Thursday, February 16, 2012

T&T: Tender and Juicy Chicken

Have you ever wondered how restaurants and "professionals" always get their chicken so tender and juicy? I have before. But now I know the secret! And I'm sharing it!

T&T: Let chicken sit for 5 to 10 minutes before serving.

  • Yes, you read that right.  Letting the chicken sit for a few minutes lets the meat relax and the juices flow back into the chicken!

At restaurants, chicken is usually one of the first things done after ordering, that way it can sit a few minutes on your plate before the waiter brings it out to you.

Try this! And as long as you don't over-cook the chicken beyond recognition, this will always work. PLUS, if you chicken is "slightly" under-cooked, it gives it a few more minutes to heat up and finish cooking in the center.

  • For small chicken breasts and tenders, cover with foil so not all the heat will escape. For larger birds, like turkeys, you don't need to cover it with foil. However, covering it won't take away from this tip.

  • MISTAKE: Cutting into the chicken to check if it is done. By cutting the chicken, it breaks the meat strands and prevents the juices to travel into that direction. Follow cooking times to make sure it is done. Wait 5 to 10 minutes before cutting into it, and after that, cook it a bit longer if its under-cooked.

  • One more thing, when cooking a whole chicken or turkey, adding lemons, onions and/or garlic that release moisture when cooked, helps keep the bird juicy as well! This way its not drawing moisture from other parts of itself and creating "dry" pieces. Not to mention, its adds another level of incredible taste!

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