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How to Steam Chicken

Steaming a chicken is one of the healthiest ways to cook it; it is also to your advantage because it retains both the flavor and moisture of the meat, keep it juicy and aromatic. It is considered the best way to cook whole birds which are small by nature, such as the Cornish hen. There are many ways to steam a chicken and get good results; you could use a standard steamer that is placed on top of a saucepan, or you could suspend it on a rack at the bottom of a tightly-covered pot. You can also make use of an electric steamer.

If you choose to steam your chicken using a standard steamer, bring a half-pot full of water to a boil; you can add herbs and spices to the water so your chicken has a more sensational flavor. If you are steaming separate pieces of boneless meat, place them in the steamer, leaving room around the edges; overcrowding will prevent the steam from flowing and cooking all the meat evenly. Cover the pot and let it cook for 8 – 10 minutes.

If you are putting the meat on a rack at the bottom of a pot, bring 1 inch of water to a boil. Put your chicken in a heat-proof cooking dish, cover it tightly, and place it on the rack. As with the traditional steamer, leave to


cook for 8 – 10 minutes. The extra broth can be eaten with the chicken as soup, used to flavor other dishes, or simply eaten on its own.

Steaming Chicken Tips:

  • Before steaming, marinate the chicken to give it your flavor of choice.
  • Add extra ingredients, such as carrots or onions, to the water to give your chicken extra zest.
  • To allow the steam to circulate around your chicken and penetrate it with heat, make cuts on the surface of the meat.
  • You can save steaming time by adding vegetables to the chicken, but always be cautious to avoid overcrowding.
  • Always try to avoid opening the lid of the pot while steaming; the steam will build up and best cook your chicken if it is left to cook for a constant 8 – 10 minutes.

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Last Modified: 11/28/11.