Parboil Chicken

Parboiling is simply boiling chicken meat in water until it is just partially cooked, after which the meat is separated from the water. Parboil chicken to make grilling or frying easier and quicker. This procedure is easy and ensures that the chicken is fully cooked before serving.

Have you ever eaten chicken that was not fully cooked? Or have you noticed how long it takes chicken to be grilled or fried until there is no more blood oozing from the inside? Chances are that the chicken has been undercooked, and this does not only affect the taste of the food, but it also puts you in danger for food poisoning.

The solution to these problems is to parboil chicken before grilling, frying or baking. To parboil chicken means to partially cook it by boiling before the final technique of preparing is done. Whether you want to fry, roast or bake the bird, parboiling it will make sure that it is thoroughly cooked inside out before it is served for your meal.

Parboiling chicken is also a technique to shorten cooking time, so you do not have to stand by a grill or a deep frying pan to wait for the chicken to cook thoroughly. It also saves more oil, thus making cooking more economical. Depending on the size of the chicken, and whether you are using a whole chicken or pieces of it, parboiling chicken takes about 15 to 40 minutes.

How to Parboil Chicken

Parboiling is simply boiling chicken meat in water until it is just partially cooked, after which the meat is separated from the water. The liquid part may be poured off, or it can later be reused to make chicken stock for other dishes. What distinguishes parboiling from boiling is that it uses low heat to simmer after the water has boiled, while boiling uses full heat throughout cooking.

Whether you want to have your chicken grilled or fried, parboiling it beforehand will make cooking easier and will ensure you have a thoroughly cooked food. Here are some guidelines.

Parboil chicken pieces

Buy choice chicken pieces such as legs, thighs, wings, or quarters and trim away excess fat.  Rinse them under cool water and place them in a deep pot. Cover the chicken with water and season with about three tablespoons of salt and another three tablespoons of garlic powder.

Boil for seven minutes over medium heat then simmer for a few more minutes, taking care not to cook the meat all the way.

Alternatively, one can also boil water with the seasonings first then drop the chicken pieces one at a time.

Chicken breasts usually take 10 minutes to parboil, while legs, thighs, and quarters take about 5 minutes.  Parboil chicken wings for 15-20 minutes.

Parboil Chicken before Grilling

Grilling is now easier after the chicken has been partially cooked:

After parboiling, remove the chicken pieces from the pot of boiling water, using tongs and place them on a pan or a dish. You may discard the water or use it for other dishes.

Season the chicken with barbeque sauce or do a dry rub using salt, garlic, pepper, and onion powder. Lemon juice also deepens the flavor, and you can season as you please.

Prepare the grill by preheating for fifteen minutes. Place the chicken pieces on the grill and cook for ten to fifteen minutes (depending on the size of the chicken cuts). Turn the pieces and cook further until you get the crispness you desire.

Parboil Chicken before Firing

Similarly, frying chicken becomes easier after parboiling:

Simply remove the parboiled chicken pieces from the liquid and let them dry on a paper towel.

You may fry the chicken directly or you can cover them with batter for more crispiness. Dip each piece in prepared batter. This may consist of either a dry or a liquid batter.

To prepare a dry batter, place dry seasoned flour in a shallow dish. Dip the chicken pieces (one at a time) in the flour and then into a beaten egg in another dish. Dip this piece again into the dry flour. You can repeat the process a couple of times until you get the coating thickness you desire. Deep fry until crisp and golden brown.

To prepare a wet batter, mix the flour, eggs, and seasonings using a whisk. It is normal to have a few lumps. Chill the batter before dipping the chicken. Deep fry until crisp and brown.


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