Six quick and easy ways to prepare and cook chicken - each technique results in a different flavor and texture. The first three are preparation techniques, and the last three are cooking techniques.
Chicken breast so it is thin and even will speed up the cooking time.
Step 1: Place a skinless chicken breast fillet between two sheets of plastic wrap on a clean board.
Step 2: Pound evenly with a meat mallet, or the side of a rolling pin, until it is an even thickness, about ¼ in (5mm).
Step 3: Remove the plastic wrap, and season. Flattened chicken breast fillet needs only 2–3 minutes of pan-frying or grilling on each side.
Chicken breast adds extra flavor, and keeps the chicken moist.
Step 1: Lay a skinned chicken breast on a clean board, and pound briefly with a meat mallet or the side of a rolling pin to flatten it a little.
Step 2: Working out from the middle, slash each side with a knife, making sure you don't cut all the way through, to form a pocket for the filling.
Step 3: Fill, and pull together tightly. Wrap with pancetta or bacon, or cook cut-side down and cook in a little olive oil for 6-8 minutes each side, or until cooked through.
Small pieces of chicken onto skewers will speed up the cooking time.
Step 1: Soak wooden skewers for 30 minutes in cold water, so they don't burn. Use 2 chicken breast fillets or 2 thigh fillets for 6 skewers.
Step 2: Cut 1 portion into bite-size pieces, then thread onto the skewers, about 6 per stick. Cut the other portion into strips, and thread onto the skewers. Marinate (see overleaf for suggestions).
Step 3: Sit the skewers on a hot ridged cast-iron grill pan or under a broiler, and cook for 3 to 4 minutes each side, or until cooked through and charred.
Suits most cuts , as well as a whole bird.
Step 1: Preheat the oven to 400°F (200°C). Sit a 3 lb (1.35 kg) chicken in a roasting pan and smear with butter (using your hands).
Step 2: Season and sprinkle with a handful of fresh thyme leaves. Stuff two lemon halves into the cavity to help it stay moist, then put in the oven.
Step 3: Cook for 30 minutes, remove, and spoon the juices in the pan all over the bird (basting), then cook for about another hour, until golden and cooked. To test, pierce the thigh with a skewer: if the juices run clear, it's ready.
Keeps the chicken moist. A healthy way to cook chicken breasts.
Step 1: Preheat the oven to 400°F (200°C).Lay out a large piece of foil, then sit a chicken breast, plump side up, in it.
Step 2: Season well, add in a handful of fresh herbs and a few lemon wedges, and pour in 1 tablespoon of dry white wine, then close the foil, leaving plenty of room for the chicken,sealing the edges together tightly to seal.
Step 3: Sit on a baking sheet, and put in the oven to cook for 20 to 30 minutes, or until cooked through. Be careful when opening the parcels it will be hot, and full of steam.
In liquid keeps the chicken moist. Suits breasts and legs.
Step 1: Put 2 breasts or legs, plump side up, in a deep-sided frying pan, with some lemon slices, a handful of fresh parsley (or fresh herb of your choice), a pinch of salt, and 1 teaspoon of black peppercorns.
Step 2: Pour in enough cold water to cover, then bring to a boil. Simmer gently, sitting a lid loosely on top, and cook for 15–20 minutes for breasts, or 20 to 25 minutes for legs.
Step 3: Turn off the heat, and leave the chicken in the pan for about 5 minutes. Remove with a slotted spoon and serve immediately.
Make chicken stock - turn a carcass or meat bones into stock.
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