Our love affair with chicken meat started some 10,000 years ago. Today, in modern Britain you would be hard-pushed to find a menu without at least one chicken dish, but many people are wary about preparing chicken, as it is a meat that must be handled correctly in order not to spread bacteria. Chicken must be cooked properly and, if re-heating a ready-cooked chicken dish, the meat should be piping hot before it is eaten.
However, the preparation of chicken plays an important part in how it tastes and looks. If you want to prepare the perfect chicken dish, follow these five top tips:
I. Thaw it in the fridge
You may think that your kitchen is cool enough not to pose a risk but, by taking chicken straight out of the freezer and thawing it at room temperature you could be storing up a whole load of bacteria.
II. Season it well
Salt and pepper is all well and good, but this lean white meat lends itself to all kinds of flavours. Ring the changes by rubbing lemon juice in to the skin or, if you?re not watching your calorie intake too carefully, rubbing a high quality butter on to the breast or whole bird can make for a tender, moist meat.
III. Coat it
Create your own breaded steaks by coating the chicken in homemade breadcrumbs. Coat the chicken in flour first, then give it a good bath in beaten egg followed by a generous dusting of breadcrumbs. Make sure your pan has very hot oil otherwise the breadcrumb coating will not be sealed on the meat and it will start to fall off. Season it well and enjoy!
IV. Don?t over handle it
Chicken is delicate meat that does not take kindly to too much handling, poking, tossing, flipping, prodding and so on. Like grilling burgers, or using the BBQ rack, leave the chicken as undisturbed in its cooking spot as you can.
V. Use a thermometer
This is especially true when roasting a whole bird. Knowing when it is cooked should not be a best guess. If you are not too confident, investing in a roasting thermometer is a sure fire winner. When the meat has reached 165?, it will be good to go. Alternatively, when the juices run clear, the chicken is cooked.
Source chicken from a high quality supplier or butcher to enjoy the meat of a bird treated to the highest level of welfare for the best tasting chicken. Enjoy!
For a good source of high quality chicken, you can get in touch with the IMS of Smithfield team.