The Versatility Of Barbequed Chicken
The humble barbecued chicken is eaten more than any other meat, but in some circles, it is seen as a poor relation. If all else fails, let’s have chicken! So in this article, I would like to pay homage to the barbecued chicken for its versatility and culinary benefits.
Nutritionally, chicken is rich in potassium, calcium and contains no carbohydrates, so is often the choice of people who are on a diet. However, if you choose to eat chicken skin, which is mostly fat, you will be consuming more calories. Also, the cooking method can add calories, frying for example. But doesn’t fried chicken with the skin on taste great! Barbecued chicken without the skin somehow doesn’t have the same appeal.
Barbecued Chicken – Cooking Methods
You should also be aware that some methods of cooking will deliver different things. Roasting a chicken in a conventional oven often dries it out. The same happens with grilling, which means that you either have to add oil or wrap it in foil. Either way, it begins to compromise the taste. It probably won’t surprise you when I extol the virtues of rotisserie cooking for your chicken. You can achieve a balance of crispy skin, with moisture retention. And it gives you opportunities to enhance the flavour.
Barbecued Chicken Recipes
As chicken is a delicate white meat with various cuts, let’s look at some options to get the best out of your chicken. It does not have a strong taste, so it is easy to smother it with sauces, which just leaves you with the texture of chicken, but none of the taste. It does however, chicken does marry very well with some delicate flavourings that do allow the natural taste of the chicken to be retained.
Barbecued chicken with lemon is one of my favourites. Cut a lemon into quarters and put them into the chicken’s cavity. After about 30 minutes cooking the lemons will boil and the lemon juice will naturally percolate underneath the skin. This leaves a very delicate flavour of lemon. Traditional sage and onion (often the base of many stuffings) can be used in the same way. Put fresh sage leaves and a quartered onion in the cavity and the same cooking process from your rotisserie will flavour the meat prior to carving.
If you want to “bring on the flavours” then mix your herbs and spices with some melted butter and slide it under the chicken skin, using a finger to loosen the skin as you go. Then, by rubbing the skin from the outside you can distribute the mixture throughout the chicken.
For chicken breast meat, consider using kebabs. Cut the meat into 2.5cm cubes and let them marinade in a mixture of olive oil, lemon juice and chilli powder for about 30 minutes. Cook for about 10 minutes and for such little effort you will be stunned by the taste.
Marinading is a great way to enhance the flavour of chicken, without detracting from the original taste. Use your marinades sparingly to start with and then if you need to strengthen them, you can.
Barbecued Chicken Sauces
Jerk sauce is one of the most popular sauces for barbecued chicken. You can buy from quite a variety in supermarkets, but why not try making your own. Be aware when cooking with sauces that they only need to be applied towards the end of cooking or they simply burn. Chilly based sauces are great for dipping after cooking. In fact most sauces are best served cool for dipping after cooking.
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