Properly cooking chicken
It is one of the most popular meats in the world and can be cooked in many different forms. Chicken is delicious if it is baked, broiled, or fried. It is also a great add-on if you are grilling to add with a salad. And while there are some great cooks who know how to bring out the flavor in the chicken, what are the best and most safe ways to cook chicken.
Obviously, when you grill, bake or broil, there will be less caloric content than fried chicken. But with some recipes, even fried chicken calories can be cut. However, no matter how you choose to cook your chicken, proper cooking techniques must be used in order to get the best taste, texture, and safety. Read on to discover ways for cooking chicken.
Don’t leave chicken sitting out
One of the toughest things about cooking chicken is to make sure that you are safe from getting salmonella. Chicken is one prime meat that can give you salmonella. Do not leave the chicken on the counter for longer than 4 hours. Cover your chicken thoroughly if you are placing it in the refrigerator to help absorb the flavors of the seasonings. Uncovered chicken is a quick way to get salmonella which is dangerous to your family.
Check the temperature of your chicken
With most chicken, a proper way to measure if your chicken is cooked is when the chicken temperature has reached 165 degrees Fahrenheit. You may want to purchase a food temperature gadget to measure the temperature of your chicken. When the temperature of the chicken is just right, the chicken will be moist and juicy and not dried out.
Cook chicken thoroughly
Chicken must reach 75 degrees Centigrade in the rawest part of the meat for 2 minutes or longer. Check the juice of the chicken which should be clear and not pink when pierced with a fork.
No more rubbery, dry chicken
While it may not be cost-effective, make sure to purchase the most premium chicken for cooking. Cheaper chickens use by-products that often leave the chicken robbery and dry when cooking. Using premium chicken and beginning cooking with the side down ensures perfect chicken every time.
Marinate in the refrigerator
A great way to get the best-tasting chicken is to marinate your chicken with your favorite seasonings overnight in the refrigerator. As the chicken skin cools, it absorbs all of the great taste of the marinade or seasonings.
Rub or toss your chicken with the seasonings making sure that every part of the chicken is completely covered. You can make a great seasoned dry rub to marinate your chicken by using Tuscan sunset, Peppercorn ranch, lemon pepper, and all-purpose flour.
Dry rubs are great for marinating your chicken after being left overnight in your refrigerator. The rub flavor is really brought out once you place your chicken meat on the grill.
There are different varieties of marinating flavors that work well with your chicken in bringing out its best taste in your local supermarket. You can actually do pre-mix dry rubs that are already ready for marinating your chicken if you choose to do it yourself.
Never wash raw chicken
Washing raw chicken will sometimes splatter the juices containing bacteria onto the countertops, chopping boards, sink, and other equipment.
Always wash your hands
Always wash your hands before touching the chicken to prep. Bacteria from your hands may pass to the meat which will leave it contaminated before consumption.
Never defrost chicken at room temperature
Always defrost raw chicken in a refrigerator or microwave. Trying to leave the chicken out at room temperature leaves the meat open to contamination and possibly developing salmonella.
Clean and sanitize equipment first
Make sure that all equipment like chopping boards, pots pans, baking sheets, etc. are all cleaned and sanitized before coming into contact with raw chicken.
Organize ingredients prior to prep time
When you are organized and have all of your seasonings out before flavoring your chicken, it will ensure that you do not forget a necessary ingredient. Cut your chicken, if needed, and have the necessary bowls, pots, pans, or baking sheets needed on your countertops before preparing.
Storing cooked chicken
Wrap chicken in Tupperware in the refrigerator if you are planning on consuming the cooked chicken within 2 days. Otherwise, it should be placed in the freezer.
These are some great tips on cooking chicken and how to get out the best from your chicken. Remember to clean and sanitize your work area before cooking and to wash your hands before dealing with raw chicken.
* This article contains recommendations by the United States Departure of Agriculture and not the personal opinions of the authors who are not food safety experts. You can read our full disclaimer here.