Food & Nutrition

Professional Chefs Reveal What They Always Do When Cooking Chicken

Be saucy

Roasted chicken with creamy garlic sauce in cast iron frying pan on dark wooden backgroundLisovskaya Natalia/Shutterstock

“For chicken breasts, I really like pan searing the chicken and then creating a simple pan sauce, like a creamy herb Dijon, which adds extra flavor and can be draped over sides like veggies or potatoes,” says Sidoti. “Make the sauce in the same pan as the chicken so it will blend with the chicken drippings and you’ll have one less pan to clean up.

Perfectly juicy

Roasted chicken and potatoes on black slate stone background, flat lay with copy space. Menu or recipe templateLana_M/Shutterstock

“When preparing a whole chicken, I first season generously with salt and then create a spice mixture of freshly minced garlic and a blend of herbs like rosemary, sage, and thyme,” says Sidoti. She rubs it all over, including the inside cavity, to boost the flavor. “To add extra moisture, cut a lemon, onion, or an apple in chunks and place in the cavity along with a sprig or two of herbs/bay leaves. As the chicken roasts, these aromatics will release moisture and flavor.” Just remember to remove before carving. No time to cook? You’ll be surprised by these facts about Costco’s famous rotisserie chicken.

Think ahead

Raw organic uncooked whole chicken with salt and pepper on backing paper in old oven tray over black burnt wooden background. Top view with space.Natasha Breen/Shutterstock

Getting your chicken dry before you pop it in the oven is key to that coveted crispy skin. “Open the package, pat it down dry, and put it on a rack uncovered in the fridge overnight,” says Frank Proto, a chef-instructor with the Institute of Culinary Education in New York. “This will help concentrate the chicken flavor and help you get that super crispy skin on the outside. You can even do this over a two-day period if you are really looking to amp up the crispiness and flavor.”

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