Parboiled chicken is common when the home cook wants to ensure that it is cooked all the way through. In some places, it is usual to see restaurants parboiling chicken before deep-frying or grilling it.
Know how to parboil chicken can spell the difference between a successful and mouthwatering recipe and a bad one. Fortunately, we’re here to instruct you how to parboil chicken properly, so the meat is going to be cooked properly, and you won’t end up with blood or pink flesh in the middle.
How to Parboil Chicken
Parboiling chicken is not the same as stewing or poaching it. Poached chicken is cooked completely through, and can be consumed immediately.
On the other hand, the parboiled chicken may not have attained the full internal temperature needed for a fully cooked chicken. Another difference between stewing and parboiling is that parboiling only requires low heat precisely because you don’t want to boil the chicken all the way through.
Just so there is no confusion, parboiling is a process wherein chicken is subjected to a low amount of heat for a period.
The cooking process removes the pink in the chicken and also pushes out any blood from the bones and the veins surrounding the bone, deep in the muscle tissue. The deepest parts of the chicken are usually problematic, especially when it has not been thawed out well.
When you try to grill the chicken, the center remains pink and sometimes even cold. This isn’t desirable for cooking methods like grilling, which is often tricky for smaller cuts of meat like chicken. It’s easy to overcook barbecue chicken, especially if the basting sauce has sugar in it, which increases the risk of burning the skin.
Should I parboil chicken before grilling?
Definitely! Parboiling chicken before setting them down a grill will ensure several things. First, you can be certain that there is going to be no pink at the center. You will also cut down the risk of having any blood left over in the meat. The meat is also going to be juicier and more tender in the end.
The risk of overcooking the meat and ending up with something burnt on the outside and super dry on the inside will also be reduced completely. And for those who are wondering if the chicken is going to taste any different, it won’t.
If anything, the chicken is going to taste even better because it’s properly cooked. Some people may have had a negative experience before with parboiling chicken.
After parboiling and grilling, the chicken may have ended up tougher than expected. This usually happens when the chicken has become overcooked because you were cooking at high temperatures.
You can solve this by cooking the chicken at a lower temperature next time. Low-temperature cooking is generally recommended for more fragile pieces of food like chicken and fish.
If the meat is delicate and dries up more quickly, you have to control the temperature more carefully so you can cook it well without drying it up too much. Naturally, some of the chicken’s associated fats are going to be melted off by the heat, and these will melt with the broth. This is normal.
If you have never tried parboiling chicken before, here is a step by step guide:
- Get a large stockpot and fill it with all of the chicken pieces that you need to cook.
Since stockpots are naturally deep, you won’t have problems parboiling any quantity of chicken in there. Plus, stockpots are also great because they heat up quickly and can retain heat well.
Decide if you want to keep the bones in or remove them.
Generally speaking, any kind of meat with bones will cook more slowly than meat with the bones removed. Feel free to keep the resulting broth from the parboiling as this can be used in other recipes, especially with sauces and stews. There is no sense in wasting all those free flavors in the water.
- It might be a good idea to add some more flavor to the water before parboiling. Some of the best-known flavors enhance for chicken during parboiling are apple cider vinegar or simply broth. You’re free to use any kind of commercial broth you like. The broth will infuse flavors into the meat. The salt content of the broth will also help tenderize the meat. For a complete range of flavors, vegetables can also be added and an entire head of garlic. The key here is to gradually improve the meat’s flavor as the low temperature works on the meat for a short time.
- When all of the seasonings are ready, set the stove to high and wait for the water to attain a rolling boil. Once the water is boiling hard, reduce the heat, and continue working the chicken. The maximum is fifteen minutes. Ideally, it should be far less than fifteen minutes of simmering because you may end up completely cooking the chicken. The actual time needed before you reach the boiling state will depend on how much chicken has been loaded into the stockpot and how much water you’ve added. Ideally, the water should just about cover all of the chicken in the stockpot.
How long to parboil chicken?
In case you are parboiling a large quantity of chicken, increase the parboiling time to fifteen to twenty minutes. If the stockpot is almost full, parboil for thirty minutes to forty minutes. If you cook two to three pieces of chicken thigh with bone-in, parboil for five to ten minutes only. Do not exceed the ten-minute mark as this may cause the chicken to become fully cooked in the process.
Can I parboil chicken in advance?
There’s nothing wrong with parboiling chicken in advance before grilling.
Can you parboil chicken the night before?
You can parboil the chicken the night before the grilling and allow it to cool before refrigerating. Make sure that you cook the parboiled chicken as soon as possible. If you want to keep it longer, freeze it instead of just refrigerating it.