Thinking about your worst chicken-eating experience, we bet rubbery chicken comes to your mind. But how to avoid rubbery chicken? While making chicken, we don’t expect it to get rubbery, but it does.
The basic reason is that protein fibers are present in chicken and are sensitive to heat. So the key to avoiding a rubbery kitchen is to cook it perfectly. Keep reading to know more about rubbery chicken.
There are many rumors about rubbery chicken, but here’s the logical reason. Protein fibers are sensitive to heat and are present inside the chicken. Now don’t think that if you cook chicken for less time, it won’t get rubbery. Sure it won’t get rubbery, but it won’t be cooked either. On the other hand, overcooking leads to protein fibers getting degenerated, chicken getting elastic texture, and gives it a chewy and rubbery taste.
Many believe the myth that cooking our chicken more will purify it and get rid of foodborne diseases. However, it doesn’t work that way. It actually ruins the meat’s texture. But it’s okay; you can stop doing it from now on. Perfect meat is when you cook the meat until the internal temperature is 165 degrees Fahrenheit. Any harmful bacteria or contaminators are destroyed at this temperature, and the protein fibers also remain good.
Another reason behind rubbery chicken is dryness. When you leave your cooked chicken in a dry situation or over-cooking makes it dry, you will see that your chicken is rubbery from the outside. That is why it is advised to cover chicken while marinating or wrap it with foil or plastic wrap after it is cooked.
Here’s some good news for you. You don’t have to stick with rubbery chicken all your life. Luckily there are ways to avoid it getting elastic or chewy. Let’s have a look at them.
1. Slow cook
A traditional method for food to cook properly is to let it cook at very low temperatures for a long time. With kitchen appliances getting modern, you don’t have to wait and waste too much time cooking for your chicken. Instead, you can simply use an electronic cooker, set the required time and temperature, and let it do its job. You don’t even have to check in between if it’s cooking properly.
Slow cooking means there will be no overcooking. And also, the chicken is stewing surrounded by liquid, so there is no possibility of it getting dry. Protein fibers will also not degenerate as the cellular water gets released gradually and slowly.
If you set high-temperature settings, then advised cooking time 4 hours, and if you set low-temperature settings, then 6 hours cooking time is advised. The same goes for stovetop cooking. However, you have to check the chicken every 2 hours while using the stovetop.
2. Brine solution
A brine solution will save you long hours of cooking time. Now, as we know that dryness is the reason behind rubbery chicken, a brine solution is the remedy for this. This is because the chicken loses its cellular water during cooking, but if it retains all of it, the chicken will not get rubbery.
Don’t get confused by the terms; brine solution is basically a salt solution. The brine helps soften your chicken so that it doesn’t get tight while cooking. It also helps in retaining the cellular water. This way, your chicken doesn’t get dehydrated no matter the cooking time.
It’s a simple solution but keep an eye on how much you use it. Too little or too much can disrupt the balance, so follow a proper recipe. You can also add some additional flavors if you want.
What happens when you don’t have enough time to make a brine solution. You can’t make it in a hurry because it needs effort and time, and it will not turn out to be good when you don’t have both. And it needs time to cool down too. So the best option would be gravy for you.
Gravy is like sauce but liquid. When you cook chicken in gravy, it retains its lost water. You can make gravy using appliances like stovetop, electronic cookers, stir-fryer, ovens, etc. As long as your chicken is covered in a moisturized environment, there are no chances it will get rubbery. Remember to check your chicken’s texture from time to time.
Your chicken getting rubbery might probably be some of your faults too. So here are some common mistakes you should avoid while cooking chicken.
1. Using a cold oven or pan
The biggest mistake you’re making while cooking chicken is just putting it in a pan or oven that isn’t pre-heated. Have some patience; a few minutes wouldn’t make you late for anything. When your pan or oven is heated, then only cook your chicken.
2. Skipping brine or marinating
Chicken has very little fat, and when you marinate it or brine it, you let your chicken get moist and full of flavors.
3. Use of skinless chicken
The skin on the chicken helps in retaining its moisture. If you don’t like the skin, remove it after it’s cooked.
If your chicken is rubbery because of overcooking, not undercooking, then it’s completely safe for you to eat it. However, the experience will not be as good as you expected. You might even take a lot of time to chew it because it’s tough to break down elastic-like texture. If this helps, you can use some sauce to add moisture to your chicken.
No one wants rubbery chicken, but most people still get it. It’s a very common problem faced by everyone who has cooked chicken. However, this situation can be completely avoided if you use very simple methods. All you have to do is keep knowledge about the temperature, time, and texture of the chicken, and you’re good to go.