The right temperature for cooking chicken is 165 F. Insert a thermometer at the breast area to help you monitor it. An undercooked chicken might make you sick. Here are some more tips you might want to consider.
Buying and Storing Tips
The chicken you buy must be cold. If it’s warm, there may be bacteria in the meat already. The chicken must also be in a tight plastic bag. If necessary, replace the plastic bag with another one in your house. Put it in the fridge.
If you’ll be using it in the next couple of days, set the refrigerator temperature at 60 F. Put the chicken in the freezer if you’re not going to cook it for the next few days.
Cleaning the Cooking Area
Before you start cooking chicken, rinse the utilities with warm water. Make sure the countertop is clean too. Wear clean gloves when handling raw chicken. If you’re not using gloves, wash your hands thoroughly.
Keeping the Meat Tender
It’s best if you cook it a couple of days after buying. Putting the meat in the freezer will rob it of moisture in the long run. What happens is that during thawing the meat loses some of its tenderness. If it’s not in the freezer, keep it wrapped tight. This prevents excessive drying of the meat.
Don’t remove the skin when cooking chicken. This adds extra flavor. At the same time it helps the meat remain soft. If you’re roasting the breast, apply some foil to lock in the moisture. Take it out in the last half hour of cooking time.
This technique will turn the skin into a nice golden brown. You can also slice the meat across the grain, producing softer pieces.
Other Cooking Tips
Remember that a trussed chicken always takes longer to cook. Covered chicken also takes a longer time to get done. To prevent overcooking, remove the pieces that are already done. Just remember that breasts and wings cook faster.
Legs take much longer. When cooking chicken, the rule of thumb is that white pieces cook faster. The dark ones need more time.
One way you can tell is by moving the chicken piece around the joint. If it moves without resistance, it’s done. It’s also a good idea to give each piece some space. This allows each piece to cook more effectively. It’s also needed to turn each one into an even brown color.
Always use a sharp knife to cut each piece. Of course it needs to be cleaned. Having kitchen knives of various sizes will be handy. If it’s your first time carving and cutting chicken, take care not to injure yourself.
If you’re concerned about fats, roast the chicken over a rack. Grilling also helps cut down on the fat you consume. Some even remove the skin altogether. Add some side dishes or sauce to make up for any lost flavors.
Cooking chicken isn’t that hard and its versatility makes it a staple in many a dinner table. With these tips, you’ll be able to enjoy your meal much more and so will your companions.