The ways of chicken
Chicken is great! Delicate, tender and very versatile, however we all have experienced at least once a super dry breast of chicken, served with stodgy potatoes or with a bland salad.
he tips here can transform a simple breast or leg of chicken into a tasty and delicious meal!
1. Embrace the marinade concept.
Marinating as well as infusing powerful flavours in the meat can help tenderising it, resulting in shorter cooking times and a juicy tasty piece of chicken. When marinating it's important to balance flavours and spices so none of them become overpowering.
Acids like citrus juices play a very important role in your marinade as they help breaking down the fats and some of the proteins in the meat tenderising it, as well as making it easier to digest.
One of my favourite marinades for chicken is a simple mix of salt, garlic powder, olive oil and lemon. How much for each ingredient to add is up to you, depending on the flavour you want to develop. The little olive oil is just to lightly coat the meat so that I won't add any oil to the pan, then depending if I prefer a stronger garlic or lemon taste, I balance the other 2.
Anoter great way to infuse the meat with strong flavours and to maintain it moist and tender is to use a mix of spices with the acids, for example a marinade used for chicken fajitas or a curry. Don't be shy and experiment with lime, yogurt saffron and more exotic spices. Green papaya juice is also a powerful tenderiser, as it helps on breaking down some of the proteins in the meat, also increasing the digestibility of the meat.
2. Pound it!
With your bare hands or a meat tenderiser, lay the meat on a chopping board and beat it. Tenderised chicken will cook faster, so less time on the grill or pan and more juices will stay inside.
To go the extra mile, lay the meat on some baking paper then sprinkle ti with seasoning and spices before folding the paper and starting to tenderising it. This will press the flavours into the meat while the meat will become softer!
3. The coatings...
Coat the chicken to preserve the juiciness of the meat, while it gets cocked through.
Egg-wash and breadcrumb, milk based batter or yogurt, your choice!
4. There is more to chicken than the breasts.
Choosing thighs or the full leg instead if the breast will surprise you. These cuts are often juicier as slightly fatter and testier due to the bones. These cuts are as well much cheaper because are less considered, not so pretty when looked ate and they require some extra work in the kitchen. Cook these on the bone, or with a little knife work remove the meat then chop it for a stir fry, curry or fajitas. You'll be pleasantly surprised.