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Old 16th May 2014, 13:48   #1261
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Brining is a way of marinating chicken.
Put about a tablespoon of salt and sugar in a litre of warm water and dunk the chicken breasts in it.
Let be for a few hours.
Then grill them with the stuffings and rubs of your choice. The juiciness quotient will be distinctly higher than without brining.
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Old 16th May 2014, 15:22   #1262
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... they use the same tandoor for roti/naan which requires ultra high temperature and the flames licking the rotis.
... How do you check this? Get a temperature probe. ...
Right, and how do you propose to check the internal temperature of 1.5" cubes of chicken tikka mounted on a skewer? With the meat thermometer probe? What works for measuring meat temperature of whole chicken / turkey / leg of pork etc., is not really appropriate with chicken tikkas. Or even tandoori chicken.

Restaurants that produce succulent chicken tikkas also use the same tandoor for tikkas and rotis. Just that their recipe and process is slightly different. Flames are not the issue, it is the temperature and how many times one cooks it that is the problem. In fact, tikkas cooked quickly in a really hot oven are likely to retain juices more than the ones cooked at a lower temperature, where the surface takes longer to seal.

Please observe at a neighborhood restaurant how they make bad tikkas. Almost none of them cook it at one go from marinated meat. They part-roast a batch of skewers beforehand (usually in the afternoon, for dinner), and roast again when order comes in. This process dries up the chicken, and the second roasting overcooks to produce pieces of flavored fibrous tyre rubber.

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Originally Posted by anupmathur View Post
... stuffings and rubs of your choice. ...
Sirji, chicken tikka, not Chicken Roast!

Brining works fine as long as the thin muscle covering is intact. It doesn't have the desired effect if one brines small pieces where meat is cut transverse to fiber. Whole chicken brined then cut up, yes. Will definitely work for whole Tandoori chicken.
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Old 16th May 2014, 17:14   #1263
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.... It doesn't have the desired effect if one brines small pieces where meat is cut transverse to fiber. Whole chicken brined then cut up, yes. Will definitely work for whole Tandoori chicken.

I talked about stuffings since I mentioned chicken breasts. Stuff with ham, spinach and cheese and apply a rub of your choice before grilling.
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Old 16th May 2014, 17:25   #1264
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Right, and how do you propose to check the internal temperature of 1.5" cubes of chicken tikka mounted on a skewer? With the meat thermometer probe?
Can be done. Though I have never tried doing it The point was more in terms of building an experience. Also the point was that meat does not require more heat and duration than what is needed.

In fact if you remember quite a few pages back, I had harped upon how temperature and its duration is important, and that the higher the temperature the more water is wringed out from the proteins. (something that you have also written about in the last page).

(And that wet heat is not really great for breast pieces because wet heat causes very high heat transfer to the meat, compared to dry heat and thus dries up the meat, but at the same time is good for high collagen parts which require prolonged high heat and moisture to break down collagen - like leg pieces)

Quote:
Restaurants that produce succulent chicken tikkas also use the same tandoor for tikkas and rotis. Just that their recipe and process is slightly different. Flames are not the issue, it is the temperature and how many times one cooks it that is the problem. In fact, tikkas cooked quickly in a really hot oven are likely to retain juices more than the ones cooked at a lower temperature, where the surface takes longer to seal.
I am sure there is no sealing taking place.
But perhaps you are right about the same tandoor being used.

Quote:
Please observe at a neighborhood restaurant how they make bad tikkas. Almost none of them cook it at one go from marinated meat. They part-roast a batch of skewers beforehand (usually in the afternoon, for dinner), and roast again when order comes in. This process dries up the chicken, and the second roasting overcooks to produce pieces of flavored fibrous tyre rubber.
.
Yes, this is correct.
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Old 16th May 2014, 18:37   #1265
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Default re: Recipes / Discussions on cooking from Team-BHP Master Chefs

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Originally Posted by anupmathur View Post
I talked about stuffings since I mentioned chicken breasts. ...
Oh, OK! Sorry, didn't realize your post was not w.r.t. @fine69's question.

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Originally Posted by alpha1 View Post
Can be done. Though I have never tried doing it ...
It is always an easy assumption then, right?

Quote:
Originally Posted by alpha1 View Post
... that meat does not require more heat and duration than what is needed ...
Correct, that's what is competent cooking.

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... that the higher the temperature the more water is wringed out from the proteins. (something that you have also written about in the last page). ...
Whoa - slow down. It is not the 'higher temperature' that wrings out the water. It is the 'higher duration'. It is not a simple straight line relations ship - it is a 'map', like in fuel injection. Higher temperature will keep the 'liquid' at a temperature at which it can exist as a vapor, but unless the surface has enough porosity, it will still exist as a liquid - and change to vapor only when it escapes.

Just like eating a samosa just out of the oil. The outer shell won't scald, but the water in the filling, which was unable to escape because the shell sealed when fried, will suddenly come out as steam as soon as one bites the samosa (making one jump around doing 'how ha how ha ...'). While roasting tikkas, if you roast for a longer duration the surface dries and cracks (especially if no fat is drizzled on it) - allowing the water to escape, leaving the tikka dry.

