French Ways To Make The Most of Your Chicken
Chicken is a staple in American cooking, but it’s easy to grow tired of the same old dishes. One easy solution to chicken boredom is to try a simple, delicious French cooking method to make your ho-hum good chicken truly scrumptious.
First, take a look at the following French ways to make the most of your chicken.
What is Poaching?
Aka : Posher
When chicken recipes call for poaching, you’re sure to end up with a wonderful moist bird. Chicken that might be a bit tough or dry benefits greatly from poaching. Poaching is also an excellent trick for those maintaining a healthy diet, because it adds no fat to the dish.
To poach chicken, simply simmer it in water until thoroughly cooked. Instead of plain water (which adds no flavor), you may also use water with added vegetables, milk (including milk with added herbs), wine, beer, stock, tomato juice, or vermouth.
Do not overcook or boil the chicken, because this makes the poultry tough and chewy.
What is French-Frying?
Aka : Frire à la Friteuse
Chicken that’s cooked in a deep pan of fat or oil is called “French-fried.” Peanut oil mixed with a couple of drops of olive oil is an excellent choice for chicken recipes using this method, but often vegetable oil is used.
Uncoated chicken should be fried at 350° until it just begins to brown. Allow it to cool, then fry again at about 390°. This makes the chicken crisp and golden brown. Coated chicken should only be fried once, at 390°.
What is Braising?
Aka : Braiser
Braised chicken is cooked in red or white wine or stock made from meat, poultry, or vegetables. This French cooking method is an excellent way to soften tough poultry.
To the liquid, you may add such things as carrots, tomatoes, celery, onions, garlic, mushrooms, shallots, parsley virtually any vegetable you like. The leftover liquid may then be reduced and made into a tasty sauce.
What is Baking -- Roasting?
Aka : Faire Cuire au four/Rôtir
Both these methods use dry heat to cook the chicken. The oven must be preheated to 450°. After placing the chicken in the oven, lower the heat gradually, according to the cooking recipe.
This ensures the chicken doesn’t dry out. When roasting, don’t cover the chicken; instead, baste it with oil or butter throughout the cooking time.
What is Broiling -- Grilling?
Aka : Faire Rôtir or Faire Griller
Chicken that is either broiler or grilled is first covered with oil, then placed in a pre-heated oven or on a hot grill to cook. To avoid overcooking, larger pieces of chicken should be placed further away from the heat.
What is Sautéing?
Aka : Faire Sauter
Thin cuts of chicken (such as chicken breasts) are suitable for sautéing. Sautéd chicken is cooked in barely enough oil or fat to prevent it from sticking to the pan. Both the pan and the oil should be preheated.
To add extra flavor (and a side dish for the poultry) you may first add herbs, chopped or minced garlic, small pieces of onion, and other vegetables to the pan. Soften these, then add the chicken.
By adding these simple French recipe tricks to your repertoire, you’ll be making a variety of delicious chicken recipes in no time.
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