Can you soak the chicken in milk?

In this brief guide, we are going to answer the question “can you soak the chicken in milk” with an in-depth analysis of whether or not you can soak the chicken in milk. Moreover, we are going to discuss different ways to tenderize the chicken.

So without much ado, let’s dive in and figure out more about it.

Can you soak the chicken in milk?

Yes, you can soak the chicken in milk and milk will help in tenderizing chicken. Milk contains some lactic acid, which aids in the tenderization of the chicken, and the calcium in the milk activates certain enzymes in the chicken, which aids in this process. Furthermore, fermented milk products such as buttermilk and yogurt can be used to tenderize milk.

Collagen is the protein that holds the muscular tissues together in chicken and gives the chicken its flexibility and toughness. This structure will generally be broken down when exposed to extreme heat. So by soaking the chicken in milk, you can speed up the breaking down of collagen, thereby tenderizing the chicken before cooking.

So milk, coupled with salt and herbs, can be used as a marinade to tenderize the chicken. The herbs and spices are used to season the chicken and impart flavor to it. 

All you have to do is put some milk in a bowl and season it with salt and herbs like cumin, thyme, pepper, and so on. Place it in the refrigerator to chill overnight. Don’t forget to wrap the bowl with plastic wrap or cling film before placing it in the refrigerator. Take it out of the refrigerator the next day and cook it your desired way.

Other ways to tenderize chicken

Tenderizing tools

There are certain particular tenderizing tools on the market that you can use to tenderize your chicken. These tools are easily applicable to boneless chicken. 

Furthermore, if you do not have a tenderizing tool, you can use a clean hammer for this purpose, but keep the sanitation and cleanliness profile of the hammer in mind.

So, if your chicken has bones, we recommend that you do not tenderize it using the tenderizing tool because the bones would smash. Instead, you can extract the bones from the chicken and then tenderize it using the tenderizing tool.

So you’ll need to cover the counter with plastic wrap. Place your boneless chicken on it and pound it with the tenderizing tool until it reaches your desired thickness. Now grill or sauté it until the chicken is tender and juicy.

Marination

Marination is the process that is done to impart different flavors in the chicken. Marination is done by using some acids (lemon), salt, and different spices. 

The acid degrades the structure of the protein and imparts the flavor of different herbs and condiments that are added to the marination mixture. Moreover, as the acid denatures the protein it also makes the chicken tender and juicier.

Moreover, you can also use yogurt or buttermilk along with herbs and salt as a marinade.

Using baking soda

Baking soda is the bicarbonate salt so what it does is alkalize the chicken, raise its pH, and make it difficult for the protein molecules to tightly bind together. Baking soda denatures the proteins present in the chicken, thus, it makes the chicken juicer and tender. 

So if you want your beef steaks or chicken wings to be tender and juicier, we recommend you use baking soda for it. All you gotta do is to make a baking soda and water mixture and soak your chicken pieces in it for at least 15 minutes. 

Afterward, rinse, and cook. In the case of the larger chicken pieces, you can rub the baking soda all over the chicken and let it stay in the fridge for a couple of hours. Afterward, rinse it and cook as desired.

You can read how to make grilled chicken here.

Tips to properly store marinated chicken

  1. While storing the marinated chicken in the refrigerator, it is better to store it on one of the shelves of the refrigerator rather than at the door as there is a lot of temperature fluctuation at the door of the fridge and that can mess up the quality of the marinated chicken.
  1. It is a good practice to store the marinated chicken on the lowest shelf of the refrigerator. The reason behind this is that it is the coldest spot in the whole fridge and it keeps the marinated chicken from dripping into other foods, thereby diminishing the risk of cross-contamination.
  1. You should never leave your marinated chicken for more than 2 hours at room temperature as bacterial growth takes place at a faster pace between the temperature of 40 and 140 degrees Fahrenheit, therefore there are greater chances of the chicken being already contaminated with bacteria when left out for more than 2 hours.
  1. You should store the marinated chicken in a plastic freezer bag or you can wrap it in aluminum foil or cling film before putting it in a freezer bag to give an extra layer of protection to it and to protect it from freezer burns.

Conclusion

In this brief guide, we answered the question “can you soak the chicken in milk” with an in-depth analysis of whether or not you can soak the chicken in milk. Moreover, we discussed different ways to tenderize the chicken.

Citations

https://www.theforkbite.com/why-soak-chicken-in-milk-find-the-real-reason/#:~:text=Milk%20Is%20also%20a%20brilliant,soak%20the%20chicken%20in%20milk.
https://www.mashed.com/208847/the-real-reason-you-should-soak-chicken-in-milk/
https://oureverydaylife.com/milk-tenderize-chicken-24876.html

Mahnoor Asghar is a Clinical Nutritionist with a bachelor's degree in Nutrition and Dietetics. She is compassionate and dedicated to playing her part in the well-being of the masses. She wants to play a fruitful role in creating nutrition and health-related awareness among the general public. Additionally, she has a keen eye for detail and loves to create content related to food, nutrition, health, and wellness.