August 3, 2021
What could be better than a nice fresh chicken breast on the grill? If you want that chicken as juicy and tender as it can be, you need to be starting with bone-in and skin-on. But, what about all that fat, you say. Exactly. What about all that fat?
We’ve all had that skinless, boneless chicken breast that is dry and almost totally without flavour, and we don’t want to make that chicken any more. Chicken needs fat for flavour, and you need to make sure it’s there, which is why you want to buy that bone-in, skin-on chicken.
Fat is your Friend
When you’re preparing food, you need to use some fat to give it flavour and make it easier to cook—frying something in a pan? You need to add oil. Baking? Probably need some butter or cooking oil spray to grease the pans. Fat is an essential part of the cooking process.
Skinless, boneless chicken usually has all of the fat removed. If you’re simply going to add more oil or butter back in, why not start with the chicken’s fat instead? It will render down with heat and make your chicken much tastier, basting the meat with its own juices.
Get Some Skin in the Game
Now let’s talk chicken skin. When you cook chicken with the skin still on, all those lovely juices will stay in the meat and reward you with fantastic flavour. If there’s no skin, there’s nothing to stop the juices from running out into your roasting pan or grill - think of the skin as nature’s parchment paper or tin foil, if you prefer!
You get moist, tender chicken and delicious crispy skin that you can season however you choose. If you decide you don’t like the skin or are concerned about the fat content (though most of the fat in chicken skin is unsaturated), you can remove it after cooking when it has done its job.
Cost effective, full of flavour!
Here’s the crux of the matter: Bone-in, skin-on chicken is generally less expensive to buy: There’s less processing effort needed, so it’s lower in cost. On the other hand, you’ll likely be throwing away the bones (unless you’re using the bones for stock), so you’re paying for that weight, yes, but chicken bones aren’t very dense, so the added weight is likely less than you think.
Bone-in, skin-on chicken breast may take a bit more preparation, though it also offers you a lot more flexibility. You can make choices about how much fat you want to leave on and the ability to add flavour to the skin. If you decide to stuff the chicken breast, you can add more fat, like butter, under the skin and some fresh-cut herbs like rosemary or thyme. You’ll also be able to cook the chicken low and slow without the fear of it drying out and overcooking.
This week we’re cooking with this versatile ingredient, whether you need some fast meal ideas, something for the family, or food fit for a feast. Bone-in, skin-on chicken breast is made for the grill, and paired with our Cal & Gary’s Bourbon & Maple BBQ Sauce Grilled Chicken, this is the ultimate easy dinner loaded with smokiness. Speaking of the grill, this Mexican-inspired Grilled Cilantro-Lime Mexican Chicken with Grilled Corn is fresh tasting and bright. Or for a classic, Honey-Garlic Glazed Chicken with Grilled Broccolini.
Grilled Cilantro-Lime Mexican Chicken with Grilled Corn
4 Chicken Breasts Backs Attached
1 bunch cilantro
3 tbsp red onion, chopped
½ each lime zest
2 limes for juicing
3 tbsp lager beer such as Corona
2 garlic cloves
½ tsp sugar
4 corn on the cob
1 tbsp + 1 tbsp oil
¼ tsp black pepper
¼ tsp Founders & Founders garlic powder
1/8 tsp Founders & Founders cayenne (optional)
salt & pepper
1. In a blender, combine the cilantro, red onion, lime zest, juice of 1 lime, lager, jalapeno (1 or 2 depending on preference), garlic and sugar. Season with salt and pepper.
2. In a bowl toss chicken with ¾ of the cilantro-lime marinade and reserve the remaining sauce.
3. Toss the corn with 1 tbsp oil, black pepper, garlic powder, cayenne (optional) and salt.
4. Place chicken and the corn onto the grill. Cook the chicken for a total of 12-15 minutes until it reaches 165°F. Cook the corn for 7-10 minutes. For both the corn and the chicken, make sure to flip and rotate for even cooking.
5. Remove the chicken and the corn from the grill and brush the chicken with the remaining cilantro-lime sauce
6. Cut avocados in half and remove the seed and skin. Slice and season with 1 tbsp olive oil, lime juice, salt and pepper.
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