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4 Common Mistakes When Cooking Chicken

March 31st, 2021 by

Chicken is one of the most versatile foods to cook, but there are still plenty of mistakes people make when preparing it. In fact, when people admit they don’t like eating chicken, we often say it’s because it wasn’t prepared properly. When a high quality cut of chicken is chosen and cooked to perfection, almost everyone loves it!

Here are four of the most common mistakes people make when cooking chicken and ways to avoid them from sabotaging your protein-packed meals.

1. Buying Previously Frozen Meat

People often buy previously frozen meat without realizing it. Grocery stores freeze meat when they’re overstocked and don’t want the meat to spoil. However, when you cook chicken that has been previously frozen, it dries out and doesn’t reach the juiciness it should.

When shopping for chicken, be sure to start with a high quality cut of chicken that says “fresh, never frozen,” on its label. If you can’t trust the grocery stores, shop at the butcher instead. We also recommend choosing chicken that has no added brine or water.

2. Not Brining the Chicken

Brining refers to soaking the meat in a solution of salt water and sometimes sugar and herbs. While not everyone does this, we believe it’s a mistake. A simple brine solution brings out immense flavor and juiciness in an otherwise ordinary chicken dish.

Chicken is very easy to overcook, so be sure to brine your chicken for at least two to three hours (full chickens need longer). When you follow this extra step, you maintain the chicken’s moisture so that it cooks evenly and stays juicy. And, if you add sugar or fresh herbs, you’ll be seasoning the tender insides of the chicken as well.

3. Not Drying the Chicken

Washing chicken is controversial. Experts used to recommend washing chicken to remove pathogenic bacteria. However, based on new research, washing chicken is not recommended because it allows bacteria to spread. To prevent the spread of harmful pathogens, you’ll want to rethink washing raw poultry in your sink.

Regardless of whether you wash or don’t wash your chicken, you should be patting it dry. This is the best way to get crispy meat. Let the meat air dry out of the package for up to four hours and then pat it dry with a paper towel right before cooking.

4. Cooking Meat Right Out of the Fridge

We get it – families are busy and dinner needs to be on the table as quickly as possible. However, cooking chicken right out of the fridge is a mistake. It’s a good idea to let poultry sit on the counter for around 15 minutes before cooking. This ensures that the inside and outside of the meat is the same temperature and will cook consistently.

And, when the meat is done cooking, be sure to give it a few minutes to rest. This lets the juices redistribute themselves so the meat is tender and juicy. Building these few extra minutes into your prep time will allow you to make delicious meals that the whole family will love!

See How Chicken is Done at La Rosa Chicken and Grill

We hope these mistakes have shined light on how to best prepare your chicken-based dishes. La Rosa Chicken and Grill has a full menu of freshly prepared chicken dishes and sides for the whole family. Stop in today and see how we ‘do chicken’ at our place!

How to Make the Perfect Crispy Chicken Wings?

March 22nd, 2021 by

Looking to make the perfect crispy chicken wings? With the right ingredients and a bit of practice, you can make the best chicken wings on the block! And once you perfect your recipe, you won’t have to order out to satisfy your cravings. You can get delicious crispy chicken wings right from your own kitchen.

Below are some tips on how to make the perfect chicken wings using fresh ingredients from your pantry.

Start with the Right Chicken

First, you’ll need to start by picking out the best chicken. Shop at your local grocery store or butcher and pick chicken wings that are fresh and have pink colored flesh. If the chicken is gray or transparent, skip it. It’s most likely been sitting around for a while.

Also look for springy flesh that has no odor. Stiff, soft flesh that has an odor should be skipped over. It’s likely that the chicken is no longer fresh. And while the appearance of blood may seem normal, it’s actually a sign that the chicken has been frozen and thawed a few times.

Pat the Chicken Wings Dry

When you bring home the chicken, pat them dry on both sides with a paper towel. It’s important to do this, otherwise the chicken won’t turn out crispy like it should. If you want to rinse the chicken wings in cold water, you may, but do be aware of the risks that exist when washing raw poultry. Washing raw chicken before cooking can increase the risk of food poisoning. Whether you rinse or don’t rinse the chicken, be sure to pat it completely dry.

Add Seasonings

Once dry, you’ll want to add seasonings to your chicken. You can choose just plain salt and pepper along with baking soda or flour, or you can add other ingredients like garlic salt and garlic powder. It depends on the recipe you’re using and the flavors you’re looking for. Toss the chicken wings to coat.

Cook the Chicken

Now it’s time to cook your chicken wings. Do this by frying the chicken in small batches on the stove or in the oven. If you fry the chicken in oil, you’ll want to cook them for about 8 minutes each or until deeply golden and cooked through. If you prefer oven baked chicken wings, cook the wings skin side up for about one hour, turning every 20 minutes or so. Total cook times depend on the size of the chicken.

