Ever wondered why the food served at restaurants seems to taste so good sometimes? Or how their chicken in particular is always so savoury and tasty? I am one of those people who love dining out since no one in my family is a particularly good cook. But we all know that food prepared anywhere else other than at home tends to be a little more calorific (and probably less hygienic) than desired.

But they are also more tasty! People tend to think that it’s due to a large use of MSG to enhance the taste of the food. In fact it may just be a secret ingredient used, and a much healthier one at that.

My mom cooked a dish of chicken thighs this morning. At first taste, I thought it came right out of the menu at Swensen’s. I asked, how did you do it, ma?

Chicken Thighs marinated with secret ingredient

Chicken Thighs marinated with secret ingredient

She then took out a huge tub of chicken powder and proclaimed proudly that this was the secret ingredient used to marinate the chicken. Wow!

My brother was given a few one-litre tubs of these powder from a client, all in different flavours. Each of these tubs makes 50 litres of soup! Hotels and restaurants buy hundreds of these every month!

So what exactly are the places that use this chicken powder?

Swensen’s, Pizza Hut (and possibly KFC?) and Ke Ai Ji. A-ha! Now the secret’s out! And we can all recreate the same delicious chicken dish at home! But due to the fact that it’s a secret ingredient, I am not allowed to disclose it here.

Amongst many other ingredients it contains sugar, spices and soya sauce. One thing for sure is that using this flavouring agent cuts short the work for any chef. My Mom didn’t have to add anything else to the chicken except for this powder, and it turned out delicious!

The next time you dine at Swensen’s or Pizza Hut, ask them what they used to flavour their chicken. I wonder what they would say!