A site for sore tastebuds and a woeful wallet

Tender Chicken and a Super Sauce

I’ve made a lot of chicken that was too dry before but now I’ve got a few tricks up my sleeve to ensure that it comes out tender.  To start, a good pounding is in order.  Today my meat pounder flew off the handle so I used a chunky soup can.  It had enough heft to do a decent job.  A diva has to know how to improvise. 

The next step was to construct a marinate.  Three things are needed in a good marinate…Acidity to further tenderize, Spices for flavors, and a little oil to seal them in the meat.   

Now for some herbs and spices…                                 Salt and pepper, parsley flakes, and Cajun seasoning

Now we add the chicken.  In a gallon size food storage bag I placed the chicken breasts and poured in the marinate.  The marinate seemed to lack character so I added a secret ingredient  I’ll share with you.  Here it is. Oyster sauce.  I put the chicken in the refrigerator for about an hour. 

The time came for some heat.  In hot extra virgin olive oil, I cooked the chicken for about 25 minutes total on medium high heat. 

I turned them after about five minutes on each side.  I covered them and let some juices collect in the bottom of the pan and thin the bubbling drippings before they begin to burn.   The  lemon juice in the marinate added sugar and I was careful not to let the heat get too high.  I just kept making adjustments in the last few minutes between letting steam collect, then letting the sauce reduce again with the lid off just keeping ahead of scorching the drippings.  It developed a nice flavor and color.   Now to check the temperature.  I look for a temp between 160 and 170. That was a close one!  I was just barely inside the safe zone.   Out they came to cool and rest a while.  The resting period after meat is done cooking is ABSOLUTELY necessary to having tender meat.  Juices are flying around inside that browned and yummy thing and you want to wait until they settle down and distribute themselves throughout the meat.  The cooked surface doesn’t give much and squeezes down infusing the meat fibers with juice.  If you cut into meat right off the fire or out of the oven, the flying juices would just run out onto the plate and dry out  the meat awfully.  Fifteen minutes rest is a good amount of time.  It will still be warm and very tender. 

 

Now to make the sauce.  I used the marinate bowl and added  about ¼ cup of corn starch and 1 and ¼ cup of water.  More salt was needed so I added about a teaspoon.  Cranking up the heat I let that come to a bubble.                                                                                                                                     

I gave the sauce a taste and it needed something.  It needed brightness so in went a tablespoon of lemon juice.  It gave it the right amount of zing.  I stirred that in and poured it over the chicken. 

So there I was with this rested juicy chicken smothered in such a tasty sauce….I couldn’t help myself I had to pounce!  The one piece of chicken never made it to the table.  I microwaved some potatoes and steamed some broccoli to go with dinner for the rest of the crew.  Since I already had my chicken I had to have some of that sauce on my broccoli…it was great!

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