My absolutely most tender chicken is achieved either through a process called velveting, or by cutting into nuggets, or strips, and coating with flour as I explained previously, and cooking until lightly browned.
Both work because there are indicators that when watched carefully, tell you when the chicken is cooked through, but just barely. With velveting, the cornstach slurry/marinade coats the chicken with a light coating of hydrated cornstarch. The meat is placed in hot, but not boiling water, or 340' oil. When the cornstarch coating turns opaque, the chicken is done to perfection, and is exceptionally tender and moist. The chicken has to be cut into the right sized cubes, or strips for this to work.
With the flour coating, again the indicator is a light brown coating after frying in hot oil (360'). When the coating reaches that golden color the chicken is at the perfect temperature and is very tender and juicy.
Sous vide chicken benefits from the same process of cooking the chicken to just the right meat temperature so that it is the best it can be.
All of the processes that claim to give you the best chicken work by this same principle, cooking the meat to its perfect temperature.
The process I use for fried chicken does the same thing. By first browning the coated pieces of chicken in hot oil, then finishing them in the oven, I avoid overcooking the outer surface, while bringing the innermost meat up to the proper temperature. The timing was developed by my MIL, at least that's as far back as I know the technique was used. It has never failed me.
It doesn't matter whether you are cooking chicken strips, nuggets, tenders, pieces, or the whole bird, or even a turkey. If the meat is cooked to a just-barely cooked state (about 160'F.) the meat will be great. If brought much higher, it will toughen and dry out.
Now learning to get that poultry to the exact right temperature, through whatever means you use to cook it, that's the trick.
Seeeeeeya; Chief Longwind of the North
“No amount of success outside the home can compensate for failure within the home…
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