it and then practice each one with a specific recipe for chicken.

Stuffing for chicken

A well seasoned stuffing adds flavor and moisture to the chicken meat. The stuffing also helps to keep the bird in shape and make it look plump.

Fill the neck cavity loosely, as the stuffing let steam out - it keeps the breast meat moist and juicy. The advice is not to fill the tail as it makes more difficult for the interior to reach the right temperature and there is a risk of under-cooking the bird or the stuffing. If you do fill the tail end, do it loosely to allow the stuffing to swell and increase cooking time.

Most stuffing recipes can be prepared up 24 hours ahead, but should not be introduced into the cavity until the bird is ready for the oven. Any excess stuffing can be cooked in a covered pan under the roast for 30-40 minutes.

How to make gravy

How to carve a chicken

Braising and stewing

Braising chicken involves browning chicken pieces first, then adding a little stock, wine or other liquid, for moisture, herbs and vegetables, for flavor, covering the pan and simmering gently until the chicken is tender.

When stewing chicken, the chicken pieces are completely covered in liquid. Slow cooking vegetables are the best addition to the pot.

Poaching chicken

Frying

Stir-fry - There are countless variations as the personality of a stir-fry depends on the seasoning. Use boneless, skinless chicken breast cut into thin even strips for a chicken stir-fry -strips should be of the same size so that they take the same time to cook.

Sauté or pan fry - A little butter, oil or bacon fat and a skillet is all what is required, coat in seasoned flour to keep the chicken moist. Prepare a sauce in the same skillet. Pan fried chicken breast is really quick to prepare.

Deep fry - As long as the rules are followed, chicken can be deep fried to a crispy crust and juicy, flavourful meat.

  • Coat the chicken to protect from heat - flour, egg and breadcrumbs produces very satisfactory results.
  • Keep oil level at least to 1inch deep.
  • Fry pieces in small batches, don't overcrowd the pan.
  • Don't fry chicken just out of the fridge or pieces that are too cold.
  • Corn or peanut oil have a higher smoking point than olive oil and are a better choice for deep frying.
  • The oil has reached the right temperature when the thermometer reads of 350° F (180º C) or a cube of fresh bread turns brown in 30 seconds.

The recipes below illustrate this point.

Crock-pot chicken