'Barefoot Contessa': Ina Garten's Easy Hack For Giving Any Chicken Dish More Flavor

Barefoot Contessa star Ina Garten has spent years perfecting her cooking methods. And she’s been kind enough to share them with audiences. Garten’s cooking tips have helped her navigate the kitchen — including how to get the most flavor out of any chicken dish.

‘Barefoot Contessa’ star Ina Garten has no professional culinary training

When Garten was young, her parents didn’t want her cooking; they’d rather see her focus on her studies. But as Garten grew older and married Jeffrey Garten, she realized she wanted a meaningful career. Garten and Jeffrey moved to Washington, D.C., where she eventually took a job at the White House. Still, it wasn’t fulfilling.

Garten eventually saw an ad for a small specialty foods store for sale in East Hampton, New York. She and Jeffrey went to New York to see the store, and they purchased it on a whim. Garten ran the store from 1978 to 1996. And in 1999, she published her first cookbook, then several more.

Her cookbooks caught the attention of Food Network, and the network approached her about doing a cooking show. At first, Garten declined, since she didn’t think she’d be great at it and also didn’t want it to disturb her quiet East Hampton life. Eventually, though, she agreed, and her show premiered in 2003. Garten has since become one of Food Network’s most popular chefs, despite not having had any professional culinary training.

Ina Garten’s easy hack for the most flavorful chicken

When it comes to preparing meals, Ina Garten prefers to take the easy route — though she never wants to sacrifice flavor. Still, over the years, she’s learned plenty of important cooking tips and has utilized them to get the best flavor in the easiest way possible. The same holds true for Garten’s simple hack for the best possible chicken dishes.

Chicken tends need a little something more. But Garten’s best trick for that juicy, flavorful meat is to purchase the smallest chicken possible. Garten recommends only purchasing a chicken that weighs five pounds or less. “They’re a little more tender, and [if they weigh more than] five pounds, they don’t tend to roast as easily,” Garten once said, according to Food & Wine.

Ina Garten also loves store bought food items

Garten’s cooking tips range from no-mess to money-saving and time-saving. And one of her best time-saving tips is possibly the easiest of them all: Purchase store-bought ingredients. Garten never makes her own puff pastry, nor does she prepare homemade pasta. Rather, she purchases high-quality versions of both from her local grocery store.

Garten also loves store-bought tomato sauce, as long as it’s from a high-quality brand. Though cutting corners in such a way is perfectly fine, there is one item Garten never purchased from the store: Grated Parmesan cheese. Garten always purchases a fresh block and grates it herself.

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