Adam Liaw shares his cooking secrets for the perfect Lilydale free range chicken

MasterChef Australia star Adam Liaw has shared his ultimate guide to cooking chicken to perfection – including his secret trick for crispy skin and his favourite three-ingredient marinade.

The cookbook author revealed his simple tricks to perfecting chicken every time – and how you can check the cooked poultry without having to pull it apart.

‘People often overcook chicken, which can make it a bit dry. Use a meat thermometer to make sure the chicken is cooked through, but not overcooked,’ the celebrity chef told Daily Mail Australia. 

‘A meat thermometer is a really valuable tool in the kitchen and they only cost a few dollars.

‘But if you don’t have one, you can poke a skewer into the thickest part of the chicken that you’re cooking and if the juices that come out are clear, the chicken will be cooked through.’

MasterChef Australia star Adam Liaw (pictured) has shared his ultimate guide to cooking chicken to perfection - including his trick for crispy skin and his three-ingredient marinade

MasterChef Australia star Adam Liaw (pictured) has shared his ultimate guide to cooking chicken to perfection – including his trick for crispy skin and his three-ingredient marinade

Adam Liaw’s three-ingredient marinade 

Oyster sauce, soy sauce and sugar are a great simple marinade, Adam said.

Or you can use that as a base and then add your own ingredients to boost the flavour – including honey, garlic, herbs, chilli etc

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To create a no-fail succulent, tender pieces of chicken breast every time, Liaw – who has partnered with Lilydale free-range chicken to host a cooking series – said steaming is one of the best cooking methods.

‘Steaming the chicken breast is a great way to ensure your chicken is cooked perfectly, remaining moist and flavourful,’ he said.

‘Steam the whole breasts over a low heat for 12 to 15 minutes and add a bit of ginger, soy sauce and sesame oil either before or after steaming to produce a wonderfully flavoured dish.’

For a quick, easy and delicious crispy chicken, Liaw said his three go-to ingredients are oyster sauce, soy sauce and sugar.

‘It’s a great simple marinade,’ Liaw said.

He said home cooks can get creative with flavours by adding more ingredients to the marinade.

‘Brine that you can use as a base and then add your own flavours to – like honey, garlic, herbs, chilli etc,’ he said.

For a quick, easy and delicious crispy chicken, Liaw said his three go-to ingredients include oyster sauce, soy sauce and sugar

Liaw said his secret ingredient to perfecting crispy skin chicken is dark soy sauce

For a quick, easy and delicious crispy chicken, Liaw said his three go-to ingredients include oyster sauce, soy sauce and sugar (stock images)

Liaw is inviting home cooks into his own kitchen as part of Lilydale's Dedication You Can Taste Series along with Poh Ling Yeow (left) and Hayden Quinn (centre)

Liaw is inviting home cooks into his own kitchen as part of Lilydale’s Dedication You Can Taste Series along with Poh Ling Yeow (left) and Hayden Quinn (centre)

Liaw said his secret ingredient to perfecting crispy skin chicken is dark soy sauce.

‘For the tastiest chicken skin my secret is to use dark soy sauce. Cover the skin of your chicken with about a tablespoon of dark soy sauce before frying and you’ll get a perfect chicken skin every time,’ he explained.

To get the most out of your dish, Liaw said you should always use quality chicken – and never forget to season. 

‘Seasoning chicken is really important. A good pinch of salt is often all you need to get the best flavour out of your chicken,’ he said.

Liaw is inviting home cooks into his own kitchen as part of Lilydale’s Dedication You Can Taste Series along with Poh Ling Yeow and Hayden Quinn.

Adam Liaw’s chicken san choy bao

INGREDIENTS

5 dried shiitake mushrooms

2 thick spring onions

¼ cup canola oil

1 small onion, finely diced

2 cloves garlic, finely chopped

1 tsp grated ginger

500 g Lilydale free-range chicken mince

150 g green beans, cut into ½ cm dice

1 small carrot, cut into ½ cm dice

3 tbsp tianmianjang (or hoisin sauce), plus extra to serve

2 tbsp dark soy sauce

1 tsp sugar

1 tsp sesame oil

1 tsp cornflour mixed in ¼ cup cold water

1 head iceberg lettuce, separated into cups

METHOD

1. Cover the shiitake mushrooms with about 1.5 cups of hot water and stand for 20 minutes to soften. Trim and discard the stalks and cut the caps into a ½ cm dice. Reserve the steeping liquid.

2. Cut the spring onions into 5 cm lengths and then very finely julienne them. Place the spring onion into iced water for at least 10 minutes to curl.

3. Heat a wok over high heat and add the oil, onion, garlic and ginger and toss for about 1 minute until the onion is softened. Add the Lilydale free-range chicken mince and fry for about 3 minutes until the mince is lightly browned.

Add the beans and carrot and toss for a further minute, then add the tianmianjiang, soy sauce, sugar, sesame oil and a little of the shiitake steeping liquid as needed.

Bring to a simmer and simmer for about 3 minutes until the chicken is cooked through and the vegetables are softened. Mix through a little of the cornflour mixture and toss until the mixture is thickened and quite dry.

4. Serve the chicken mixture with the spring onion, a little extra tiamianjiang (or hoisin) and lettuce cups to wrap the mixture in.

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