Everybody loves chicken. It is delicious, inexpensive, and it can be cooked easily in so many ways.
The different ways of cooking chicken are classified into two methods: the dry heat method and the moist heat method.
Dry Heat Methods
Dry heat methods include baking, roasting, grilling, broiling, sautéing, and deep frying.
This is the rule: when cooking chicken with dry heat, use high heat and cook for a short time, about 8-10 minutes.
Don’t be in a hurry when using the dry heat method. Take your time, but be careful not to overcook the chicken. Overcooked chicken will lose its flavor.
When using dry heat on chicken breasts, you must first beat the breasts evenly on both sides so that cooking will be even.
Below is an example of a recipe that uses dry heat method.
Baking chicken in an oven is considered one of the healthiest methods of cooking it.
- Pre-heat your oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Dredge chicken pieces in a mixture of flour, salt, and pepper.
- Melt 1/2 cup butter in a large baking pan in the oven. Remove the pan from the oven and coat the chicken in butter.
- Arrange the chicken, skin side down, in one layer in the baking pan.
- Bake the chicken for 1 hour, or until it is no longer pink in the center. Turn the pieces over after 30 minutes.
Moist Heat Methods
Moist heat methods include microwaving, poaching, baking in parchment, steaming, stewing, and slow cooking.
When cooking chicken by the moist heat method, use low heat and cook for a longer time. When we talk of a long cooking time for chicken, it only means poached chicken will cook in 15 minutes, while grilled chicken cooks in 8-10 minutes.
Here is a recipe that uses a moist heat method.
Poaching cooks chicken slowly in a simmering, but not boiling liquid, which may be flavored or seasoned.
- Combine selected ingredients for the poaching liquid in a large saucepan or pot.
- Add chicken pieces to the poaching liquid.
- Bring the liquid to a boil over medium-high heat. When it boils, reduce the heat immediately and cover the saucepan.
- Simmer for 20 minutes or until the chicken is no longer pink, but light brown in the center.
- Remove chicken from the liquid with tongs and serve.
- Strain the chicken stock. You can use it for another dish if you refrigerate or freeze it.
Tips in Cooking Chicken
Brining the chicken before cooking will make its meat soft and succulent. You can brine the chicken by immersing the unfrozen chicken in salt water for an hour. Due to higher concentration in the solution, salt water will seep into the meat of the chicken (a process called osmosis).