Chicken is one of the most popular ingredients in the world, but it is also one of the trickiest to cook properly due to the needs and considerations required to cook safely while also making sure it still tastes delicious. If you are ready to learn how to cook like a pro, then take a look at the following guide which will help you learn the ins and outs of cooking , how to master basic cooking chicken recipe options and other pertinent information that will help you improve your cooking skills.
Chicken Cooking Tips and Tricks
If you want to cook like a pro, then you’ll need to take advantage of these excellent chicken cooking tips that will have you cooking better tasting chicken, no matter what cut or style of cooking you prefer to use.
Tip #1: Know the different cuts of a chicken
Before you can become a chicken cooking pro, you’ll need to know the different parts like the back of your hand. The most commonly used parts are the following.
Breast: Breast is typically sold in 3 types of cuts: halved split breasts, boneless skinless cutlets, and tenderloins. Cutlets and tenderloins are best fried in a pan, broiled, or sauteed; whereas split breasts are best grilled or broiled.
Thigh: Thighs are sold in-bone or without the bone. The thighs are best cooked via grilling, broiling, roasting, or braising.
Drumstick: The drumsticks are sometimes sold on their own or sometimes attached to the thigh. Chicken drumsticks are best cooked via braising, grilling, or roasting.
Wing: The wings are white meat which is covered in thick skin. These wings are best cooked via grilling, frying, roasting, or broiling.
Once you can recognize these types of cuts and which is best cooked via what method, you’ll have an easier time cooking chicken like a pro.
Tip #2: Keep your chicken breast from drying out with a piece of parchment
If you are baking your chicken breast, you’re probably worried that it may dry out–and for good reason, since the breast is lean and tends to dry out very easily. You can prevent oven-cooked breast from drying out with a simple trick involving parchment. Simply put a single piece of parchment paper over the chicken before you place it into the oven, and the parchment will help protect the breast from drying out in the heat.
Tip #3: Marinade or rub for extra rich flavor
If you want to add some unforgettable flavor and richness to your dishes, then marinate the chicken or treat it with a rub to add complexity to the overall flavor of the meat. There are a lot of great marinade recipes out there which vary depending on the type of taste you’re going for with your favorite ingredient.
Try out a few on your favorite cuts (but especially chicken breasts, which tend to work well with moisture-adding marinades) to see what you like best. Rubs are especially great for grilling and pan-frying since they absorb into the skin more easily.
Tip #4: Cook with the skin on for juicier, more tender
You don’t need to remove the skin from chicken unless you are following a highly strict diet; the skin does not add a significant amount of calories to the meat and actually acts as a barrier between the chicken and drying heat. When you keep the chicken on, it helps keep the juices inside, reducing the chances that your meat will be chewy and dry.
The skin also adds a dimension of flavor to the meat that can’t be achieved when you remove it.
Cooking chicken can be difficult, but as long as you take the time to consider the above tips and tricks, you’ll find yourself cooking more delicious chicken than you ever have before.
Final Thoughts on Cooking Chicken like a Pro
Chicken is one of the most popular yet difficult types of meat to cook. Thankfully, you can start cooking like a pro when you follow the guidelines and tips featured in the above guide.
When you practice these on a regular basis, they’ll soon become second nature and your dish will start to taste less like amateur hour and more like a professional chef’s favorite dish.