How To Make Chicken Recipes Even Easier To Cook
Make it easy with these prepping and cooking tips.
Chicken recipes are naturally delicious. The chicken is a versatile ingredient that can be mixed and matched with numerous ingredients, resulting in tasty and flavorful combinations. It can be saucy, in a soup, roasted, simply fried or battered, and can even be braised until it's so tender, it falls off the bone.
This versatility is also why there are many ways to prepare chicken dishes. The simplest way is to just cook it with a little seasoning of salt. However, that can be a boring meal. To make it delicious, you do need to make a little effort. The good news is that you don't need to put too much effort into easy chicken recipes if you know a few shorts cuts and tricks like these:
1 Take advantage of prepared marinades and sauces.
There are many ways to add flavor to dishes. Using prepared marinades and sauce is one way. Browse the supermarket shelves, and you'll understand that you do not have to do everything from scratch. There are fantastic tasting pre-mixed marinades in sachets and bottles that all you need to do is provide the chicken. Pour it on, leave it to marinate for 30 minutes, 1 hour, or even overnight. Then cook. Reserve some of that marinade mix before adding it to the chicken to serve as your sauce on the side if you want, too.
2 Use boneless cuts.
The cuts that cook the fastest are usually the boneless cuts. Bone-in meats are easy to cook as well but not as fast as the fillets. That's because there is no bone to get in the way of the heat. However, fillets are also notorious for being cooked until it's dry.
To prevent this and to cook your chicken perfectly every time, learn the signs that the chicken is cooked:
- 1 Pierce the meat at the thickest part to check if the juices run clear.
- 2 Feel the meat: cooked meat is firmer than raw meat.
- 3 The weight is significantly lighter. (Raw meat weighs more than cooked meat.)
For best results, use a meat thermometer so you know that the meat has reached a safe temperature (around 160 degrees F or 60 degrees C) and is ready to remove from the heat. Remember that food will continue to cook and its temperature will continue to rise at least another 5 degrees F or 2-3 degrees C even off the heat.
3 Use ground chicken.
If fillets cook faster than bone-in chicken, just imagine how much faster ground chicken would cook! How fast the chicken pieces cook is really dependent on the amount and the size of the chunks. So, when it's been finely chopped, it cooks fast. The key here to making sure that it stays easy and fast cooking is to portion the ground meat so that it's not too thick that the center of your meatballs or patties cook before the outside dries out.
4 Cut all the ingredients into smaller pieces.
Ground meat cooks fast but sometimes, you want chunks of meat, too. When you cook boneless chicken chunks, it's not always the chicken that takes up the cooking time. Root vegetables such as potatoes, labanos, and carrots take time to cook. Corn still on the cobs and kalabasa need time to soften and become tender, too. If you are using any of these ingredients and others like it, it might be a good idea to cut these chunks smaller just to speed up the cooking process.
Cut all your ingredients into similar sizes, so the chicken that you prepared to cook fast doesn't have to wait for the other ingredients to cook, too.
5 Boil, poach, or steam it.
One of the fastest ways of cooking chicken that's fast and easy is to boil it. Cut-up chicken pieces with the bone-in cook in 20 or so minutes. This is perfectly fine for chicken recipes that are soupy in nature such a tinola, nilaga, and sinigang na manok.
If it's not a chicken soup you're cooking, you can simmer it in a little water, or poach, the chicken to speed up the cooking. Instead of boiling the chicken just until cooked through before using in your recipe, make sure that simmering liquid is super flavorful. Poach the chicken until cooked through then take it out. Use it in any cooked chicken recipe including frying it until the skin is crisp (after patting it dry).
If there's a sauce, add more water than it states so you can cover the pan and gently steam the chicken until cooked through. You can always reduce the sauce so that it's thickened and flavorful again.
Do you have a chicken craving and need a delicious chicken meal fast? Remember these tips and that meal will be on your plate faster.