Tuesday, March 18, 2014

How To Cook Chicken

How to Cook Chicken

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Chicken is a popular and versatile meat that lends itself to many flavors, is relatively inexpensive, and can have a variety of health benefits. As you long as you prepare the chicken correctly, you'll be able to successfully cook it in a number of ways that include baking, sautéing, and grilling. If you want to cook chicken, just follow these steps.


Baked Chicken
  • 1 cup sour cream
  • 2 tbsp. Dijon mustard
  • 2 cloves minced garlic
  • 1/2 tsp. black pepper
  • 4 skinless boneless chicken breast halves
  • 1 cup crushed cornflakes cereal
  • 1 (1 oz.) package dray onion soup mix
  • 3 tbsp. melted butter
Sauteed Chicken
  • cooking spray
  • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 tbsp. black pepper
  • 1 1/4 lbs. uncooked boneless skinless chicken thighs (about 8)
  • 1 cup canned chicken broth
  • 2 tbsp. fresh lemon juice
  • 1 1/2 tbsp. capers
Grilled Chicken
  • 12 chicken legs
  • ½ cup olive oil
  • 1 tsp. sea salt
  • ½ tsp. ground black pepper
  • ½ tsp. paprika
  • ½ tsp. cumin
  • ¼ tsp. cayenne pepper
  • 2 cloves chopped garlic
  • 3 tbsp. chopped onion
  • ½ cup chopped parsley


Preparing the Chicken
  1. Store the chicken in the fridge or freezer immediately if you're not cooking it right away. Chicken can be stored in the coolest part of your refrigerator for two days; if you plan on cooking it a few days later or even a long time later, you should freeze it right away. Don't partially cook the chicken and then place it in the fridge; this will promote bacteria growth.
  2. Wash the chicken. Whether you're cooking a full chicken, chicken legs, chicken thighs, or any other part of the chicken, you should wash it under cool water first. If the chicken has already been marinated and prepared, then it has already been washed. Make sure you wear gloves when you wash the chicken so you don't contaminate the chicken or get bacteria over on your hands. You should thoroughly wash your hands before and after cleaning the chicken.
    • When you're done, you should also thoroughly wash all surfaces that have come in contact with the chicken, which includes knives, cutting boards, and the sink.
  3. Dry the chicken. Pat the chicken dry with a paper towel to eliminate any excess moisture.
  4. Cook the chicken. Once you've washed and dried the chicken, it will be ready to cook. Whether you bake, grill, or sauté the chicken, make sure to use a meat thermometer to make sure that it reaches the appropriate temperature before you eat it. The chicken should reach the temperature of 165ºF (74ºC). Here are a number of tasty chicken recipes to try:
    • Popcorn Chicken
    • Chicken Katsu
    • Boneless Chicken Breast Steaks
    • Chicken Mole
    • Broiled Chicken Breasts
    • Blackened Chicken Breasts
    • Teriyaki Chicken
    • Baked Chicken
    • Sesame Chicken
    • Roasted Chicken
  5. Promptly store uneaten chicken. When freezing chicken, wrap parts separately in foil or freezer wrap. This makes it easy to defrost only the amount you need. Proper wrapping prevents "freezer burn," which results from drying and oxidizing when in contact with air.
    • Fried chicken - 3 to 4 days in refrigerator, 4 months in freezer
    • Cooked poultry casseroles - 3 to 4 days in refrigerator, 4 to 6 months in freezer
    • Pieces, plain - 3 to 4 days in refrigerator, 4 months in freezer
    • Pieces covered with broth, gravy - 1 to 2 days in refrigerator, 6 months in freezer
    • Chicken nuggets, patties - 1 to 2 days in refrigerator, 1 to 3 months in freezer
Baked Chicken
  1. Preheat your oven to 400ºF (200 ºC).
  2. Butter a baking dish. Cover the dish with enough butter to thoroughly coat the bottom and sides of the dish.
  3. Whisk the sour cream, Dijon mustard, garlic, and pepper together in a large bowl.
  4. Coat the chicken in the mixture. Place 4 skinless boneless chicken breasts in the mixture. Turn them to make sure that they're thoroughly coated in the mixture. Then, refrigerate the coated chicken for 20-30 minutes so the chicken absorbs the mixture a bit more.
  5. Coat the chicken in the cornflakes and soup mixture. Combine the cornflakes and onion soup mix in a bowl and press the chicken breasts into the cornflakes mixture to coat them. Then, shake off any excess mixture.
  6. Place the chicken breasts into the baking dish. Drizzle 3 tbsp. of melted butter over the chicken.
  7. Bake the chicken for 20-25 minutes until it's golden brown. When the chicken is done, your meat thermometer should read at least 165ºF (74ºC).
Sauteed Chicken
  1. Coat a 12-inch nonstick skillet with cooking spray and place it over medium-high heat.
  2. Combine the flour and pepper in a small bowl. Once you've thoroughly combined it, sprinkle it over the chicken.
  3. Sauté the chicken in the skillet in a single layer until it's golden on the bottom. This should take about 6-7 minutes. If the chicken doesn't all fit on the pan at once, you can just make two batches of sautéed chicken.
  4. Turn the chicken over and cook it on its second side. This should take an additional 4-5 minutes.
  5. Remove the chicken from the skillet and set it aside.
  6. Place the broth in the skillet. After you do this, scraped up any browned bits of chicken with a wooden spoon.
  7. Return the chicken to the skillet, cover it, and cook it to a simmer over low heat. This should take about 3 minutes.
  8. Stir in the lemon juice and capers. Heat the chicken for another 30 seconds, continuing to stir it as you do this. When you're done, let the chicken cool in a separate plate for 5-10 minutes.
  9. Serve. Serve these tasty chicken thighs while they're nice and hot.
Grilled Chicken
  1. Place the chicken legs in a large zip-top bag.
  2. Make the marinade. Mix together the olive oil, salt, pepper, paprika, cumin, and cayenne pepper. Place the ingredients in a small bowl and stir them until they're thoroughly incorporated.
  3. Pour the marinade over the chicken legs. Pour the marinade into the zip-top bag with the chicken and seal it. Remove as much air as possible from the bag and seal it. Turn it from side to side to ensure that all of the chicken is coated in the marinade. Then, place the bag on a sheet pan and refrigerate it for an hour or even overnight for best results. Turn the bag every few hours to keep the chicken freshly coated.
  4. Prepare the grill. Brush the grill grate with olive oil to coat it. Then, heat the grill to 350ºF (176ºF).
  5. Place the chicken on the grill. Cook the chicken until it's crispy and brown on both sides. Turn the chicken every few minutes to evenly cook both sides. The internal temperature should reach 165º F (73.8°C) when the chicken is ready. When the chicken is cooked, place it on a serving platter and let it cool for 3-5 minutes before you eat it.
  6. Serve. Enjoy this tasty grilled chicken while it's hot.
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Shopping Tips

