Chicken, in its different forms, is one of the most famous and cooked foods worldwide. Not only for its exquisite flavor, speed, and ease, it has become the star dish at a family gathering or for everyday use.
The versatility offered by chicken allows us to prepare delicious dishes with infinite condiments and accompaniments. However, one of the biggest problems is that on many occasions, it is dry or not very juicy, leaving a not very tasty texture and not at all rich on the palate, which even costs chew. If it happens to you often and you want to get rid of this problem, in this article, we will teach you how to avoid drying the chicken.
Use a Fresh Chicken
Naturally, the meat of the chicken contains some moisture, and this is lost when the meat is frozen and thawed. Therefore it is of the utmost importance that you buy the chicken the same day you are going to cook it. The fresher it is, the more even it cooks; the meat will soften faster, and the better it will absorb and retain the cooking juices.
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If it is impossible to buy the chicken at that time and you have no choice but to keep it frozen, remove it from the freezer about 12 hours before you cook it and put it in the refrigerator, avoid taking it out of the cold altogether. Remember that chicken is extremely sensitive to bacteria, and changing from cold to heat can cause spoilage.
Marinate the Chicken
It was generously marinating this meat before cooking is proven to be a critical factor in preventing dry chicken. Most chefs say that it is necessary to let the chicken meat rest in the marinade for about 2 hours; this helps to soften it and add flavor.
The most recommended is to use lime, lemon, or orange juice, since they combine perfectly with chicken, in the same way, you can opt for sauces such as soy or Worcestershire sauce. It is also advisable to cook it with pieces of lemon or orange inside, accompanied by herbs such as rosemary, oregano, or thyme.
Cut the Proper Thickness of the Chicken to Prevent it from Drying Out
If you are going to cook several pieces of chicken, try to make all the pieces of the chicken the same thickness to avoid that some are overcooked and dry out or, on the contrary, remain raw. For example, if you are cooking chicken breasts, cut them equally thick lengthwise.
Also, it is essential to choose which parts of the chicken can be cooked together; In the case of the breasts, it is advisable to cut them in half to prevent the burning of the edges and that the inside is raw. In the case of fillets, they can be beaten with a hammer or kitchen mallet to reduce the thickness of the center and that everything cooks equally.
A perfect option for cooking this meat is to bone the chicken before marinating; removing the bones will make the meat more level, and the heat and seasonings are better distributed inside.
Cook at a Proper Temperature
Cooking chicken to the proper temperature can mean a juicy golden chicken to a burnt and dry one. If you cook it in an oven or pan, the important thing is not to exceed the internal temperature of 75ºC, since from now on, it begins to lose its juices.
In the oven, the recommended temperature to cook and brown it without burning it is between 170 ° C or 180 ° C in the range, which is equivalent to about 350 ° F.
Likewise, the cooking time is essential to achieve a perfect chicken. The indicated thing is to cook about 45 minutes for each kilo of chicken. Therefore a 2-kilo bird requires approximately 2 hours and so depending on the weight.
Spiced Butter to Make the Chicken Juicy
This has become one of the most famous tricks among chicken lovers, thanks to the juiciness and incredible flavor when baked. It consists of preparing a butter with various spices and seasonings introduced between the skin and the meat of the chicken.
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This causes the butter to melt and penetrate with the heat, causing the chicken to acquire a spectacular flavor and the skin to brown and crisp. The seasoned butter can prepare as you like, but here we will give you a delicious recipe and super simple.
- ½ cup salted butter (for unsalted butter, add salt afterward)
- Salt to taste
- Pepper to taste
- 1 or 2 tablespoons of parsley
- 2 garlic cloves, crushed
- 1 tablespoon of olive oil
- 1 tablespoon of lemon juice
- Lemon zest to taste
- Pour the butter into a bowl.
- Add all the ingredients. Keep in mind that it does not necessarily have to be those amounts. You can add more or less depending on your tastes.
- Mix until you create a smooth butter.
- With the help of your fingers, carefully separate the skin from the meat to make a kind of pocket. Do it around the entire chicken, including the thighs.
- Add the butter little by little and rub it into the meat.
- Close the pocket to prevent the butter from spilling out before baking.
- Bake the chicken according to the recipe you are following, and, in this way, you will avoid the chicken from being dry.
Adapted and translated by The Cop Cart Staff