Are you pondering what to make for dinner? How about some chicken? According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), chicken is the number one species consumed by Americans.
Unfortunately, if not cooked properly or overcooked, chicken can come out very dry (similar to other meats), especially if you plan to reheat it the following day. Below are some creative ways to fix dry chicken.
1. Marinade the Chicken
Before cooking chicken, let it marinade refrigerated overnight or for up to two days. Marinade not only helps add moisture to the meat but also adds mouthwatering flavors.
How to Marinade Chicken
There are several ways to marinate chicken, including placing the liquid marinade in a glass bowl with the chicken and cover before placing it in the refrigerator.
The best way to use the marinade is to bring the liquid to a boil before liberally brushing it onto cooked chicken. This Method adds juices but does not make the flavor too powerful from marinating overnight.
2. Stuffed Chicken
Stuffing chicken is a great way to add moisture to the meat and to help the meat naturally retain a lot of the moisture. Common items used to stuff chicken may include vegetables and cornbread stuffing.
The USDA does not recommend buying whole uncooked stuffed chicken because it is highly perishable, and it is always best to stuff the meat with fresh ingredients.
How to Make Stuffed Chicken
Wet ingredients for stuffing, such as vegetables, fruits, and breadcrumbs, can be prepared ahead of time and refrigerated. Common stuffing mixtures include onions, apples, cornbread, garlic, and chicken stock.
Mix all ingredients to create a moist mixture and stuff it into the whole chicken before cooking. Cook the chicken immediately after stuffing it in the oven no lower than 325 °F.
3. Add to a Soup or Stew
Adding chicken to a soup or a stew can help keep the meat moist from absorbing the juices from the vegetables and soup stock.
How to Make Chicken Soup
Sautée various vegetables, such as carrots, celery, and onions, in butter or olive oil for a few minutes. Place sautéed vegetables in a stock pot with some chicken stock and bring to a boil.
Add diced chicken pieces or whole de-boned chicken breasts; when fully cooked, use forks to shred the chicken in the soup mixture.
4. Cook in a Slow Cooker
Cooking chicken in a slow cooker allows the meat to retain a lot of the natural juices, and when cooked with chicken stock, oil, butter, and vegetables, the meat can become very juicy.
How to Cook Chicken in a Slow Cooker
Chop up vegetables such as onions, celery, carrots, and potatoes. Place a bed of vegetables on the bottom of the slow cooker and cover it with chicken or vegetable stock.
Place chicken breasts on vegetables and sprinkle desired seasonings over the chicken, including Mrs. Dash Table Blend or Italian Blend.
Cover chicken with chicken or vegetable stock and set the slow cooker low. Cook for six to eight hours, until chicken falls apart at the fork’s touch.
Pull chicken and vegetables out of the liquid and serve. Save liquid for leftover vegetables and chicken to make chicken soup.
5. Shred and Moisten with Chicken Stock
If the chicken is a bit dry after being cooked, shredding it and adding some warm chicken stock can help re-moisten the meat. The chicken meat can also be sliced and re-moistened with warm chicken stock.
To infuse the meat with the chicken stock, bring it to a boil and pour it into a bowl with a secure lid. Place chicken in the liquid, cover, and let sit for several minutes until the chicken’s moisture has been restored.
6. Sauce it Up
Add a sauce to the chicken to spice it up, reintroduce moisture, and make it much better. Sauces, dressings, and dips with an oil base are heroes when reviving dry, overcooked chicken.
Do not be afraid. Slather on the sauce, and it is okay that it is dripping. (Make sure to have enough napkins.) Reviving chicken’s sauce includes pesto, wing sauce, barbecue, soy, salsa, and Italian dressings.
If you don’t want the chicken to be saucy, prepare the meal and include a ramekin of sauce on the side for dipping.
7. Turn it Into a New Dish
When the chicken does not turn out the way you expected, it might be possible to turn it into a new dish.
For example, shredding chicken breast and throwing it into pasta with a creamy Alfredo sauce is one of the best ways to salvage dry chicken.
Other suggestions may include making a stir-fry, chicken teriyaki, or creamy chicken risotto.
FAQs on Ways To Fix Dry Chicken
Can you fix overcooked chicken?
Fixing overcooked chicken is not as challenging as many believe. It is relatively easy to fix overcooked chicken, especially when you have plenty of butter, oil, or chicken stock. These few kitchen staples and some cooking creativity can save the day when the chicken is overcooked.
It is possible to save chicken cooked into a charred, burnt crisp. Trim off the burnt outer layer and use one or more methods to save the meal.
Burnt, overcooked chicken is the best when chopped or shredded and put in quesadillas, burritos, tacos, nacho toppings, soups, and salads.
How do I make chicken less dry?
The best way to make chicken less dry is to bathe it in chicken broth (or baking soda before cooking). First, heat some chicken broth in a pot on the stove or microwave until it is hot (but not yet boiling). Next, slice the chicken, place it in a shallow baking dish, and cover it with the hot broth.
Keep the dish warm for about ten to 15 minutes in the oven. When complete, drain the broth and serve as normal.
How do you make dry chicken good?
The best way to make dry chicken good is to use plenty of seasoning and warm chicken stock. Shredding the chicken helps it absorb the juices from the stick and become moist again, and the herbs help mask the possibility of any residual tastes associated with overcooking it.
To revive dry chicken, slice or shred the meat and submerge it in chicken stock. Warm over medium heat in a pot until hot but not yet boiling. Remove chicken from the broth and serve.
How do you fix dry, chewy chicken?
Smothering the chicken with a sauce can help mask the dry, rubbery texture while adding moisture and flavor. Some of the best sauces for dry, chewy chicken include barbecue, Alfredo, or soy-based sauce. If you are working with naturally tough sections like the drumsticks or gizzards, be sure to tenderize them beforehand.
What temperature should chicken be cooked to?
The USDA recommends cooking chicken until it reaches an internal temperature of 165 °F. When cooking, check the internal temperature at the thickest part of the meat with a food thermometer.