Serve the Chicken

Let the chicken wings rest for a few minutes and toss them with sauce if you choose. Then serve them warm along with your favorite side dishes like crispy oven fries, zucchini sticks or carrots and celery. If you have leftovers, wrap them up and keep them on the top shelf of the fridge. Eat the leftovers within the next day or two.

Cooking chicken wings doesn’t have to be messy or time consuming. By following our tips, you can prepare delicious crispy chicken wings that the whole family will love! Of course, if you’re not in the mood to cook and dirty the dishes, stop into La Rosa Chicken and Grill for delicious chicken prepared any way you want!

Smoked vs. BBQ Chicken : What is the Difference?

February 24th, 2021 by

When talking chicken, people often use the terms “smoked” and “barbecued” interchangeably. Smoking is actually a type of barbecuing, so it’s understandable why the two methods get confused at times. But there are distinct differences between smoking and barbecuing, including different cook times, temperatures and equipment.

Let’s learn more about the differences between smoking and barbecuing and the flavors to enjoy with each!

Smoking

Smoking is a type of barbecuing that involves slow cooking meat over low heat. It requires a lot of time and patience, which is why this practice isn’t for everyone. If you’re having people over for dinner and want to smoke chicken, you’ll need to start early in the day. You need this time to allow the smoky flavor to penetrate into the entire piece of meat.

There are two ways to smoke meat. Cold smoking works best for meats that have already been cured or previously cooked, such as sausage or chicken breasts. Hot smoking is when you cook the meat and smoke it at the same time. Because it can cause shrinkage and buckling, it’s best for large cuts of meat like ham, brisket and pulled pork.

Ultimately, you can choose whichever method you want, but be sure to use a good quality smoker and wood chips in various flavors like hickory, apple, cherry or mesquite. The more time and patience you have, the better smoked flavor you’ll get!

Barbecuing

Barbecuing lets you cook meat quickly over a low temperature setting. You can barbecue small cuts of meat like chicken breasts or wings, as well as large pieces of meat like pork shoulders. There are different types of grills you can cook on such as gas grills and charcoal grills. Traditional barbecues also need a little smoke, so you’ll want to include flavor-infused wood chips and replenish them during cooking.

The difference between grilling and barbecuing is that grilling is done with the grill lid open and barbecuing is down with the grill lid closed. With the latter, the meat is bathed in heat for 30 minutes to a few hours, keeping the food tender and juicy. This is important for chicken because it can easily dry out if it’s overcooked.

At La Rosa Chicken and Grill, we don’t just toss our high quality cuts of chicken into grease friers. We use kettles, ovens, rotisseries and open-fire grills to ensure our meats are cooked to perfection. Stop in today and enjoy one of our flavorful chicken dishes.

How to Make a Healthy Chicken Sandwich like a Professional?

February 16th, 2021 by

Some days, we all deserve to sit back, relax and let someone else do the cooking for a change. But since you can’t eat out every day of the week, it’s helpful to know how to prepare some of your favorite dishes at home. The best part about cooking at home is that you can modify your meals to fit your preferences. You can also shop local and get fresh, high quality ingredients like the restaurants use.

Below are some tips from the experts for making a healthy chicken sandwich just like the best chicken restaurants do!

Start with the Bread

One of the best ways to make your chicken sandwich healthier is by selecting the right bread. Whole wheat bread is generally considered healthier because it’s made with whole grains that haven’t been bleached or processed. Read the labels and look for bread that says ‘100% whole wheat’ as this means the grains are intact and not refined.

Other healthy bread options include:

  • Sourdough
  • Sprouted whole grain
  • Oat bread
  • Flax bread
  • Sprouted rye bread

Pick a Lean Chicken Breast

The healthiest option for a chicken sandwich is a grilled chicken breast. This is the leanest cut on the chicken and you can marinade and grill it to perfection. Select a high quality piece that is fresh and pink in color – never gray or transparent. If you love crispy chicken sandwiches, a healthier alternative is to cook the breast in an air fryer.

Load on the Veggies

Chicken goes well with so many different veggies, you can easily load up your sandwich to make it healthy and filling! Some of the most popular options that chicken restaurants use are tomatoes, lettuce, pickles and red onion. But don’t shy away from some other tasty selections like avocados, spinach, mushrooms, cucumbers and slaw.

Lay Down a Lighter Spread

A healthy chicken sandwich can be quickly undone by using full-fat mayonnaise. Fortunately, there are plenty of other options to consider such as mustard, hummus, salad dressing or low-fat mayo. Even a few slices of avocado can add moisture to your sandwich without the unnecessary fat.