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... (And that wet heat is not really great for breast pieces ...
Wrong - extrapolate to correct time.

Quote:
Originally Posted by alpha1 View Post
... I am sure there is no sealing taking place. ...
Please do take a magnifying glass and look at the surface, to correlate raw with fried, boiled, steamed, roasted etc. No, you are not at all sure without doing that. It is also not difficult to see with naked eyes, especially while cooking. For example, while deep frying, bubbles cease to come out the piece being fried as soon as the surface seals. Doesn't matter what - chicken, potatoes, poories ...

In roasting meat, the same sealing occurs when Maillard reaction happens on the surface (marinade caramelizing, hastened by the butter/ghee/oil basting - better heat transfer). Keep it on heat for too long, and that caramel seal chars and cracks.
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Old 17th May 2014, 10:50   #1266
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Actually the higher the temperature, the less loss of water. The reason is that at very high temperature, the surface seals faster, so that the juices cannot escape. Coupled with the fact that at higher temperature the surface cooks faster, less time is required, hence less it dries up inside.

Try this
. Fry potato wedges at very high temperature.
. Fry potato wedges at low temperature.

The former will have a crisp skin and soft interior. The latter will be over cooked all through.
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Old 20th May 2014, 12:23   #1267
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Originally Posted by fine69 View Post
Why is it that when I cook chicken with bone the result is a soft tasty chicken but when I cook chicken breasts (boneless) they get hard like rubber.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Aroy View Post
The best way to cook breast is to pound it thin, about 5-8mm. Grill or fry it on one side till the colour starts changing from red to white. Flip it over and cook for about 3 minutes more. Take it off the pan. The chicken will cook for some time, so take it off before it is fully cooked.

Properly made, the breast will remain soft and moist, over cooked it will become rubbery.
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The pounding method really worked. I had never had such soft chicken breasts. Thank you fine69 for asking and Aroy for the method.
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Old 21st May 2014, 19:25   #1268
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Tandoori at home.

Chicken 1kg
Curds 1.5 bowl
Lemon 1/2 fruit
Garam Masala 1 tsp
Red Chilli powder 2 tsp
Ginger garlic paste 1 tsp
Salt
Oil

Marinate and refrigerate for atleast few hours.
I prepared my own tandoor oven (in back yard of my farm house)
20 minutes to bake. Apply oil before placing them over the coals.
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Old 26th May 2014, 20:01   #1269
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Ok so I tried cooking juicy chicken breasts and failed miserably a lot of times in the last 8-10 days.

I tried marinating the chicken breasts with salt and lemon first and then with yogurt and other spices but the end result wasn't much different. I think the sealing part is where I'm failing because I marinate 200-300 gms of chicken breasts in no more 1 tbsp of oil. However, same oil gives me juicy leg pieces but that's something we've discussed already.

Now the dilemma was to cook chicken breasts without too much oil (or no oil if possible) so I stumbled upon - how to poach chicken.

So I put water in a deep pan, added salt, black pepper, herbs like thyme, rosemary, oregano etc. and brought water to a boil. Then added the chicken breasts (raw with no marinade) and put the gas on simmer for 10 mins. Then I switched off the gas and let the chicken sit for another 10-12 mins. I took it out and the chicken had turned rubbery already but it was still pink. I let it sit for another 5 mins but is continued to be pinkish and only got more rubbery. I was confused whether it was cooked or not but I ate the rubber anyway because I needed the protein in my diet.

I brought similar chicken to office today and had it with boiled rice but its the worst chicken I've ever eaten. I tried boiling chicken in the pressure cooker and that was a little softer compared to this rubber that I get out of the highly praised poaching method.

I also tried pounding the chicken breasts, almost beat them to pulp one time, but I think the lack of oil is what is stopping from getting juicy chicken breasts.

I've almost given up on juicy chicken breasts but would like to know whether there's a way that I can get softer chicken breasts by boiling them in pressure cooker? My objective is to have chicken breasts as part of my diet and I'm ok even if they are simply boiled in water.

There is one recipe which did lead to pretty soft chicken breasts in the past and that was marinating chicken breasts in lemon, salt, soy sauce, vinegar, garlic and ginger. Then simply cooking them in less than 1 tbsp of oil in a pan. I used to put them in the pan, put stove to simmer and covered the pan with the lid. It would hardly take 2-3 mins on each side and my chicken breasts used to be ready. I ate them for a couple of months during lunch and while they could've been more juicy but were still acceptable as a plain meal.
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Old 26th May 2014, 20:36   #1270
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Originally Posted by fine69 View Post
....
I've almost given up on juicy chicken breasts but would like to know whether there's a way that I can get softer chicken breasts .....
Hmm, one last attempt!
Put the boneless chicken breasts in aluminium foil, after having brushed the surface of the breasts with oil. Sprinkle spices and herbs that you like. Wrap up the foil and bake at 200C for 20 minutes.
If you are using bone in chicken breasts you'll have to bake for nearly 35 to 40 minutes.
Good luck!
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Old 26th May 2014, 21:32   #1271
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Guys,

I tried my hands on Tandoori chicken (or grilled chicken to be precise).

