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Would you pre cook, i.e. brown the chicken?

(38 Posts)
phoenix Tue 13-Oct-20 18:16:09

Evening all, usual good wishes.

I saw the following recipe, on Facebook, of all places! A sort of tomato, chicken, mozzarella thing.

1 tbsp olive oil
Half an onion, chopped (stupid thing, what size onion?)
Garlic clove, sliced
200g fun chopped tomatoes
Fresh basil, roughly chopped
150 ml veg stock
125g skinless chicken breast (don't think so, that's not even one!)
30g mozzerella, sliced

Heat oil, add onion and garlic, cook until soft.
Add tomatoes and basil, boil, then simmer for 5 mins.

Pound chicken lightly, then put in oven proof dish.

Pour over sauce, add sliced mozzerella, cook at 190 for 20 minutes.

Now, I feel that the chicken should be at least browned, rather than just put in the bottom of the dish raw!

Any thoughts?


phoenix Tue 13-Oct-20 18:17:06

Not "fun" chopped tomatoes, tin!

tanith Tue 13-Oct-20 18:18:36

I’d brown the chicken.

HAZBEEN Tue 13-Oct-20 18:21:58

Welcome back Phoenix!
I would brown the chicken too, if only to make the appearance nicer.

phoenix Tue 13-Oct-20 18:23:07

Thank you both! smile

YorkLady Tue 13-Oct-20 18:25:21

Sounds a good recipe. Yes, I would brown the chicken.
Glad to see you back, let us know how the meal turned out!

MaizieD Tue 13-Oct-20 18:26:36

I think it would be a waste of time browning the chicken for its 'appearance' if you're going to cover it with a tomato sauce. But I think I might cook it for a bit longer, just to be on the safe side. 20minutes seems a bit short.

Chewbacca Tue 13-Oct-20 18:37:58

I always prefer to seal the meat, to preserve the juices and seal in the flavour before cooking. Unbrowned chicken meat always looks a bit pallid I think.

Chewbacca Tue 13-Oct-20 18:38:52

Oh! And welcome back Phoenix, good to see you.

Iam64 Tue 13-Oct-20 18:42:46

Hi Phoenix, so good to see you back, welcome.
Yes, I'd brown the chicken as well. Looks a yummy dish, let us know how it works out.

TwiceAsNice Tue 13-Oct-20 18:45:39

Definitely brown the chicken and cook it slightly longer. Nice to hear from you Phoenix

Jaxjacky Tue 13-Oct-20 18:49:35

Yay, phoenix I should say brown the chicken, but have been known to chuck it all in the slow cooker and leave it be.

phoenix Tue 13-Oct-20 19:00:17

Thanks again, all! smile

Lucca Tue 13-Oct-20 19:04:39

I have only recently discovered “brining” chicken - which sounds like a very posh person saying “browning “ - but it’s a revelation for making things like chicken in breadcrumbs tender.
Ben tornata Phoenix.

Urmstongran Tue 13-Oct-20 19:36:18

Missed you phoenix
Good to have you back.
I always used to ‘brown meat’ first but these last few months haven’t bothered to be honest.
Tastes just as good (eating with our eyes closed).

Chewbacca Tue 13-Oct-20 19:52:20

Doesn't that make it very salty Lucca?

M0nica Tue 13-Oct-20 19:54:04

I rarely brown chicken. What for? You cannot do it to seal the meat and stop the juices escaping because if you could (and you can't) and did, the chicken piece would explode as the liquid in the chicken expanded as it heated up and posssibly reached steam heat.

The idea of browning is to caramelise the liquids on the outside and enhance the surface flavour. Fine if you are cooking a steak but in a recipe like this as soon as you pour the tomatoes over the chicken and start heating it the tomatoes wetten and then dissolve the caramelised surface and the concentrated floavour just becomes part of the sauce.

Brown the skin when roasting, it enhances the visual appeal of the chicken, but otherwise don't bother.

Grandmabatty Tue 13-Oct-20 20:04:43

It's good to have you back Phoenix. You've been missed. I would brown the chicken first as I prefer the colour.

phoenix Tue 13-Oct-20 20:09:00

But M0nica when I roast a chicken, the skin always comes out brown (and crispy!) I never bother browning for that?

(Grandmabatty thank you)

M0nica Tue 13-Oct-20 20:25:22

Roasting is a form of browning. If the skin is subject to high temperatures and a drying environment, then it will go brown, as it starts to heat up enough to char.

Actually, about the only thing I like about chicken is the lovely crispy brown skin on the breast and legs on the roast bird.

Callistemon Tue 13-Oct-20 20:42:53


Doesn't that make it very salty Lucca?

I've had brined turkey, cooked by an elderly man from Eastern Europe, so I don't know if it's a Balkan recipe. It was tender and delicious.

I might not brown it phoenix, if you're cooking it in sauce and putting mozzarella on top of it it too, as you won't see that the chicken hasn't been browned.

Callistemon Tue 13-Oct-20 20:43:40

elderly he's not, he's younger than me!

GrannyGravy13 Tue 13-Oct-20 21:02:30

Hi Phoenix I would probably sear the chicken first.

We have missed you winethanks

sodapop Tue 13-Oct-20 21:11:22

Welcome back Phoenix you have been missed thankswine

I'm not allowed anywhere near the chicken so can't help with that. Sorry.

phoenix Tue 13-Oct-20 22:36:54

Thank you to all who have posted "welcome" messages! Very much appreciated!

So, another question, if you were cooking that, what would you put in the side?

I'm thinking of salad and garlic bread (the very phrase "garlic bread" makes me think of Peter Kay!) but any suggestions welcome.