Whether whole or prey, baked or fried, Chicken is probably the white meat we choose most day after day. It’s an easy and versatile option, but the truth is that the family or you can quickly tire of the chicken if it’s dry, or worse: bland.
How to prepare the chicken to be juicy? This is probably the hard trick, especially if you are in a hurry and want to cook it at full speed. That’s when it takes away all chance of it being delicious. Because there is nothing like sitting in front of the plate, holding the chicken leg in your hand and eating it with all the pleasure, enjoying the little juice that this meat brings.
Daniel Castaño, chef at the Gordo restaurant in Chapinero, has been in the business for 10 years, with restaurants such as Emilia and pizzeria Julia. It has never stayed put. It closed some of its premises, transformed them and continued to grow with new proposals.
Today there are restaurants with Italian, Greek, Japanese, vegan and Mexican food. And it is from Mexico that Castaño brought the classic charcoal chicken recipe to his restaurant Don Abel. A juicy, roasted chicken served with rice and beans.
We asked him to give us a foolproof trick to keep the chicken dry, and here’s what he had to say:
“One of my favorite techniques for cooking lean white meat is brining. Brine is a salty solution that gives meat juice and flavor through osmosis“.
The cool thing about this, as Castaño explains, is that the brine can be flavored with whatever flavor you want: herbs and spices. You choose what you prefer.
How is brine used?
“You have to dissolve the salt, sugar and desired flavors or ingredients in the water. Then soak the proteins in this liquid for at least two hours and up to 24 hours. – explains Castano.
Next step: marinade
“The second key to good chicken is in the marinade. Here again it depends on the flavor you want to give it. The marinade is the combination of salts and spices that give the meat the desired flavor,” says Castaño.
What is the best way to cook chicken?
“For me, the best way to cook chicken is whole and cooked. But this recipe can be made with anything you have on hand. It can be made on the grill, in a pan, on an open fire, fried… In addition, it can be made from game, from half, or as they bought it.
Recipe: Chicken Don Abel
4 tablespoons of fine salt
2 spoons of sugar
1/4 teaspoon color
1 bay leaf
¼ teaspoon black peppercorns
1/2 large onion
1 orange tangelo
1 sprig of coriander
1 sprig of fresh oregano
2 cloves of garlic
1 liter of water
1. Boil water with salt, sugar, laurel, black pepper, garlic and color.
2. After it has taken a boil, let it cool and add the rest of the ingredients.
3. Place the chicken or game in the liquid and refrigerate for at least 2 hours and up to 24 hours.
For the marinade
2 teaspoons of chili powder
1 teaspoon of garlic powder
1 teaspoon onion powder
1 teaspoon of dry coriander
1 spoon of black pepper powder
1 teaspoon bay leaf powder
1 tablespoon of fine salt
Combine all ingredients and set aside.
Let’s prepare the chicken!
1. Preheat the oven to 350º Fahrenheit or 180º Celcius
2. Remove the chicken from the brine and dry it with kitchen paper
3. Marinate the chicken well on all sides, including inside the cavity
4. Place the chicken breast side down in a pan
5. Bake for 20 minutes and turn the chicken so that the breasts are facing up
6. Bake for another 20 minutes and turn horizontally
7. Bake for another 20 minutes until the chicken is well browned and firm
8. Let the chicken rest for 10 minutes before slicing
9. Despresar and, serve it!
*If you want to make it in a pan, press the chicken after removing it from the brine, marinate and cook on medium heat, turning the pieces every 20 minutes until cooked through.