‘It tastes like chicken,” is a phrase so commonly used that it has become a cliché to describe food to someone who has not tasted it before; most of the time referring to ‘delicacies’ of meat like rabbit, snake, turtle and iguana. That is because chicken is such a favored and popular meat consumed by almost every culture in the world. It can be cooked in so many variety of ways and taste as delicious as, well, chicken.
This article is about ways of cooking chicken on the stove, be it steaming, poaching, deep frying, sautéing, stir frying or grilling on a pan grill or flattop grill.
Poaching chicken is a healthy way of cooking chicken on the stove. Poaching means simmering meat in liquid at low heat, allowing it to slowly cook and become tender. Boneless and skinless chicken are best for poaching. A large deep pan should be used; it should be large enough for meat to be laid out in one layer on the pan and deep enough for liquid to slightly cover or cover at least three-quarter of the meat. Water, stock, wine or water with seasoning such as garlic or mixed herbs can be used to poach chicken. Boil at high heat until the liquid is boiling and turn down the heat to slowly simmer the chicken until cooked, for approximately 10 minutes. Then turn off the heat and let the chicken sit in the hot water for another 15 minutes.
Poached chicken can be sliced into chunks and added into salads and burritos or it can be shredded into narrow strips for chicken salad. Poached chicken is tasty, healthy and can be conveniently stored in the refrigerator for lunch the next day.
Chicken stew is a delicious and nutritious dish perfect for the family. Preparation is quite similar to poaching in that it requires simmering at low heat for a period of time. But for chicken stew, it is better to use boned chicken like thigh or even a whole chicken; the bone adds additional flavor to the stew. Chicken is added into a heated pot with some cooking oil, then water, wine or broth is added to cover the meat. Once the meat gravy is boiled, other ingredients such as carrots, potatoes and onions are added into the pot. The stew should simmer for about 1 to 1½ hours until the chicken meat falls off the bone. Stews are great one-dish family meals as it has all the nutrition and flavor all in a bowl.
Deep Fried Chicken
Instead of using a deep fryer, chicken can also be deep fried on the stove. Deep frying is a popular way of cooking chicken and loved by many.
Deep frying on the stove can be a little messy and hot oil can splatter and spurt especially in contact with water. A deep pan should be used, preferably one that covers the diameter of the stove as it reduces the danger of spilling hot oil on fire. There should be at least about two inches of depth between the oil surface and the pan top so that there will be minimum oil spurt onto the stove. The chicken, be it boneless, drumsticks, thighs or wings should be coated with flour or bread crumb batter prior to putting it in the hot oil, which should be heated to about 350 to 375 degrees Fahrenheit. Fry the chicken for about 10 minutes on each side. Chicken is fully cooked when the internal temperature marks 165 degrees Fahrenheit on the food thermometer.
Chicken Stir Fry
Chicken stir fry is the easiest stove-cooking method that produces a great chicken dish in quick time. Stir Fry is a technique of cooking and stirring food in a wok or a deep frying pan. Chicken, whether boned or boneless is normally cut into smaller pieces before stirring into a heated pan already containing some cooking oil and dry seasoning such as ginger or chopped garlic. Vegetable and other ingredients can be added into the meat and stirred until cooked. Sauces such as sweet and sour, soya or chicken broth can be added as the final touch to this delicious dish.
Examples of chicken stir fry include sweet and sour chicken, chicken and vegetable stir fry, garlic chicken stir fry and spicy chicken stir fry.