The Mistake That Makes Boiled Chicken Blah and Flavorless

Cooking chicken is not a difficult task, however, if you make the following mistakes, the chicken will not only look unappetizing but also taste bad.


Boiled dishes are generally quite simple to prepare. However, boiling chicken requires more techniques. If done incorrectly, the chicken meat can become discolored, the skin can crack, and the taste can become bland.

When boiling chicken, you should avoid the following mistakes.

Choosing the wrong chicken

For boiled chicken, you should choose local or free-range chicken as they will have firmer and sweeter meat. When buying, avoid choosing oversized or industrially raised chickens. Pay attention to avoid buying sick or water-injected chickens.

For boiled chicken, you should only choose tender local chickens weighing about 1.5-1.8kg. The chicken should have fresh red wattles, yellow feet, plump breast, smooth feathers, and a lively and healthy appearance.

Scrubbing too hard during chicken preparation

After cleaning the chicken’s feathers, many people use salt to scrub it, which helps remove dirt and odor. However, scrubbing too hard with salt can thin the chicken skin and make it prone to cracking during boiling.

When using salt to scrub the chicken, you only need to do it gently and then rinse the chicken with clean water and let it dry before putting it in the boiling pot.

Using a pot that is too small

Using a pot that is too small will result in the water not being enough to fully submerge the chicken. As a result, the chicken will not cook evenly, and the skin is prone to cracking. Moreover, the un-submerged part of the chicken skin can easily become discolored.

Placing the chicken upside down when boiling

When boiling chicken, many people do not pay attention to how the chicken is placed in the pot. Placing the chicken upside down will make it take longer to cook and the cooking will not be even, resulting in undercooked inner meat. The reason is that the thigh and back portion have thicker meat, so if the chicken is placed upside down, the lower heat will result in slower cooking for this part.

Therefore, when boiling chicken, you should place the chicken with the breast facing down to allow this part to come into contact with higher heat, helping the chicken breast cook faster. During the boiling process, you can turn or tilt the head and neck portion of the chicken to ensure even cooking and prevent discoloration.

Using boiling water to cook the chicken

Some people wait for the water to boil before putting the chicken in. Doing so can cause the chicken skin to suddenly contract or crack, making the chicken look unappealing. In addition, boiling the chicken with hot water can result in uneven cooking and redness in the inner meat.

You should put the chicken in cold water and turn on the heat so that the chicken gradually heats up and cooks evenly from the inside out. When the water boils, reduce the heat to low and simmer for about 10 minutes, then turn off the heat. Cover the pot and let the chicken soak for another 20 minutes to ensure it is fully cooked.

Cutting the chicken while it is still hot

When offering chicken as an offering, usually the whole chicken is used. However, for regular meals, you can cut the chicken into pieces on a plate or directly shred the meat.

If you cut the chicken into pieces, you need to be aware that cutting the chicken while it is still hot can cause the meat to be easily shredded and the bones to break into many splintered bone fragments.

To make the plate of chicken look more appetizing, when the chicken is cooked, you can lift it up and soak it in a bowl of ice water to firm and tighten the meat. Wait until the chicken has cooled, then lift it out and let it drain. After that, spread a little turmeric oil on the chicken skin to create an attractive color. At this point, you can proceed to cut the chicken into pieces. Cutting the chicken when it has cooled will result in neater meat pieces and prevent them from crumbling.

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Frequently asked questions

There could be several reasons, but the most common mistake is not seasoning the water. When you boil chicken, it’s important to add ingredients like salt, herbs, and spices to the water to infuse flavor into the meat.

In addition to seasoning the water, there are a few other techniques you can use. First, try using a whole chicken or bone-in, skin-on chicken pieces, as these have more flavor than boneless, skinless breasts. You can also try simmering the chicken instead of boiling it, which helps to retain moisture and flavor. Finally, don’t overcook the chicken, as this can make it dry and bland.

You can experiment with different herbs and spices to find your favorite combination. Some popular options include garlic, onion, bay leaves, thyme, rosemary, and peppercorns.

It’s actually better to start with cold, seasoned water and then bring it to a boil with the chicken already in the pot. This helps the chicken cook more evenly and absorb the flavors from the water.

The cooking time will depend on the size and type of chicken you’re using. For example, boneless, skinless breasts will take less time to cook than a whole chicken. Generally, you’ll want to boil the chicken until it’s cooked through and reaches an internal temperature of 165°F.