Tender, juicy and delicious – that’s exactly how we like our chicken. Indian kitchens have been predominantly ruled by vegetarian cuisine and even a novice cook can cook dal or sabzi with the guidance and tips of older and experienced family members. But when it comes to cooking chicken, many of us are helpless and can’t get it right. When we get dry, rubbery, undercooked, undercooked or undercooked chicken, all our efforts go in vain. This is a real disappointment! If you are looking to step up your chicken cooking game, you have come to the right place.
Here’s a reality check for all of you out there who have tried and tried but just couldn’t get their chicken right. Here are some common mistakes most of us make when cooking chicken and it’s time to fix it all.
9 Common Mistakes to Avoid When Cooking Chicken
1. Buying Pre-Frozen Meat
Moist chicken becomes juicy when cooked. Frozen raw chicken often loses its water content and gives us a dry dish that no one likes. The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) recommends looking for chicken labeled ‘fresh’, not ‘frozen or previously frozen’.
(Also Read: 5 Common Mistakes That Can Ruin Our Indian Curry)
2. Overlooking Bone-In Chicken
Chicken bone-in chicken pieces such as thighs have a high fat content that melts while cooking to lock in the moisture in the chicken as well as give it more flavor. So, don’t throw it away and try going for bone-in instead of boneless chicken pieces.
3. Washing Chicken
Washing chicken before use seems like a practical hygiene practice. However, the USDA holds a different opinion. A USDA report states, “Washing raw poultry prior to cooking is not recommended because the bacteria in raw meat and poultry juices can spread to other foods, utensils, and surfaces. This is called cross-contamination. Recent USDA observational study results show how easily bacteria can spread when surfaces are not effectively cleaned and sanitized after washing a chicken. Washing or soaking the chicken destroys bacteria. Cooking alone will destroy any bacteria that may be present on fresh chicken.”
4. No Brining or Marinating
In a hurry, we often skip the crucial step of brining or marinating chicken. Brining is the process of soaking chicken in salt water and a dash of sugar before cooking. This helps prevent overcooking and also retains moisture. And if you want the chicken to have a deeper flavor, marinate it with some spices, yogurt, lemon juice or other ingredients according to your recipe.
5. Meat not fast
If you’re cooking a whole chicken breast, the first thing you’ll notice is how thick it is. Cooking it this way may cause the outer layer to over-cook or the inner one to cook less. It is important to pound the chicken pieces evenly with the help of a meat hammer/mallet to soften the chicken and ensure even cooking.
[ये भी पढ़ें: खाना पकाने की गलतियाँ जो आपके भोजन को बना रही हैं अस्वास्थ्यकर]
6. Lobbing from Skin
Everyone loves glazed caramelized sear on cooked chicken. To get it, try placing it on the skin of the chicken. In addition, the skin will help retain the moisture of the meat, making the chicken crispy on the outside and soft on the inside.
7. Melting It the Wrong
Do you let your frozen chicken out on the shelf to thaw at room temperature? stop it now! The USDA claims that only three methods should be applied to thaw chicken — soaking it in cold water, microwaving it, or refrigerating it for a night or a day before cooking. Keeping chicken outside at room temperature can make it a breeding ground for harmful bacteria.
8. Uneven Chicken Pieces
Be sure to cut your chicken into even pieces so they all cook at the same time and you know when to take the pan off the stove.
(Also Read: 8 Genius Tricks To Reduce Extra Salt In Curries)
9. Do not cover the pan
When your chicken is cooking, put the lid on the pan. The steam will lock in and provide moisture to the meat so that it doesn’t dry out due to the heat.
If you love to eat chicken, then you must know how to make it perfect. We hope you stop making the above listed mistakes and enjoy delicious non-vegetarian food every now and then.