Why doesn't my chicken taste as good as restaurant chicken?

24

Replies

  • hoyalawya2003
    hoyalawya2003 Posts: 631 Member
    Brine or marinade, definitely helps with flavor and juiciness.
  • CarrieCans
    CarrieCans Posts: 381 Member
    Next time you go to that favorite restaurant, ask them if they use MSG. That makes all food taste sooooooo different. If they say no, then ask specifically if they use Accent or Sazon Seasonings. They contain MSG.
  • acpgee
    acpgee Posts: 6,615 Member
    Start by searing at high temperature to seal in moisture, and don't overcook. I like to spatchcock a whole chicken (remove the backbone with strong scissors) then lay flat, pulling the legs a little away from the body. This ensures that legs get blasted with heat on both sides so they take the same amount of time to cook as the breasts, which otherwise can be dry when the legs are done. Season with salt and pepper both inside and out. Preheat oven to 225C and pop in for 35 minutes.
  • VeryKatie
    VeryKatie Posts: 5,866 Member
    edited December 2014
    It could very well be the chicken you're buying. I notice a significant difference depending on the brand. Dunn-rite is a good one, maybe try that if you have it (they use rosy chickens though, so you have to cook via thermometer since it looks pink even when cooked through)? Also... perhaps pierce it with a fork or something before marinating. You could also try putting seasonings in a bit of flour and dipping the raw chicken in that first, then frying it. It's pretty flavourful that way (though not exactly low cal).

    My favourite recipe is this one, it's really good, and turns out perfectly every time (moist and extremely hard to overcook). I tend to spoon the sauce on top so that it's not left in the packet. I also check it multiple times while cooking it so I can get it just right.

    http://www.weightwatchers.ca/food/rcp/RecipePage.aspx?recipeid=94401
  • icrushit
    icrushit Posts: 842 Member
    edited December 2014
    I wondered this too, and the most successful I've been so far is with wet brining (didn't realise you could dry brine until this thread actually).

    This helps the chicken especially breasts retain a lot of their moisture and juiciness when cook I find, but sometimes I eat the juiciest, tenderest chicken breasts when I eat them elsewhere, and know they're not cooked individually, but probably en-mass in a tray, most likely in an oven, and wonder how they get the chicken to taste so good.

    Searing on a pan, and cooking until the inner temperature sounds hits the right point, sounds like a good way to go, but wonder what other tricks are going on when you get it elsewhere, as it's not seasoning/ msg with the chicken I've tasted, and it's all skinless chicken breasts too.

    Slow-cooker chicken is really lovely too when I've made it, although never used just breasts, always a whole chicken, or legs/ thighs/ drumsticks with the skin and bone in.
  • ThePhoenixIsRising
    ThePhoenixIsRising Posts: 781 Member
    CarrieCans wrote: »
    Next time you go to that favorite restaurant, ask them if they use MSG. That makes all food taste sooooooo different. If they say no, then ask specifically if they use Accent or Sazon Seasonings. They contain MSG.

    Sazon removed the msg :rage: or last I checked. I haven't found a new seasoning I like! :wtf:
  • queenliz99
    queenliz99 Posts: 15,317 Member
    iloseityes wrote: »
    I wondered this too, and the most successful I've been so far is with wet brining (didn't realise you could dry brine until this thread actually).

    This helps the chicken especially breasts retain a lot of their moisture and juiciness when cook I find, but sometimes I eat the juiciest, tenderest chicken breasts when I eat them elsewhere, and know they're not cooked individually, but probably en-mass in a tray, most likely in an oven, and wonder how they get the chicken to taste so good.

    Searing on a pan, and cooking until the inner temperature sounds hits the right point, sounds like a good way to go, but wonder what other tricks are going on when you get it elsewhere, as it's not seasoning/ msg with the chicken I've tasted, and it's all skinless chicken breasts too.

    Slow-cooker chicken is really lovely too when I've made it, although never used just breasts, always a whole chicken, or legs/ thighs/ drumsticks with the skin and bone in.

    I have done wet brining but it is such a hassle. While googling to find different ways to wet brine I discovered dry brining. I think this way is so much easier. You need to try this method if you like wet brining.
  • CarrieCans
    CarrieCans Posts: 381 Member
    CarrieCans wrote: »
    Next time you go to that favorite restaurant, ask them if they use MSG. That makes all food taste sooooooo different. If they say no, then ask specifically if they use Accent or Sazon Seasonings. They contain MSG.

    Sazon removed the msg :rage: or last I checked. I haven't found a new seasoning I like! :wtf:

    Get some Accent and add the MSG back to the Sazon lol
  • icrushit
    icrushit Posts: 842 Member
    queenliz99 wrote: »

    I have done wet brining but it is such a hassle. While googling to find different ways to wet brine I discovered dry brining. I think this way is so much easier. You need to try this method if you like wet brining.

    Yes, I will :smile: I should google it properly, but is dry brining just salting the food for a period of time, before removing the salt & cooking it ?

