Chicken is one of the most popular proteins among home cooks, and for a good reason. The dish is versatile, full of protein, and can be prepared in countless ways. However, chicken can sometimes fall flat if cooked incorrectly or appropriately seasoned. Luckily, you can use many simple tricks to make your chicken dishes taste delicious every time. Here are some tips for making chicken taste great.
1. Marinate your chicken
Marinating is one of the best ways to add flavor and tenderness to chicken dishes. Choose a marinade that suits your taste, and let it sit for at least an hour before cooking. Popular marinades include lemon juice, herbs, Worcestershire sauce, olive oil, and garlic.
When marinating, it’s essential to use a shallow dish and turn the chicken occasionally to ensure even coverage. Also, discard any leftover marinade after cooking, as it can contain harmful bacteria.
2. Sear the chicken
Searing chicken before cooking can help lock in moisture and create a beautiful, flavorful crust. Heat some oil in a skillet over high heat, season the chicken with salt and pepper, then add it to the pan. Sear until golden brown and crispy on each side, then reduce the heat and finish cooking through. Moreover, if you sear the chicken in a flavorful sauce, you can create lovely glazed pieces of meat.
3. Flavor with herbs and spices
Herbs and spices are great for adding flavor to chicken dishes, so don’t be afraid to get creative! Popular seasonings include garlic powder, cumin, paprika, turmeric, or oregano for a Mediterranean flavor. Together, these ingredients can create an incredibly flavorful dish that your family will love.
Again, always discard any marinade or seasoning mixture after cooking. Doing that will help reduce the risk of foodborne illness. Note also that you should always cook the chicken to an internal temperature of around 165°F (74°C) to achieve the tastiest chicken.
4. Add some fat
Adding fat to chicken dishes can help make the meat juicier and more flavorful. Try brushing on melted butter or oil before cooking or adding strips of bacon or pancetta during the cooking process. This will help to lock in moisture and keep your chicken from drying out while it cooks. Additionally, fat also helps to create a delicious, golden-brown crust.
5. Try dry-brining
Dry-brining is an easy way to add flavor and tenderness to chicken dishes. Mix salt with desired seasonings then rubs it onto the chicken before cooking. The salt will draw moisture to the surface, allowing it to penetrate the meat and season it. Additionally, this helps to keep the chicken moist while cooking. Be sure not to add too much salt, which will be overly salty.
6. Create a flavorful sauce
Making a flavorful sauce to serve with the chicken can take your meal to the next level. There are endless possibilities for sauces, so find one that suits your taste and experiment! Popular sauces include tomato-based marinara, white wine cream sauces, or lemon butter.
7. Use the suitable cooking method
Finally, using the right cooking method for your dish is essential. Some methods work better with certain dishes – for example, grilling is great for chicken breasts, while slow cooking is perfect for stews and casseroles. If you’re unsure of the best method for your dish, a quick Google search should give you some ideas!
In conclusion, you can use many simple tricks to make your chicken dishes taste delicious every time. Marinating before cooking, searing, using herbs and spices, adding fat, dry-brining, and creating a flavorful sauce are all great ways to enhance the flavor of your chicken. With these tips, you can make delicious and nutritious chicken dishes your family will love.