Enjoy a Healthy Chicken Sandwich at La Rosa

Making a healthy chicken sandwich like the professionals do is possible when you follow the tips above. The best part is, once you get used to making these sandwiches at home, you can experiment with different toppings, spreads and bread to find the perfect combination. For the nights you want to take off, head on over to La Rosa Chicken and Grill for a charbroiled chicken sandwich that’s both healthy and delicious!

Football 101 : The History of Wings and the SuperBowl

January 14th, 2021 by

After the joy of the holidays, the next thing we have to look forward to is the SuperBowl! Whether you watch football or not, SuperBowl Sunday is an opportunity to kick back, relax and eat your favorite foods. And one of the top foods to eat on this day is the famous chicken wing.

Even with 12.5 million pizzas, hundreds of millions of pounds of avocados, four times the normal amount of nachos and 325 million gallons of beer, the most iconic football food is the chicken wing. During SuperBowl weekend, Americans consume about 1.38 billion chicken wings. And it has been like this for decades.

As you prepare for this year’s SuperBowl, take a few minutes to learn about why chicken wings have become a staple on this day. You’ll gain a new appreciation for this tender, flavorful protein!

History of Wings and Why We Eat Them on SuperBowl Sunday

Even though you’ve probably eaten chicken wings practically you’re entire life, this is actually a newer phenomenon. It turns out these wings are less than 50 years old. Before the 1950s, chicken was very expensive and difficult to cook. You had to buy chickens whole, so beef and pork were more popular.

In the 1950s, chicken farming became industrialized, making this meat more affordable. But Americans still weren’t buying it. That’s when the government stepped in and sought out alternative markets, such as by sending whole chickens to Europe. This didn’t work out so well, so in the 1960s and 70s, the bird was able to be traded in bits and pieces.

The white breast meat was widely preferred by Americans, while the dark meat was popular in countries like Mexico and China. Then one day, the Bellissimo family in Buffalo, NY started deep frying wings and coating them with hot sauce. The family began promoting this idea, and by the 1980s, buffalo chicken wings were on many bar menus across the country.

So what’s the link to football? The buffalo chicken wing got lots of coverage during the early 1990s when the Buffalo Bills played in the SuperBowl for four consecutive years. Today, chicken wings are a staple of the SuperBowl experience.

Celebrate SuperBowl with Chicken Wings from La Rosa

Now that SuperBowl is just around the corner, you can start planning your menu! Whether you choose to cook your own wings at home or order them from a chicken restaurant like La Rosa Chicken and Grill, you’ll now have a new appreciation for this tender juicy meat.

How to Find the Right Cut of Chicken?

January 12th, 2021 by

If you were never taught how to find the right cut of chicken, you’re in luck! As chicken experts, we’re going to fill you in on the things to look for when selecting a healthy and tasty cut of protein. Once you know what to look for, you can increase your confidence in the kitchen and churn out more tasty meals.

Learn about the Different Cuts

Chicken is one of the most versatile meats you can cook with. You can eat it plain, add it to soups or casseroles and pick your cooking device – grill, oven, air fryer, roaster, etc. As versatile as this protein is, certain cuts are better than others depending on what you’re making. This is why it helps to know the different parts of the chicken.

  • Chicken breasts are the upper part of the chicken that consist of mostly white meat. You can buy them whole, pre-sliced and with the skin on or off.
  • Chicken thighs are probably the tastiest part of the chicken because they’re so tender and juicy. You can buy them bone in or bone out and with the skin on or off.
  • Chicken wings are cheapest and come on the bone. This dark meat is higher in fat compared to chicken breasts but has delicious rich flavors. Discover three ways to cook chicken wings.
  • Like wings, drumsticks come on the bone and are cheap. They’re perfect for grilling in the summer.
  • If you prefer, you can leave the drumsticks and thighs whole and eat them as legs. Chicken legs taste great on the grill or in the oven.

Check the “Sell By” Date

When you know what type of chicken cut you need for your meal, you can then work on selecting the freshest piece. Pay attention to the “use by” or “sell by” date. Uncooked chicken usually lasts about 1-2 days after you open it. Without opening, the chicken might have a couple of weeks before the sell by date.

Examine the Chicken

Always examine the cut of chicken before purchasing. Without doing this, you could bring home a piece that’s loaded with preservatives or even partially spoiled. Do not buy chicken that smells sour, has a chemical smell or looks yellow or green.

Shop at the Butcher When Possible

Some of the best cuts of meat come from the butcher or local farmer’s market. They’re usually freshest, and you might even be able to verify where the chickens come from and the diets they’re fed. To save money on these higher quality cuts, consider buying whole chickens and cutting them up yourself. This gives you lots of meat to work with, and you can freeze what you don’t use.

Choosing the right cut of chicken is important, as each cut is unique and offers a slightly different flavor and texture. La Rosa Chicken and Grill gives careful thought to our chickens in order to deliver the freshest, most delicious meals! Hopefully our tips will help you become a master chicken chef as well!