Steaming chicken using a traditional pot steamer is a healthy, quick way of preparing a delicious main course. Because you are cooking the chicken in a steamer, no additional fat such as oil or butter has to be added. This reduces the fat and calories in the dish. Any part of a chicken, as well as the whole chicken itself, can be steamed, but the healthiest alternative is to steam boneless, skinless chicken breasts. Steamed chicken retains moisture and remains tender, providing a flavorful meal full of protein.
Things You'll Need
- Pot steamer
Fill the pot steamer halfway with water. Ensure that the water level is at least several inches below the bottom of the steamer basket. Bring the water to a full boil.
For additional flavor, season the chicken with salt and pepper. You can line the steamer basket with slices of citrus fruit, such as lemons or oranges, to add a nice taste to the chicken. Marinating the chicken before steaming is another good way to add flavor to the dish.
Place the chicken in the steamer basket in a single layer. Leave room between each piece so that the steam can circulate freely. Do not overcrowd the steaming basket, or the chicken may not cook evenly.
Cover the pot with the lid and steam until the chicken is cooked through. Leave the lid on the steamer for the first five to 10 minutes -- do not peek or you will let the steam escape and lengthen the cooking time. The chicken is done when it is white all the way through.
Tips & Warnings
- Boneless, skinless chicken breasts cook more quickly than chicken thighs, chicken legs, bone-in chicken breasts or whole chickens. Use a food thermometer in the thickest part of the chicken to ensure that it has cooked to the correct internal temperature.
- The United States Department of Agriculture recommends cooking poultry to an internal temperature of 165 degrees. Bacteria such as salmonella may be present in raw chicken, but cooking chicken to 165 degrees kills any harmful bacteria. Thoroughly wash your hands and any surface that has come into contact with raw chicken to avoid the spread of bacteria and the risk of food-borne illnesses.
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