Ok, so I made chicken tonight and experimented with marinading it in italian dressing.
Well the chicken tasted really sour to me from the dressing. I actually don't like most salad dressings because they taste so sour! Even store bought ranch tastes way too tangy and sour to me.
So what are my options? Should I skip marinade? I want it to be tender & juicy but somehow my chicken comes out like rubber!
03-18-2010, 11:58 PM
What cut of chicken is it? Breast? Thigh?
03-19-2010, 12:23 AM
I think chicken will get dry and rubbery if overcooked.
A good chicken recipe is to dump a jar of salsa over it in a crockpot, and turn it on for the day.
03-19-2010, 02:43 AM
i cover chicken with a mix of english mustard, oregano, chilli powder and cumin. if you like spicy, you'll love it
03-19-2010, 03:12 AM
It could be the chicken you are buying; different brands taste different, so maybe try some other brands.
An easy, pretty much fool-proof way to cook chicken breast (if that's the type of chicken you are buying) is to put the breast between two sheets of wax paper or saran wrap and then pound it flat with a meat mallot or a hammer. You want to pound it until it is between 1/4 and 1/2 inch thick. Then you can saute it quickly with a little bit of olive oil. It will cook quickly, 5 min or less per side, and should come out very tender.
Before you cook it, you can season it however you want. Some ideas to try would be salt and pepper, poultry seasoning, Italian seasoning blend, or Greek seasoning blend. Or you can top it with some type of sauce, such as marinara sauce. Or you could saute up some veggies (such as mushrooms and onions) in the same pan and serve them over the chicken. Or you could do all of these things.
03-19-2010, 06:35 PM
My favorite way to make chicken breasts or thighs is as follows:
Trim excess fat and cut chicken so that it is no more than 1 1/2 inches thick (if it doesn't make sense to cut it, score the thick areas deeply with a knife) - the smaller the cut, the stronger the flavor and the more tender it will be. Marinate 24 hours (48 is even better, and the meat should be turned several times during the process) in spicy brown mustard, minced garlic (love the pre-minced jar stuff for this), fresh ground black pepper, and a couple splashes of vinegar and olive oil. I season to suit the quantity of chicken, so I don't have measurements. Basically, I am liberal with the garlic and use enough mustard to lightly coat all sides of the chicken. Olive oil is probably never more than a tablespoon, and the vinegar (white or apple cider) is maybe a tablespoon per pound of meat (natural tenderizer). You don't want the meat swimming, but it should be thoroughly coated and moist. The vinegar may or may not cause the meat to turn milky white during the marination process. I like to cook the chicken in a frying pan uncovered over a medium-high heat (using only a splash of chicken broth to coat the pan) until it is golden brown. To preserve moisture, flip only once during cooking.
03-20-2010, 10:17 AM
I think the most important thing is to not overcook the white meat.
I do lots of stir fries. Lots of pan sauteed chicken with liquid (wine, lemon juice, chicken broth). I use tons of onions, lots of different spices -garlic, thyme, rosemary, parsley, ginger, Mrs. Dash.
Here's some things I've learned about cooking chicken breast.
-Any acid (lemon juice, vinegar, etc.) in a marinade will toughen meat if marinated longer than about an hour. There are even techniques where fish is literally "cooked" by using lemon or lime juice. I usually put the chicken in a zipper bag then liberally sprinkle with dry seasonings. Then seal the bag and move the chicken around to be sure all pieces receive some of the seasoning. I have been trying to avoid too much salt myself and there are LOTS of seasonings out there that are salt-free. I have even used a small amount of taco spice, although that does contain lots of salt. Just depends on what you like. Garlic/herb is probably my fav. You can then add lemon juice/acid just before cooking or right before serving.
-A good way to avoid overcooking (tough) chicken breast is to slice the breast horizontally into two halves (also called butterflying). It helps to have a very sharp knife or if the chicken is slightly frozen.You can leave it butterflied or go ahead and cut it into two separate pieces. This makes the chicken more of an even thickness all around so you don't have to worry about the middle being raw when the edges are cooked.
I have also recently gotten a stove top grill pan that really helps give that grill flavor to meats without firing up the outdoor gas or charcoal grill. There is a thread on it here in this area.
03-22-2010, 02:51 PM
x2 what Annie said about butterflying and over-marinating. A chicken breast cut horizontally will take maybe 10-15 minutes to cook on a hot grill.
Plain yogurt also makes a good marinade. It tenderizes it, without "cooking" it.
Also, use a probe thermometer. Done is between 170 and 180. But take it out about 5 degrees earlier, and allow it to rest for 10 minutes or so.
The temperature will continue to rise during this time, and it will allow the juices to stop circulating. If you cut it too early, the juices will drain out and you'll have dry chicken.
