2-Minute Apple Roasted Chicken: The Science
It may sound unconventional to add apple to your roasted chicken – and the reason ISN’T for an “apple flavor”. Instead, I (Chef Kenzie) use applesauce for it’s sweetness – more specifically, its sugar content. Why? During cooking, sugar and protein undergo a chemical reaction called the “Maillard Reaction” – creating a beautiful brown color on the outside of a protein and a slightly “charred”, savory flavor. The Maillard Reaction is an important concept in cooking – and is often used by chefs when preparing any type of protein.
In this recipe, the Maillard Reaction occurs between the sugars from the applesauce and the protein from the chicken. However, the Maillard Reaction is not the only flavor-enhancing component of this recipe. The following ingredients also contribute to the development of flavor…
- Butter: the sugar content (lactose) also undergoes a Maillard Reaction and caramelization. The fat itself adds richness.
- Lemon Juice: the acid from the lemon juice will help tenderize the protein, creating a juicy and tender piece of meat.
- Salt: the salt helps retain the moisture within the chicken, keeping the juices INSIDE for a flavorful piece of meat.
2-Minute Apple Roasted Chicken: How to Use
Although this chicken is quite flavorful – it doesn’t have a pronounced (or specific) flavor profile. The ingredients in this recipe simply elevate the natural flavors of chicken – without adding extra spices or herbs. Therefore, this chicken can be used in a wide variety of applications. I recommend preparing this recipe on the weekend for use throughout the week. Try serving it with the following…
- Serve over a Grain-Free Waffle with fresh avocado, vegetables, and dressing/sauce of choice
- Chop or shred and serve in soups
- Use in place of chicken thighs in our Chicken Salad with Grapes and Walnuts (Always Hungry? g. 252)
- Mix with eggs to make a morning stir-fry/hash, an omelette, or a crustless quiche
- Serve in a Basic Socca Wrap (Always Delicious pg. 198) with dressing/sauce of choice and vegetables for a quick on-the-go lunch wrap.
Do you have another idea? Comment below how you would serve your apple roasted chicken! Post a picture in our Facebook Group to show us your meal – we always love to see what you’re cooking!
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