Friday, June 5, 2009

Ways To Cook Chicken Breast Meat

By Lynnette Lo

When cooking chicken breast meat, it is always a task to ensure the meat ends up tender, soft, succulent, juicy and delicious. Chicken breast meat is probably the toughest part of the chicken and not as tender as the drumstick and yet, it is the healthiest as it has the least fat and is mostly lean meat once you remove the skin. The trick to cooking chicken breast meat is in the marinade and the cooking technique.

Even if you have a great chicken recipe, it will all go to waste if you overcooked the chicken and ended up with dry and stringy meat. The only way to cook chicken breast meat is to make sure that the duration it was placed over the fire to be just nice. Too long, it would become tough, dry and stringy. Too fast, it will be partially uncooked. So, there is a technique to it.

Whether you want to bake the breast meat, roast it, stir fry it or deep fry it, the marinade for the meat is also quite important as it could serve to tenderize it and give it flavours. Many would resort to the commercial bottled tenderizer, most often used for steaks, to rub it on the chicken to soften the meat. However, the more natural way is to use apple juice and marinade the chicken meat overnight in the juice. It will tenderize the chicken and at the same time give it a nice gentle apple flavour.

Now, if you are thinking of deep-frying the chicken for some crunchy chicken fingers, you could also choose to use buttermilk as marinade. Buttermilk is also another natural tenderizer. Next, we talk about how you cook the chicken. When you are grilling it or baking it in the oven, remember to keep the temperature at moderate and set the cooking time to shorter periods. All you need to do is to pop the chicken in and set it at maybe, 15 minutes cooking time and then check on it. If it is cooked by then, remove from the oven. The cooking time varies according to the size and amount of chicken you are cooking.

Chicken breast meat also tastes great when stir-fried. The best way is to slice the meat into thin, small pieces. This is to make sure the chicken cooks more thoroughly. Here's a simple 'Stir-fried Mushrooms Chicken Recipe' I can share with you. You start by seasoning the chicken with some soy sauce and pepper. Then you heat up the wok with some cooking oil and sautee some diced garlic till fragrant. Next, add in sliced brown mushrooms and sautee for another minute. Finally, add in the chicken meat and then you let it cook by stir frying it for another 3 minutes or so. The chicken is cooked when the juices run clear and it is no longer reddish in color. Remove from heat immediately when cooked.

It may seem that cooking chicken breast meat is difficult but it is great for dieters as it is low in fat and high in proteins. It can be prepared for lunch or dinner and it is pretty versatile as it can be prepared in many different ways. As long as you learn the correct techniques in locking in the moisture and keeping it tender, chicken breast meat is a great low fat choice of protein.

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