Are you sick and tired of eating chicken? I go through phases, but with chicken often being considered a “leaner” meat, it’s a food that often shows up on my menu. And don’t get me wrong. Chicken has a lot to offer from a nutritional perspective. It offers up high-quality protein, B vitamins, and important minerals your body needs to function properly.
But flavor? Well… chicken breast is one of those “healthy” foods that often leaves me wanting more and, unfortunately, might just be one of those foods that causes people to jump to the conclusion that eating well means eating bland, boring food.
Chicken doesn’t have to be boring though. In fact, chicken can be rather sexy. Of course, you have to know what you’re doing.
Don’t over cook it. Number one way to maximize flavor? Don’t over cook the chicken! It’s easy to do, but once it’s done you can’t go back and you’re left with a pretty dry and flavorless bird. If you’re looking for a way to cook chicken just right, consider investing in a meat thermometer. This will allow you to cook your bird to its proper temperature of 165 degrees F. Remove, eat and enjoy!
You may also want to check out this helpful how-to from The Kitchn. It’s a favorite of mine and a great way to ensure your chicken is moist and juicy every single time.
Use a clay cooker. Similar to the “cover and leave” method shared in the Kitchn how-to, utilizing a clay cooker is another great way to cook up flavorful, juicy chicken. Not only will this method of cooking allow for flavor and moisture retention, but some sources say it also keeps more nutrients intact than other cooking methods might.
My family often chooses to cook in our Romertopf roaster versus our slow cooker on the weekends.
Cook with flavorful ingredients. Consider those chicken breasts your blank canvas, just waiting to be infused with flavor! Whether you braise it in wine or stuff it with cheese, cooking with flavor in mind can ensure your chicken is never boring by the time it reaches your plate. And yes, wine and cheese are two of my favorite flavor-enhancing items. Garlic and onion are also essentials around my kitchen.
Never serve it alone. I’m a firm believer that no food should ever be served alone. Foods work best together and flavorful food begets flavorful food. Consider serving chicken breast with at least two other food groups for maximum appeal.
My go-tos? At least one vibrant-hued vegetable and a whole grain. Okay, who am I kidding? There’s usually multiple vegetables mixed in – after all, half your plate should be veggie-rich right?
Give it less attention/refocus. Since we know chicken breast isn’t necessarily the most flavorful of foods, perhaps we should stop giving it so much attention on our plate. Keep servings to that quarter-of-a-plate recommendation we’re use to seeing in the Dietary Guidelines. Or consider it a starting point as you plan out your meals.
Vegetables, fruit, dairy, and whole grains can all enhance your chicken-inspired dish with flavor, so don’t be afraid to let those foods standout or at least have equal space dedicated to them on your plate.
If we know chicken isn’t the most flavorful, perhaps its time to rethink its prominence at our meals. As you continue to discover ways to eat your best, don’t forget about the importance of flavor! Your long-term healthy eating success depends on it.
Disclaimer/Disclosure: I was provided with a Romertopf clay cooker to review at no cost. Opinions expressed are mine alone. For further details regarding my disclosure and disclaimer policies, please visit the Around the Plate legal page.