Chicken is a common meat ingredient to almost every kind of savory dishes. It is very versatile as it has very mild flavor. It is also opted for by health-conscious individuals who like a low-fat alternative to red meat. Although it has less fat, you will not be lacking nutrients by choosing chicken as it is also high in protein.
There are a variety of ways to cook chicken. The most basic cooking method of all is boiling. It is also the simplest and easiest way. You can use boiled chicken in a variety of recipes.
There are a lot of other things that you need to know aside of just how to boil a chicken. Doing it right will have a very strong impact on the end product.
To make the perfect boiled chicken, you must start choosing a fresh bird. The meat’s freshness will make a difference on the taste and texture of your boiled chicken. Fresh chicken will have a fresh smell. You must also look at the color of the chicken. Any sign of discoloration or greenish color on the skin makes it a fairly unwise buy.
If you are boiling a frozen chicken, make sure to the meat thaw prior to cooking. You can thaw a chicken overnight in the fridge or allow it to thaw under running water. Boiling frozen chicken will give you a tough result. That’s why it is better to take your time rather than cook in a rush.
You must also keep in mind to wash the chicken thoroughly. Check the skin for any feather tip left.
When your chicken is completely thawed and cleaned, it is time to prepare your pot and start the boiling process.
How to Boil Chicken
There are a couple of things that you must remember on how to boil chicken. Before we go into the facts of cooking the meat, we will give you a
step-by-step guideline first to give you directions on the process.
Step 1: Take a pot with two-thirds of water or just enough liquid to cover the amount of meat you are going to cook.
Step 2: Season your water. You may season the water but make sure that it will meet the flavor you need. If you are planning to boil chicken to use in different recipes, you may season with simply salt and water. That will give it a nice, neutral flavor. If you are using your boiled chicken for Mexican dishes like quesadillas and enchiladas, cumin and garlic could be added to the pot. If you are boiling chicken for a soup, you may want to add in a few herbs into the mix. Make sure that you season the water first before immersing the chicken. Doing so will help infuse the flavors that you want.
Step 2: You can add in the chicken before turning the heat on. Or you may immerse the chicken as the water starts to boil. When the water comes to a gentle boil after adding the chicken, you may lower the heat and cook the chicken in a simmer or medium heat.
Step 3: Time your chicken boiling in the pot. The amount of waiting time you will need depends on the chicken parts you are cooking. If you are cooking a whole, you may need an hour. For chicken breasts, 30 minutes may be good enough. If you are boiling smaller chicken parts such as wings or thighs, you will need to check the temperature at least every 15 minutes.
Step 4: Check the temperature. It is important that you do not overcook your meat. Although it will not burn because it is in a pot of water, overcooking your chicken will give it a rubbery consistency. You must check your meat and see if it has reached 160 degrees, which is the ideal inside temperature of perfectly boiled chicken.
As mentioned earlier, boiled chicken can be used for a variety of other recipes. You may use it in soups, salad, and even spreads. You may create quesadillas or enchiladas or tacos with boiled chicken. You may also use it to flavor up salads. You may also create heartwarming soups out of it.
Do not throw away the stock. You can use it to flavor your soups as it is enriched with seasonings and the very flavor of the chicken meat.
You may also choose to poach your chicken. Poaching is a similar cooking method to boiling. But it is opted for chicken breasts because it cooks them, especially the boneless ones, perfectly. Poaching can also be done in the oven, at a temperature of 400 degrees, for about thirty minutes.
No matter what, preparing chicken by boiling is very interesting as it opens up many doors for different delicious recipes.