What You Need For Cooking Chicken
Chicken is easily one of the most versatile proteins you can cook. It’s inexpensive, delicious, and can feed a crowd like a champion. Chicken takes to all kinds of different cooking methods. From roasting to frying, and grilling or smoking, we can guarantee that the following suggestions are literally for the birds
Picking Your Chicken
There are a few things to consider when you’re selecting your chicken at the grocery store. Not all chicken is created equal, but these tips should help you determine which chicken is the freshest and most tasty for your dollar.
How It Looks
The first thing you should pay attention to is how your chicken looks in the packaging. It should be light peach or pink in color. If you notice any serious discoloration like bruising you can almost be sure that the flavor of the chicken is also going to be less than optimal. A good way to determine the freshness of the bird you’re looking at is by gently pressing the flesh with your finger. It should give just a little and bounce back fairly quickly.
How It Smells
Fresh chicken doesn’t have much of an aroma. In fact, it should smell pretty neutral. If you pull your chicken out of the packaging and believe it smells off, give it a good rinse, just in case. If that doesn’t fix it, or you notice a strong sulfur smell, then your chicken has probably gone bad. Best to toss it and start again. Trust us, it’s not worth finding out the hard way.
Be Wary Of Liquids
When picking a package of chicken, it’s also important to be aware of excess liquid sitting in the tray. It’s not uncommon for chicken to undergo a cooling process during packaging that involves being submerged in water. Once the meat has had time to rest, it releases some of that excess liquid. If you notice a lot of it, you’re probably looking at a piece of meat that’s not going to taste very good, and may even give you a soggy or unpleasant texture after it’s cooked.
In other instances, you may notice the word “enhanced” on certain brands of chicken. Sometimes companies will inject or soak chicken meat in solutions like saltwater or chicken stock. This is meant to be a flavor enhancer but can add all kinds of hidden additives and preservatives that can affect the flavor.
Deboning A Chicken
If you’re ready to test your knife skills, a great way to make sure you get to use every piece of your chicken is to buy a whole one and debone it yourself. Making sure you have the right tools for this job is essential. If your knife is the wrong shape or of poor quality, there’s a good chance you’ll hurt yourself, or shred your chicken before cooking it. We recommend either this 5” flexible curved boning knife
or this 6” wide boning knife
Seasoning A Chicken
A step many people forget when seasoning chicken (or any meat for that matter) is that it needs to be pat dry before seasoning. As dry as you can get it, in fact. So when you’re preparing your chicken for seasoning, take some paper towels or lintless cloth and give the chicken a good pat down, pressing lightly to get any excess moisture out of the meat. Then season liberally with your favorite Killer Hogs seasoning
Some Of Our Top Recipes For Chicken
We’ve cooked a lot of chicken. Check out some of our favorite recipes!
Looking for more great tools, rubs, and accessories for cooking chicken? Check out these items!