A few months ago, while trying to work on my reading habits, I picked up ‘ An Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian’ by Sherman Alexie from the store. During that engaging read, one sentence that struck me was, “And believe me, a good piece of chicken can make anybody believe in the existence of God.” I have been thinking about it ever since. Though not necessarily in the existence of God, to a certain extent, good chicken makes you believe in the beauty of the universe that we so often miss in this robotic world.
Let us face it-you have work to do and goals to achieve-miles to go before you sleep. As much as we get to read about self-care, treating yourself often feels like a luxury you cannot afford. You consider fixing the schedule but sleeping only three hours leaves you with five more to work, and while you have a never-ending pile of tasks to attend to, keeping yourself hydrated is not exactly your top priority.
In the context that is our shared reality, a moment of pause taken to bite into the tender, juicy chicken with a perfectly crispy exterior can do wonders. The explosion of the signatory salty and spicy juices on your tongue, coupled with the warmth of the firm chicken, can serve as a perfect break from the monotony and remind you of the simple delights of existence.
Why Pick Chicken?
Other than the heavenly taste, chicken is the ideal meat for several reasons.
Less Cooking Time
Flexibility with Other Meals
And by origin, I do not mean the fruitless debate on whether the egg or the chicken came first. I am referring to the Southeast Asian jungles that were the first breeding grounds for the gorgeous, Red Fowl chicken whose species we devour today. The popularity of chicken over the years shows that it is still one of its kind.
You do not have to store it for days or wait for hours to pass when your chicken is in the pan. My experience reaffirms that it is the easiest and quickest meat to cook.
You can easily toss chicken chunks in your rice or salad, refine your pasta's taste by adding cubes or quickly prepare a gravy. The possible dishes you can add chicken to are next to impossible to quantify.
Top Five Commonly Made Mistakes
To improve your experience of cooking delicious chicken, I have compiled a list of few commonly made mistakes. It is imperative to avoid these as you aim for perfectly firm, sufficiently juicy, and ideally crispy bites.
Not Knowing the Cut
Not knowing the cut can make it challenging to pick the right recipe, temperature, seasonings, and especially to end up with the desired taste. So here is a list you can use to familiarize yourself with the kinds available.
It has a large surface area, and you can also get it in boneless or fillet form.
As a form of healthy, dark meat, these are very succulent and tasty when cooked right.
If you enjoy munching on meat while chewing juicy bones, drumsticks would be the ideal pick for you.
Like miniature versions of drumsticks, wings are very tender and delicious.
Moreover, you can also pick legs, tenders, or a whole chicken that you can grill for a wholesome experience! So, before you get to the roasting and burning part, it is crucial to know thy cut.
Not Using a Brine
Have you ever dined out and enjoyed a mouthwatering turkey? And then came home to try the recipe, but it did not taste quite right? One plausible reason behind this could be that you forgot to brine the chicken before cooking. It is an incredibly common mistake among home chefs; however, indulging in it only deprives you of an otherwise great feast.
When you cook chicken, make sure you prepare a brine a few hours before. You can add salt, sugar, olive oil, herbs, or seasonings in boiling water. Once they are all dissolved and consistent fluid forms, make sure you let it cool to room temperature before dunking chicken in it. You can leave the chicken in brine for several hours; it enhances the taste and aroma.
Taking off the Skin
There has been a common misconception that skinless chicken is healthier than the one with the skin. However, an interesting recent study by the Harvard School of Public Health proves otherwise. Researchers that the skin mostly has unsaturated fats, which are not fundamentally unhealthy. They are among the macronutrients our body needs and help with immunity like preventing heart disease!
Besides, chicken with skin is way more flavourful-crispy on the outside and juicy on the inside. So, unless you are overly concerned about cutting down on all kinds of fat, do not miss the finger-licking taste of chicken by taking off its skin.
Cooking it Directly from the Fridge
Some time ago, I wanted to add chicken cubes to my spaghetti quickly, so I made the unthoughtful decision of cooking cold chicken. Unfortunately, it came out to be soggy and bland. The natural juices waste away if you do not wait for your chicken to defrost or thaw beforehand.
I am familiar with how tempting it can be to dive right into making chicken, especially when you have another dish in the kitchen. But it is way better to thaw it in water for at least half an hour. Cooking your chicken directly in the frozen form not only wastes its natural juices but also runs the risk of you having to face an undercooked center and overcooked skin of the chicken.
Not Letting it Rest
Surrendering to the urge to eat it the right way takes away the time needed to spread moisture and flavour in your chicken. It means that all your seasonings, brining, or marinating can potentially end up being for nothing. So, make sure you wait for some minutes and give it adequate time to rest.
Chicken is indeed among the best meats out there. For a wholesome experience of devouring chicken, you should avoid the mistakes listed above and follow a useful guide alongside.