    I don't find wet brining such a hassle myself by the way, but then I'm not overly fussy, and just grab a pot, fill with water and dissolve a decent bit of salt into that water with a whisk, and just leave what I want to brine in there for a few hours. I usually just brine smaller portions of chicken (and turkey), but have done whole chickens in the past, just with a bigger pot, and for longer, lol :smile:

  • Francl27
    Francl27 Posts: 26,373 Member
    Your answer - you don't put as much sodium on it.

    The foreman grill still makes a pretty good chicken but yeah, it doesn't compare sadly.

    I've tried the crockpot thing and frankly I hate the texture of most meat that comes out of it (unless I want to make chicken salad or pulled pork really).
  • icrushit
    icrushit Posts: 842 Member
    Francl27 wrote: »
    Your answer - you don't put as much sodium on it.

    Got ya - thanks :smile:

  • queenliz99
    queenliz99 Posts: 15,317 Member
    iloseityes wrote: »
    queenliz99 wrote: »

    I have done wet brining but it is such a hassle. While googling to find different ways to wet brine I discovered dry brining. I think this way is so much easier. You need to try this method if you like wet brining.

    Yes, I will :smile: I should google it properly, but is dry brining just salting the food for a period of time, before removing the salt & cooking it ?

    I don't find wet brining such a hassle myself by the way, but then I'm not overly fussy, and just grab a pot, fill with water and dissolve a decent bit of salt into that water with a whisk, and just leave what I want to brine in there for a few hours. I usually just brine smaller portions of chicken (and turkey), but have done whole chickens in the past, just with a bigger pot, and for longer, lol :smile:

    Some recipes rinse salt off chicken and some don't. I didn't rinse and didn't notice any saltiness in the meat. The hassle was trying to make room in refrigerator for wet brining.
  • SToast
    SToast Posts: 255 Member
    IMO everything tastes better when you don't have to cook it ;)

    Also a lot of places "Brine" or "enhance" their chicken prior to cooking.
  • tigersword
    tigersword Posts: 8,059 Member
    ana3067 wrote: »
    NRSPAM wrote: »
    Not sure, exactly. I guess a little dry sometimes, but the taste is not as good, and mine seems tougher. I usually buy chicken breast tenders or regular breast.
    I'd guess you've over-cooking them. Lower the heat and/or cover the meat while you cook it. Mine are never tough but I'm lazy and dont' season so they are boring. I do need to figure out my preferred chicken seasoning.
    This. If it's dry and tough it's overcooked.
  • icrushit
    icrushit Posts: 842 Member
    queenliz99 wrote: »

    Some recipes rinse salt off chicken and some don't. I didn't rinse and didn't notice any saltiness in the meat. The hassle was trying to make room in refrigerator for wet brining.

    I always brine at room temperatures. I'm not brining for excessive periods though (6 hours max usually), so if I was, I would probably worry about refrigeration :smile:
  • jgnatca
    jgnatca Posts: 14,465 Member
    I make a very nice tenderized chicken by the German method...pound the life out of it. It seems a very German solution to the problem. Mechanical and direct.
    http://www.marthastewart.com/317937/chicken-schnitzel
  • CarrieCans
    CarrieCans Posts: 381 Member
    jgnatca wrote: »
    I make a very nice tenderized chicken by the German method...pound the life out of it. It seems a very German solution to the problem. Mechanical and direct.
    http://www.marthastewart.com/317937/chicken-schnitzel

    I opened that expecting to see vinegar on the list. That's the way my german family always tenderized raw meat. But the taste would probably be unusual to most people.
  • snowflake930
    snowflake930 Posts: 2,193 Member
    jgnatca wrote: »
    I make a very nice tenderized chicken by the German method...pound the life out of it. It seems a very German solution to the problem. Mechanical and direct.
    http://www.marthastewart.com/317937/chicken-schnitzel


    I have found that pounding the boneless, skinless breasts to a uniform thickness helps too. As others have said, you have to be careful not to overcook. My preferred method is grilling (either outside or on my Geo Forman) and it does not take very long. I use only fresh (not frozen-I prefer to control the amount of sodium) chicken breasts and have a variety of spices that we use.
  • LINIA
    LINIA Posts: 1,031 Member
    What restaurants, please name a few. My DH&i frequently order Bang Chicken at Bonefish Grill and it is delicious, but we are able to reproduce it at home. It is highly caloric but worth the calories. Am interested in some of the places where you buy chicken , thanks.
  • jbee27
    jbee27 Posts: 356 Member
    jgnatca wrote: »
    I make a very nice tenderized chicken by the German method...pound the life out of it. It seems a very German solution to the problem. Mechanical and direct.
    http://www.marthastewart.com/317937/chicken-schnitzel


    I have found that pounding the boneless, skinless breasts to a uniform thickness helps too. As others have said, you have to be careful not to overcook. My preferred method is grilling (either outside or on my Geo Forman) and it does not take very long. I use only fresh (not frozen-I prefer to control the amount of sodium) chicken breasts and have a variety of spices that we use.

    Yes! Pounding to uniform thickness helps TONS, and especially when grilling. The difficulty with grilling I found was that by the time I could get the inside cooked through, the outside was dry and overcooked. Pounding them evenly helps a great deal with this.