Since i did not have a Tandoor, decided to use the Samsung Microwave-Oven-Griller for the purpose.

Now here was the confusing part. There is the option of only Grilling and an option of Microwave+Grilling.

Since i did not want it to be microwaved, i selected Grilling option. Had marinated the chicken using the usual technique overnight. Approximately 25 mins each side, and the chicken was done. It tasted reasonably well as well.

Now my question is,
1) if one is using Microwave OTG, is it advisable to use the "Microwave+Grill" function to grill the chicken OR the "Grill" only option?
2) Is it advisable to use Oil/Ghee during marination, or is it advisable to apply oil in-between the grilling process?

Any tips?

Last edited by DCEite : 26th May 2014 at 21:33.
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Old 27th May 2014, 13:06   #1272
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Originally Posted by fine69 View Post
I've almost given up on juicy chicken breasts but would like to know whether there's a way that I can get softer chicken breasts
I'll tell you how I did it. Bought the breast pieces from Republik of Chicken. Put them in microwave in thaw mode. Took about 8 minutes. Taking it out I saw that the sides were already white. Grabbed the knife (the longish one) and cut them laterally. Pounded them liberally with the opposite end of the knife's blade, both vertically as well as horizontally. Thereafter left them to marinate in curd, ginger & garlic paste and salt.

After about an hour or so seared the first batch for few minutes both sides in a non-stick pan with about a teaspoon of oil. Later left them in the pan covered, as suggested by ARoy. The rest was stored in the fridge for the other day.

There is another method as well. Cut chicken breast into small pieces. Marinate them for little while in eggs, salt and little cornflour. Later fry them in a wok few pieces at a time (the most time taking process) so that you don't use much oil. (Try using chicken breasts kept in freezer overnight to make it softer).

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Originally Posted by DCEite View Post
Now my question is,
1) if one is using Microwave OTG, is it advisable to use the "Microwave+Grill" function to grill the chicken OR the "Grill" only option?
2) Is it advisable to use Oil/Ghee during marination, or is it advisable to apply oil in-between the grilling process?
I have long given using grill and convection modes on microwave. Reason being that the max temp they offer is 200 degrees, which is way too less. Gas tandoor is the cheapest and the best option.

Now for your queries:
Using microwave plus grill option will make your chicken rubbery. Use only grill function.

Using oil in a marinade will serve no purpose. And yes you are expected to coat the chicken with butter time to time
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Old 28th May 2014, 11:57   #1273
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The more you cook the chicken breasts the more rubbery they will get. That is the problem with mass produced chicken. They are fed a lot and grow at an accelerated rate. Where a normal free range chicken would be about a kilo in six months or more, the mass produced chicken achieve it in less than six weeks. The cells are large, but not dense.

The fastest method of getting juicy chicken is to grill/fry thin slices at high heat. High heat ensures that the surface is sealed fast, so the chicken cooks in its own juices. I normally grill/fry the breasts for less than 4 minutes a side. MArination adds flavour and some moisture to the meat.

Last edited by Aroy : 28th May 2014 at 12:00.
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Old 2nd June 2014, 11:54   #1274
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A full chicken that has been cleaned and slit. Slits must not be deep.
After washing let it sit on rack for sometime. This allows all the water to drain away.
Marinade is a yogurt, chilly power, turmeric, salt, lemon juice and a little vinegar.
Rub the chicken with ginger garlic paste and them apply marinade.
Let it stay like that for atleast 2-3 hours in the fridge. Best is to keep it for much longer.
Take chicken out atleast an hour before you start cooking it.
Preheat oven at 200 degrees for 10-15 mins.
Put in the chicken and lower temperature to 180.
45 mins later, turn it around.
Not upside down...around.
Also use this time to rub some white butter on it.
Another 30 mins later, turn it upside down.
Don't forget to rub some butter.
Remove after 30 mins and let it rest on the rack for at least 10 mins.
Enjoy!!!
Tip: chicken on grill and underneath it keep the baking with foil wrapped on it. Makes cleaning easier.

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Old 2nd June 2014, 15:55   #1275
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Nothing extraordinary but tried making a pizza from scratch, it was fun and satisfying. Much better than the ready made pizza base that you get in the market. Just had problem with the base sticking to the tray, when cooking, any pointers how to make it non-stick.

Pizza Base:

1. All purpose flour 500g
2. 350ML warm water
3. 2 teaspoon dry active Yeast
4. Pinch of sugar and salt

Mix the dry & wet ingredients separately and then fold them together, knead the dough lightly and let it rest till it doubles in size. Then knead it some more and make the bases.

Last edited by motomaverick : 2nd June 2014 at 15:57.
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