Meat Masterclass #4: Chicken

How to pick, prep and cook every meat known to man

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Our meat masterclass series continues with the simple Sunday dinner classic: chicken.

Let the good people of the Great British Meat Company guide you on how to pick and cook the perfect bird.

1 | We buy more chicken than any other meat – on average, each of us puts away 190g of it a week.

2 | Chicken breast meat is a natural protein source because it is low in saturated fat (1.3g) – perfect if you're trying to lose weight or gain lean muscle.

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3 | Studies show that organic chicken has 38% more omega-3 than non-organic chicken – so it's worth spending more.

Swerve the chicken takeaway next time, and use a chicken escalope to make your own healthy tasty chicken sandwich. An escalope is essentially a breast that has been bashed flat with a meat mallet until it is about 5mm thick. A good home DIY tip is to wrap the breast in cling film and use a rolling pin or back of a wooden spoon, if you don’t have a mallet.

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Generally overlooked in favour of its boneless counterpart, the chicken supreme is an easy way to create an impressive dinner party poultry main course. It is the breast with the wing bone still attached, and is usually sold skin-on (although it can be cooked skinless for a low-fat option). As with any cut, the bone helps even the distribution of heat during cooking.

Oyster-cut legsOyster cut chicken legs are a chicken leg trimmed from the hip joint that includes the ‘oyster’. This is a small oyster shaped piece of dark meat, that is very tender and flavoursome, because it is a lazy muscle similar to a beef fillet. Unless you've been taught how to joint and carve a bird, you might struggle to cut the leg like this yourself, so you best ask your butcher.

The domain of burnt BBQs, the chicken drummer is much more versatile than it is given credit for. It should be illegal to cook them plain, as they lend themselves perfectly to marinating in a whole host of flavour. Stripped off the bone, the lovely dark meat can be used as an alternative in a chicken stir-fry.

Packed full of flavour and protein, chicken livers make great food, very fast, (and very cheap). Perfect for a homemade terrine or a parfait, they can also be simply pan-fried with spices and herbs for a satisfying starter.

The most important tip there is: buy a good chicken from a reputable source. A good whole bird should just be roasted, with minimal fuss. Maybe add some herbs and butter to aid the basting, but don’t go overboard, it’s the delicious smell of roasted chicken you want to fill the kitchen.

The Great British Meat Company are a family butchers established since 1953 and supply some of the top chefs and restaurants in the country.


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