06-09-2010, 02:38 PM
Rather than getting bored with my food choices, I've been branching out! My current favorite thing to do with a chicken breast is to first cut it into bite size chunks, followed by cooking it stove top in "I can't believe it's not butter" spray with hot sauce! It honestly tastes like buffalo wings without the fried batter coating! YUM!!! ^_^ While grocery shopping with my grandmother last weekend, I did see that Ken's brand now has a buffalo sauce that you could try. I checked the label and it's not actually bad for you! 0 carbs, 0 sugars, low calorie, low sodium, etc. I'm actually thinking of going out and buying a bottle on my way to work!
06-09-2010, 09:30 PM
I cook chicken in the oven on a 'stone' 325F Then (depending on size)15-18 min then flip another 15-18 min. Flip again put on whatever sauce you like then cook 5 min Flip again sauce the other side and cook 5 more min and that's it. You can eat it with a fork no knife needed and it's always juicy.
06-09-2010, 11:01 PM
If I want tender white meat - I make hubby do the cooking (he worked in some really high-end restaurants).
If I want to do the cooking, I use thighs (bone-in or boneless), because they're more forgiving of overcooking.
I like using the crockpot or stovetop for stewing and braising. I have a standby guessipe (a basic formula, with endless variations). Meat (usually chicken thighs or pork chops, even hamburger patties work well in some), thinly sliced or onion (sometimes also green peppers and/or mushrooms - but the onions are always a must for me, because I like them), and a simmering sauce.
Simmering sauce options
(cliche, but tastey) a can of Cream of something soup (I use Aldi's brand of cream of mushroom soup - it's better than Campbell's).
a can of tomato soup (usually I also add a can of petite diced tomatoes and italian seasoning - or a jar of salsa and mexican or taco seasoning).
Salsa (this is a bit tart, so the can of tomato soup would help to cut the sharpness).
Diet cola and ketchup (in about equal portions). This makes a "barbecue sauce" that's quite good. I add a drop or two of liquid smoke or a couple tablespoons of a smokey barbecue sauce to give it some smokiness.
Diet orange soda and ketchup and a tsp or two of soy sauce and some garlic (sort of a sweet and sour or general tso's chicken flavor. I add broccoli and garlic for the general tso's and carrots, green pepper and onion if I'm aiming for sweet and sour).
Spaghetti sauce (chicken cacciatori).
Teriyaki sauce or stir fry sauce (it's hard to find one that isn't too thin and sour, or too thick and sweet. I like the Lawry's brand, and also Yoshida's stir fry sauce (original - which I think with about one part water to two parts sauce and add a bouillon cube).
chicken broth and a couple of bouillon or stock cubes. Knorr brand has some interesting flavors like chipotle, cilantro, and garlic. If you have an oriental grocery store in your area, they have even more soup "cube" options that are really good.
An "oven-fried" recipe I often use for chicken, porkchops and fish is a shake-and-bake style coating that is some kind of salad dressing and some kind of crumbs.
I use Hellman's canola mayo (50 calories per tablspoon), and season it with garlic - or I use a creamy salad dressing that I like (the flavor gets milder in cooking, but if you don't like the dressing cold, you may not like it after cooking). I put the chicken in the dressing and let it marinate while I prepare the coating (only a few minutes).
For the coating, I used (before I was low-carbing) seasoned bread, cracker, or unsweetened cereal crumbs (made in the food processor or crushed with a rolling pan in a ziploc bag) or instant mashed potato flakes (with garlic powder, salt, and pepper).
Now that I'm low-carbing, the coating is a mixture of almond meal and ground flax seed.
Dip (or shake in a bag) the dressing coated meat in the crumbs and place on a foil lined baking dish that's been sprayed with cooking spray (such as Pam).
Bake at 350 to 400 degrees until done (I don't time anything, because I've been cooking so long, I just recognize done. There are online charts that give estimates and ways of telling if the meat is done - or you can use a meat thermometer).
06-10-2010, 05:40 AM
Ok, it's 4:30am and I'm craving chicken : )) Thanks for the great recipes.
06-19-2010, 09:07 AM
Starting with good chicken is the key to a yummy recipe. Fresh, organic, cage-free has a much better taste and texture than those frozen chicken breasts that come in a 3# bag. Also, ask someone at the meat counter if the chicken breasts in the case that "look" fresh have been frozen and thawed. If they have frozen and thawed them, and then you freeze them and thaw them, if can lead to a pretty yucky piece of chicken.
Stringy and rubbery chicken is disgusting. Bleck.
06-19-2010, 09:48 AM
I love the microwavable steamer bags. I hate dry chicken- In fact, I generally kind chicken boring and wouldn't eat it unless i had the steamer bags.
06-20-2010, 09:14 AM
FunSize, I've found that chicken marinated in Italian dressing ONLY tastes good grilled. It doesn't taste good any other way. That being said, my family loves grilled chicken, marinated in just about anything. I poke the chicken with a fork and marinate for 24+ hours--yum!