"Discover Cooking, Discuss Life."

Go Back   Discuss Cooking - Cooking Forums > General Cooking Information > General Cooking
Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
 
Old 01-04-2012, 09:03 AM   #1
Assistant Cook
 
Join Date: Jan 2012
Posts: 3
My chicken is never good...

Hello all,

I am hoping you fellow webizens, chefs and cooks can help me out.

Chicken is my favorite meat, yet I always fail. I am not sure why. It's never too dry or anything but it normally has no flavor or a bad flavor.

I recently moved to central America so at first I figured it was the chicken here. But then I started buying the same stuff from USA at Walmart.

I was managing a hotel and the chef who barely studied and is only 24 makes lovely food. She made chicken with white wine sauce , garlic chicken , chicken with cilantro sauce, and chicken club sandwiches. All delicious with the same boneless, skinless chicken breast I use. I tried to copy her method but turned out bland and sauce aside had 0 flavor.

The only thing I noticed she did was wash chicken with lime for 30 minutes.

She pan sears it. When I do it, again, mine has no flavor. I have tried marinating. I tried spices like paprika, salt and pepper.

Does anyone have any advice? I have decent kitchen skills but this is killing me.

Thank you,
Louis

__________________

__________________
sombra84 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-04-2012, 09:42 AM   #2
Assistant Cook
 
Join Date: Jan 2012
Location: Boston
Posts: 5
Are you familiar with brining? I always brine poultry and pork. I make a citrus brine with grapefruit, oranges and lime along with spices and herbs but the possibilities are endless.

Basic ratio is 3/4 to 1 cup of salt per gallon of water. This recipe has a lot more sugar than salt in it and it's very nice. Brining allows flavor to penetrate the meat by way of osmosis. Marinades and rubs only coat the outside

Brine breasts for about 2-3 hours then rinse with water and pat dry. I usually use contrasting flavors between the brine and the rub.

Hope this helps
-Erich
__________________

__________________
Just_some_guy is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-04-2012, 09:44 AM   #3
Assistant Cook
 
Join Date: Jan 2012
Posts: 3
Excellent advice. So brine it and than Pan sear it?
__________________
sombra84 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-04-2012, 09:51 AM   #4
Assistant Cook
 
Join Date: Jan 2012
Location: Boston
Posts: 5
Yeah, or grill it. The smokiness of grilling is a great flavor with this brine. If you sear it, make sure the breasts are very dry or it won't sear correctly because of all the moisture from the brine. After you take it out of the brine and rinse it off, pat it dry and let sit uncovered for about 10 minutes to dry up. Then just get your pan smoking hot and DON'T add your oil to the pan until the pan is heated up. That is a mistake most people make when searing/sauteing. Feel free to ask anything else.
Good luck,
Erich
__________________
Just_some_guy is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-04-2012, 09:59 AM   #5
Chef Extraordinaire
 
CWS4322's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2011
Location: Rural Ottawa, Ontario
Posts: 12,324
My chickens are always good girls...oh, you're eating chicken! Good thing the girls aren't in the house (and, if they were, the jury is still out on whether or not they can read).

America's Test Kitchen did a segment on how to make the perfect pan seared chicken breast. It did involve a brining process and starting the meat in a low oven. It is a "free" recipe because it is this season, but you have to sign up for a trial subscription to access the recipe.
__________________
I've got OCD--Obsessive Chicken Disorder!
http://www.discusscooking.com/forums...les-76125.html
CWS4322 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-04-2012, 09:59 AM   #6
Head Chef
 
GLC's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2011
Location: Near Austin, Texas
Posts: 1,216
Today's chicken is predisposed to be tasteless. The growers go for all white meat, for one thing, and that means not allowing chickens to run around and be very active, because working muscles are dark. Unfortunately, they're also flavorful. Add to that the vegetable feed that's used, rather than the chickens normal mainly carnivorous habits, and the flavor is further diminished.

So, to get some of it back... For one thing consider that there is added flavor in fat and skin, and not that more calories. Incorporating chicken fat and skin helps. But the main thing is to get some flavor down inside the meat, and that means marinating. Try something quick and simple to see if it's on the right track for you.

Make up a simple marinade of lemon juice, olive oil, your choice of herbs like thyme, oregano, rosemary or all three (but not too much), salt, garlic, and a bit of mustard. The marinade should be rather more thick than liquid. Put it and the chicken in a plastic bag for an hour in the refrigerator. Cook them, with marinade still clinging to them, in a very hot pan until they brown nicely. Take the pan off the fire, cover, and let them finish for a few minutes. See if that doesn't produce some reasonably flavorful chicken. If so, you can work from there to modify the marinade. It could, for instance, be made Mexican or Southwest style. Or Cajun style.

The science behind this is that the acid, the lemon juice, causes some tissue breakdown, and that lets the liquid penetrate better, carrying the seasonings with it.
__________________
"Kitchen duty is awarded only to those of manifest excellence..." - The Master, Dogen
GLC is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-04-2012, 10:03 AM   #7
Assistant Cook
 
Join Date: Jan 2012
Posts: 3
Thank you. It sounds like they key is brine and proper cooking.

I believe my prior errors were basically an overly acidic marinade with no brine and then pan searing improperly.

Thank you everyone
__________________
sombra84 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-04-2012, 10:08 AM   #8
Assistant Cook
 
Join Date: Jan 2012
Location: Boston
Posts: 5
Pull it at 145 degrees and let it sit for about 5 minutes before you cut it. If they are very thin you won't need to put them in the oven to finish. Maybe about 4 minutes on the first side and 3 on the second
Enjoy!
__________________
Just_some_guy is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-04-2012, 10:10 AM   #9
Assistant Cook
 
Join Date: Jan 2012
Location: Boston
Posts: 5
Oh I forgot to mention. Be sure to use kosher salt in a brine, not iodized table salt.
__________________
Just_some_guy is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-04-2012, 11:22 AM   #10
Wine Guy
 
Steve Kroll's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2011
Location: Twin Cities, Minnesota
Posts: 5,415
It sounds to me like part of your problem might simply be a case of underseasoning your food. I've taken a number of cooking classes and this is one of the first things they teach you. When salting food, for example, you are not only applying salt to season the surface area, but the underlying tissue as well. So if you have a thick cut, you need to season enough that it will penetrate deep into the meat.

Of course, brining solves this problem by carrying the flavor to the inside of the chicken. Brining has other advantages, such as helping to retain moisture and preventing over-cooking. But if you don't brine, make sure you liberally apply seasoning to your food or it will, as you say, have "no flavor or a bad flavor."
__________________

__________________
Steve Kroll is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Tags
chicken, other

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off



» Discuss Cooking on Facebook

Our Communities

Our communities encompass many different hobbies and interests, but each one is built on friendly, intelligent membership.

» More about our Communities

Automotive Communities

Our Automotive communities encompass many different makes and models. From U.S. domestics to European Saloons.

» More about our Automotive Communities

Marine Communities

Our Marine websites focus on Cruising and Sailing Vessels, including forums and the largest cruising Wiki project on the web today.

» More about our Marine Communities


Copyright 2002- Social Knowledge, LLC All Rights Reserved.

All times are GMT -5. The time now is 07:39 PM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 4
Copyright ©2000 - 2016, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.