Chicken: 15 tips for cooking it for children

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Marie-Ange Demory
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What is it difficult for children to say no to? To the chicken. One of the most loved dishes by Del Paeseni under 18s.



It is in fact the most consumed meat in the world and is the favorite of the Del Paeseni, with 46 million consumers. And the Del Paesene mothers themselves reveal how much chicken is among the most loved foods and also cooked in the family. According to a Doxa / UnaDel Paese research, 9 out of 10 mothers offer it to their children at least once a week, above all because it is light, versatile and easy to cook.


So let's find out some tricks for cooking chicken to perfection and curiosities about this food. The tips are from Simone Rugiati, a chef much appreciated by mothers, for unforgettable dishes of chicken and Andrea Ghiselli, nutrition expert and research manager of CRA-NUT, Research Center for Food and Nutrition CRA (Council for Research and Experimentation in Agriculture).


In this article

 



  • Prepare a perfect cutlet using the crusty bread-free bread
  • Tasty grilled chicken? Pay attention to the marinade
  • Crispy Baked Chicken? Do not use the pan
  • Always and only chicken with potatoes? No! Also alternate with onions, salads or ratatouille
  • Spices and chicken. Cumin, curry and sweet paprika. When to use them and how
  • The right chicken + vegetable combination
  • Children prefer chicken. In second place, the hamburger
  • Chest or thigh? What is best?
  • Chicken: easily digestible and one of the first foods for children
  • The cutlet is the most loved by small children
  • Meat 4-5 days a week
  • Meat for lunch or dinner? It makes no difference
  • Do not combine meat with other proteins in the same meal
  • In the Del Paesene families, chicken is eaten at least once a week
  • Quick recipe for dinner friends: chicken nuggets with spiced mushrooms
Read also: Feeding children: the food that nourishes intelligence

1. How to prepare a perfect cutlet? Using the bread without crust

The secret to the perfect cutlet? "First of all, beat the meat a little and, so as not to tear it up, place it between two sheets of baking paper.



My tip for breading is to use the pancarre without crust minced in the mixer with an egg, enough for about 4 cutlets.

Then fry them, a few at a time, in abundant peanut oil.

Remember to add salt only when serving and never just fried. And if you decide to bake the cutlets in the oven, you can also add crumbled corn flakes or corn flour to the breading to make them more crunchy. "Advises Rugiati.

2. Tasty grilled chicken? Pay attention to the marinade

The classic grilled chicken slice is a dinner saver. How to make it less boring? "Try marinating - advises Rugiati - in 5 minutes you will make the slice very soft.

A lightning fast is with a lemon juice, curry, honey and oil: a quarter of an hour of rest is enough.

Another idea of ​​Rugiati is dip the meat in milk and, if there really isn't time for a marinade, a trick comes in handy: one diced tomatoes or salad and fruit to be placed directly on thin slices of chicken breast which, in this way, absorb the liquids of the vegetables, becoming more fragrant and tasty ".

3. Crispy Baked Chicken? Do not use the pan

To have a nice crispy chicken you need to cook it directly on the oven grill, in half, without the pan. One more tip? Brush it with maple syrup halfway through cooking to make the skin almost caramelized; make 2/3 incisions inside the chest, inserting herbs.

To season you can use aromatic salt (chopped rosemary, sage, salt and pepper) or the classic rosemary, better if stuck between the skin and the meat, so that it does not burn and makes the meat more fragrant.

4. Always and only chicken with potatoes? No! Also alternate with onions, salads or ratatouille

Don't always just prepare the classic chicken with potatoes. To vary a bit, here are Rugiati's tips. "I would suggest pairing it with gods fresh Tropea onions: cooked in a pan under the chicken they become sugary and creamy, giving softness to the meat.

I also love mixed and crunchy salads, such as baby lettuce and Belgian salad, enriched with fresh vegetables such as radishes, grated carrots, beets and dried fruit.

A good alternative is also a ratatouille, or a kind of baked caponata, made up of peppers, aubergines, celery, carrot, onion, tomatoes. Just cut everything into large pieces and cook under the oven pan, taking care to turn it often, to prevent it from caramelizing too much. To give a stronger flavor to the sweetness of the vegetables, I suggest, finally, to blend with a drop of vinegar ".

5. Spices and chicken. Cumin, curry and sweet paprika. When to use them and how

"For cooking on the grill or for a barbecue, I would suggest the cumin, perfect, for example, with chicken thighs, because when toasted in contact with the grill it produces a very fragrant oil "advises Rugiadi.

When you cook the chicken in instead frying pan or making soup, the advice is to use the curry, but also turmeric or sweet paprika.

For salads or in cold preparations, chilli pepper for adults or paprika, which gives color and aroma. Another ingredient that goes very well is the sesamo.

6. The right chicken + vegetable combination

"There are many ways to offer vegetables to children. Give space to your imagination - says Rugiati. - From the most classic solutions such as hamburgers, meatballs or rolls, up to velvets. Creamy and visually attractive, the velvets play with colors from yellow / pumpkin orange and carrots, green spinach, zucchini or peas, and go perfectly with chicken. "

Vegetables can be 'hidden' also inside rolls. Zucchini, carrots, celery or peppers, cut into very thin strips are perfect rolled up in a slice of meat. "But you can also make" fake sauces "based on tomatoes, or zucchini, to be accompanied perhaps with fried chicken sticks. .. a way to combine vegetables and a favorite dish for children. (Read also: the tricks for making children eat vegetables)

7. Children prefer chicken. In second place, the hamburger

There is no doubt, the 41% of children choose the chicken.

