Chicken is a staple in many cuisines and will likely be a core part of your diet. You eat it all the time, and it’s so wonderfully versatile. It’s edible on its own as the main part of a dish, in pasta, in stews, and even as a roast dinner.
Unfortunately, there’s one glaring problem that you face with chicken – it’s pretty damn bland. Beef and other meats carry enough flavor to require minimal seasoning. Chicken is basically tasteless if you don’t season it properly.
So, how can you get more flavor when cooking chicken? Here are some pro chef hacks that are easy to do and extremely effective:
Chef Hacks To Add More Flavor When Cooking Chicken
Char your chicken
Sometimes, I think that a chef burnt some food one day and they covered their tracks by claiming they were charring it. It is quite funny that seeing blackened parts of some foods mean they’re overdone and burnt, yet on other foods, it’s a source of flavor!
Anyway, charring your chicken is an easy way to add so much added flavor to the dish. You can do this in a griddle pan with some oil, but it’s perhaps best performed on a small charcoal grill. Grilling the chicken over coal until it gets all charred and has black bits will be amazing as it takes on some of the smokey charred flavors of the coal. You don’t need to add any extra seasoning here either – the char does it all!
Use spice blends to season your chicken
Ironically, having a bland flavor isn’t all that bad. One of the benefits of chicken not being too flavorsome is that it lends itself to different seasonings very well. There are countless spices and spice blends you can use to instantly add more flavor to your chicken. You can do this in just about any dish you’re making too.
It’s very easy to do – all you need are some spices that you’ll rub over the chicken, coating it evenly. From here, you can add it to the oven, fry it in a pan, grill it, or use any other cooking method.
There are literally so many spices that go well with chicken, including:
- Smoked paprika
- Garlic powder
If you want to go down the cheat route, think about picking up spice blends that contain lots of spices together. You can find Morrocan ones, Greek ones, Mexican ones, and so on.
Marinate your chicken overnight
For those of you that have some extra time on your hands and like to prepare in advance, marinating your chicken is a really smart choice.
Here, you will basically create a marinade combining some spices, normally with oil and another type of liquid. This will give you something that resembles a paste or glaze, which you can dunk the chicken in. Leave the chicken in the marinade overnight so all the flavors can soak in. A side benefit of this is that it can also make your chicken juicier.
Yes, it requires more effort, but it presents greater flavor rewards. If you don’t have enough time and need to add flavor through spices instantly, the previous tip is more suitable.
Coat your chicken
Another genius option is to coat your chicken to make it nice and crispy. There are many different ways you can add some sort of crispy, breadcrumb coating to your chicken before cooking it. Also, this method works best when you then fry the chicken in a bit of oil to get some added flavor to the crumb.
The beauty of coating your chicken is threefold:
- You can add flavor to the coating itself
- The coating protects the chicken and stops it from drying out, making it juicier and more flavorful
- The added texture makes the eating experience more enjoyable
Of all the ways to coat your chicken, Schnitzel is probably the best and easiest. This method makes you pound the meat so it’s thinner and cooks quicker. You can use a selection of different ingredients in the crumb, such as adding spices like paprika for an extra flavor boost. Once the chicken is coated, you simply cook it evenly until the breadcrumbs start to brown. Let it rest for a bit after, so it’s nice and crispy and delicious!
If you are sick to death of bland and plain chicken, then you need to use these hacks to add more flavor to your food. The cool thing is, each method is different and can suit a particular type of chicken dish better than others. So, you can have chicken multiple days in a week/month while enjoying totally different flavors each time.