Whether you are sautéing, roasting, baking or grilling, chicken is one of the most versatile for all those cooking methods. It can be dressed up for a fancy holiday dinner or be kept simple for a quick weeknight meal. According to the cut of the chicken, there may be a specific cooking method to provide the juiciest and delicious outcome.
The breast is the most popular part of the chicken because it is simple to prepare and can work in a variety of dishes. Consisting of white meat and having a lower fat content, it is perfect for stir-frying, roasting, marinating or grilling. It can also be poached, baked or used in soups, stews, and salads. However, because of it’s lower fat content, it lacks moisture and dries out easily when prepared the wrong way. A good rule of thumb is to cook this cut in high heat for a short amount of time, helping trap in moisture. Another option is to pound the breast with a mallet or rolling pin until slightly flattened before preparation.
Compared to the breast, the thigh has a higher fat content resulting in a more rich and flavorful cut. However, thigh meat is firmer so it will take additional time with preparation. Thigh fillets are great chopped into stir-fries or baked into casseroles.
Roasting, grilling, broiling, and braising are also cooking methods that work well with chicken thighs.
When it comes to chicken wings, the sauce or dressing is the most important factor. They have the ability to contribute to a variety of flavor profiles with just a simple swap of a sauce. When cooked, the skin gets crispy which helps keep moisture in the meat while the bones help enhance the flavor. Wings are sold whole or as drumsticks. Baking and frying are the most popular methods to cook wings. Grilling, braising, or broiling are also all great ways to cook them!
Also known as minced chicken, this can be used for burger patties, meatballs, or in tacos and enchiladas. To be sure you get white meat, check for the labeling of “ground chicken breast,” not just “ground chicken.” Ground chicken is usually a mixture of white and dark meat and at times, rib meat and skin. To make your own ground chicken breast, buy boneless chicken breasts, cut into tiny cubes, and pulse until the meat is minced.