Pasta with sauce and chicken cutlet are in fact the chosen menu of the Del Paeseni children. This was revealed by the mothers, when asked about the recipes most loved by their children for the survey "Chicken recipes and consumption in the family" conducted by Doxa for UnaDel Paese, the Association represents almost all companies in the poultry sector.

In second and third place, hburgers and beef steaks (13%), veal scallops and morsels (12%). Fourth place, fish, whether baked or grilled, boiled or fried, for children and teenagers is 10%.

The least popular at the table, according to the Del Paesene mothers, are pork (6%), omelettes or eggs in various preparations (5%) and fresh or aged cheeses (4%).

8. Chest or thigh? What is best?

Even an old commercial said so. Chest or thigh? It is the eternal doubt when it comes to chicken. But in addition to personal taste, there is nutritional difference between the two? "Give them what they like best - replies Andrea Ghiselli, nutrition expert and research manager of CRA-NUT, Research Center for Food and Nutrition CRA (Council for Research and Experimentation in Agriculture) - consider that the breast is almost fat-free, therefore more digestible, but with a lower iron content than the leg and thigh, which are however more fat. Then pay attention to the cooking methods: if you fry the chicken breast it will become as fat as the leg .. . ".

9. Chicken: easily digestible and one of the first foods for children

It is one of the foods that can already be given during weaning and due to its nutritional characteristics, chicken meat is suitable. Easy to digest, chicken and turkey according to Andrea Ghiselli are a good natural source of iron. Moreover, thanks to its composition in small fibers and the almost total absence of connective tissue, poultry meat can be easily chopped or blended, both to prepare homemade baby food and for the subsequent stages of first chewing.

10. The cutlet is the most loved by small children

Schnitzel or roast chicken? With its crunchy breading, the cutlet has conquered the entire peninsula. For half of Del Paeseni children under the age of 11 it is by far the most loved recipe and they eat more willingly, placing roast chicken in second place (40%). This is followed by croquettes and meatballs (24%) and lemon morsels (11%).

For the older ones (12-18 years), however, the battle ends with a small victory for the cutlet: 48% against 47% for roast chicken. Third place for grilled or sliced ​​chicken.

11. Meat 4-5 days a week

How Much Meat Should You Eat a Week? "The first aspect to clarify is that no one can set a quota not to be exceeded - explains Ghiselli - the quantity of meat to be consumed per week must be done on the basis of a compromise with other foods. Meat must not take away the space for legumes. , for example, nor to vegetables, eggs, fish, etc.

For this a good compromise is to consume 4-5 servings of fresh meat per week (more white than red). The other main courses of the week will be 1-2 portions of cured meats, 2-3 of fish, 2-3 of legumes, 2-4 eggs and 2-3 cheese ".

12. Meat for lunch or dinner? It makes no difference

"The right amount of meat for children depends on age and build: it can be half the portion of an adult, but also the same. It makes no difference to propose it for lunch or dinner, the important thing is to vary: if for lunch meat was consumed, for dinner an alternative between fish, eggs, legumes or cheese is better. "

13. Do not combine meat with other proteins in the same meal

It is a good habit do not associate meat with other sources of protein in the same meal.

As the nutritionist explains: "It must be borne in mind that if we serve the child a portion of chicken, for example, we have already proposed a second dish and another must not be added, so we will not combine lentils or cheese.

This does not mean not being able to offer, even to children, excellent traditional dishes such as tuna and beans, cod and chickpeas or chicken and peas which include a mixture of different protein sources, but we pay attention to the portions and, preparing these recipes, we use half portions of meat / fish and half legumes.

To conclude and generalize, we can say that a second course of meat should always be served in combination with fruit and vegetables ".

14. In the homes of the Del Paesene families, chicken is eaten at least once a week

In the imagination of mothers, again according to the Doxa study, it is a food "very easy and quick to prepare", which "the whole family likes", "light and digestible, lends itself to my children's lifestyle" and " convenient and economical ".

For this reason, in 90% of cases the chicken is offered at least once a week, with 26% serving it 3-4 times and 61% 1-2 times.

Investigating the ages of children, adolescents and boys (12-18 years) tend to consume more often - at least once a week - cured meats (83%), legumes (71%) and pork-based dishes (50 %).

15. Chicken is perfect when time is short. A quick dinner recipe for friends: chicken nuggets with spiced mushrooms

Friends over dinner with children, maybe suddenly? With this proposal by Simone Rugiati it is very easy! And if turmeric isn't too popular (or isn't in your pantry) it can be substituted with sweet curry.

Ingredients for 4 people)

  • 700 g of chicken thighs
  • 600 g of champignon mushrooms
  • 150 g of single slice bacon
  • 1 tablespoon of turmeric
  • 1 file
  • 50 ml coconut milk
  • 50 ml milk
  • Flour to taste
  • 2 fresh spring onions
  • Fresh mint
  • 1 clove of garlic
  • Extra virgin olive oil
  • Sale
  • pepper

Method

Take the mushrooms, clean them and cut them into 4 parts, put a clove of crushed garlic in a pan with a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil, cook the mushrooms for 7/8 minutes without adding salt; when cooked, add salt and pepper and set aside.

In the same pan, cut the bacon into cubes and toast it. Once browned, drain on a plate with a sheet of absorbent paper.

Cut the chicken into regular cubes and pass it in the flour. At the same time, gently simmer the spring onion in the pan where you previously cooked the bacon.

Then add the chicken to which you have removed the excess flour, toast it perfectly and add the mix of coconut milk and milk; lower the heat and add the toasted turmeric previously in the pan to release the aromas better.

Season with salt and pepper and finish cooking. Just before turning off, add the mushrooms, bacon and mint. Finally let it cool and serve with a whirl of pepper, a grated lime peel and a few mint leaves.

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