10 Important Tips for Cooking Chicken
Categories: Helpful Info
A well-cooked chicken is delicious but when not cooked correctly, chicken can be dry, and even unhealthy if undercooked. It’s important to know the basics of cooking chicken, which is why we have set up these great, easy tips for cooking the best chicken you’ll ever taste.
- Before you can start cooking chicken, you need to know what dish you want to create and what parts of the chicken you will need. If you are looking for fresh chicken, make sure there are no signs of freezing (ice) on the package. If you’re buying a frozen chicken, make sure it is very hard, but does not have freezer burn. Whichever you purchase, make sure the skin is not patchy or transparent.
- There are three ways to defrost a chicken – let it thaw in the refrigerator, in cold water, or in the microwave. Never leave a chicken to thaw on a work surface or at room temperature. This will cause bacteria to spread!
- When marinating a chicken, always spread the marinade on while it’s raw. Then set the chicken back into the refrigerator to allow the chicken to marinate. If you want to marinate it again after cooking chicken, use a different batch of the marinade, as well as utensils. You should never use the same one that touched raw chicken as it will spread bacteria. We recommend basting the chicken raw so the flavouring has time to absorb.
- When cooking chicken, leave the skin on. Doing so helps to lock in the juices, creating a more tender and favourable dish. You can remove the skin right before you eat (the skin contains about two thirds of the fat content).
- When frying, use a spatula or thongs when turning pieces over. A fork will pierce the meat and allow juices to escape.
- For easy and delicious crusts to your chicken, you can use common pantry items such as cracker crumbs, cereals, or bran.
- If you’re watching your calorie intake then roasting, broiling and grilling are ways of cooking chicken so that the natural fats will drip from the meat. Steaming and microwaving are ways in which no additional fats are used during the cooking process.
- When cooking chicken by means of grilling, frying, broiling or sautéing, remove the smaller pieces as they become done. This helps to avoid over-cooking. This also applies to different parts of the chicken. White meat like breasts and wings will cook faster than dark meat pieces such as legs and thighs.
- Choose one leg and stretch it around side to side. If it moves easily at the joint, your chicken is done! Of course, you should also double check by using a meat thermometer.
Make sure that the chicken is cooked through- raw chicken contains bacteria that is harmful to your health.
- And finally, save the scraps! When you are done cooking the chicken, save all of the unused parts. You can then throw them all into a pot of hot water and create your own chicken stock, or make a delicious salad or sandwich with the leftovers.