Chicken – Simple ways to enjoy it!

By Georgia Harding, Well Nourished: Food Blogger and Naturopath

There are many ways to enjoy the many cuts of chicken. This guide ‘Chicken – simple ways to enjoy it’ lists the most common cuts of chicken and the best way to cook them. Chicken is one of my favourite proteins, here are some quick and easy ways to enjoy it in its various forms. I love it simply prepared, spending my time on a cracking salad or side dish to go with it.

Whole Chicken

This is environmentally and economically the most beneficial and cheapest way to eat chicken.

  • Roasted – pat the skin dry with a paper towel (this will help the skin to crisp). Brush with melted ghee, butter or olive oil. Season with sea salt and pepper. You can also stuff the cavity with a whole lemon (skin pierced several times with a fork or cut into pieces) and any herbs you like for extra flavour. As a guide a 1.5kg whole stuffed chicken takes about 30 minutes per 500g of weight to cook in an oven preheated to 180°C.
  • Butterflied, oiled, seasoned and simply BBQ’d.
  • Jointed (cut into pieces) in slow cooked or tray baked meals (casseroles, stews and curries).
  • Next time you cook a whole chicken, perhaps throw a second into the oven so you have extra meat for lunches or to perhaps make a quick pasta or soup.
  • The cooked meat can also be portioned and frozen.

Drumsticks and Wings

Legs and wings are another cheaper cut of chicken and really tasty in my mind.

  • Roast them like you would a whole chicken (they are obviously much quicker to cook).
  • I always cook lots more than I need for that meal as my family loves them cold in their school lunchbox. Wrap a piece of foil around the ‘handle’ to keep your kids hands clean.
  • Use them in slow cooked or tray baked meals (casseroles, stews and curries).
  • BBQ them (after rubbing with olive oil and seasoning). Score the fleshy part so they cook through quicker and any marinade/ seasoning can penetrate better.

Chicken thigh fillet

This is my preferred cut of fillet. It is more forgiving to cook and the meat is much tastier and moister than breast. I use thigh meat in any recipe that calls for a fillet (even if it stipulates breast). Just personal preference.

  • Slow cooked (in a casserole, stew or curry).
  • Stir-fried.
  • Oven baked – make sure it is coated in a fat (olive oil, butter, ghee etc) and seasoned well. I always cook more than I need to use the meat in school lunches.
  • Pan fried.
  • BBQ’d – one of my simplest and most favourite ways to prepare it is to coat in olive oil, season well and BBQ on the char-grill. Sliced and tossed through your favourite salad is delicious.

Breast Fillet

You need to be on the ball when cooking breast meat otherwise it can become very dry.

  • Stir-fried – slice thinly and cook very quickly.
  • Oven baked – I like to slice them in half, stuff with some delicious flavours (like basil leaves, slices of tomato, oregano and cheese), drizzle with oil, season and bake, taking care not to overcook.
  • Pan fried – either as is or flatten out and crumb.
  • BBQ’d – as with thigh meat, however watch it carefully so as to not overcook it.