  • Read the label. Before you cook the chicken, make sure that what you buy is high in quality.
    • If the chicken is labeled "fresh" in the US, that means it's never been below 26°F (-3°C). If the chicken has ever been frozen, it must be labeled "frozen" or "previously frozen".
    • Look at the "sell by" or "use before" date as a guideline. In the US, chicken is not required to be dated as such, but many stores and processors provide a date anyway to indicate quality. After that date, you can still eat the chicken, but the quality will have declined. If the chicken is frozen when the date passes, you can still consume it safely.
  • Choose an appropriate cut. Whichever cut of chicken you choose, avoid meat with a strange odor or if the skin is bruised.
    • Whole chicken - there are fryers, broilers, and roasters, from smallest to largest.
    • Quarters - a leg quarter contains thigh and leg; a breast quarter contains breast and wing
    • Whole chicken cut up - entire bird cut into 9 pieces or 8 pieces, without the back
    • Individual thighs and breasts - sold boneless and/or skinless
    • Chicken livers - packaged separately
    • Neck, feet, combs, etc. - available only in areas where they are in demand
  • Cook the chicken within two days of purchase or freeze the chicken at 0 degrees F (-17 degrees C) or below. If kept frozen, the chicken will always be safe to eat. Prevent freezer burn by placing the chicken inside a freezer storage bag.


  • Be sure to add seasoning to the chicken. Chicken can taste fairly bland if you don't season it. Remember to add seasonings that go together. A simple seasoning of oil, salt and crushed garlic, rubbed into the skin, tastes like a classical roast cook.
    • For the taste of chicken cooked like it is in India (chicken curry), add in curry spices. You can purchase seasonings in local grocery stores, Indian stores or international stores.
    • Cut up tomatoes and onions and fry (or smother) them in with precooked chicken. This is how you can create a chicken goulash or gumbo, which is great too!
  • Defrost the chicken in the refrigerator, cold water, or in a microwave oven. Chicken that's been defrosted in the refrigerator can be cooked within one or two days or refrozen (as long as it's been continuously refrigerated). Chicken defrosted in cold water or the microwave must be cooked immediately. Do not defrost chicken by leaving it on the counter. Do not cook frozen chicken in the microwave oven or slow cooker. You can cook frozen chicken on the range or in the oven, but cooking times will be increased by as much as 50%.
  • Delicious "storage" ideas: keep chicken longer and give it a new taste appeal when the storage "time is almost used up" completely recook it:
    • With a barbecue sauce, smothered in sliced onions or gravy, so this refreshes the purity. And then, next time refresh it by making it into
    • Chicken pizza, spaghetti, soup or stew... the possibilities go on and on.
  • Make Indian chicken curry. You can purchase Indian mixes at local Indian stores or in the International Aisle in the local supermarket. Chop up tomatoes and onions with this and follow directions that may come with the mix.


  • If you cook the chicken in the microwave, the meat can be cooked unevenly, which increases your risk of food poisoning. This method is not recommended if children or anyone with compromised health will be eating the chicken.
  • Be sure you are careful with any sharp utensils.
  • When cooking chicken, always make sure that you have cooked it all the way. Wash all items used to cook the chicken (knives, cutting boards, et cetera) to prevent bacterial illnesses. Chicken may taste good, but you should always keep basic safety precautions in mind.
  • Watch out for splattering oil/grease. It can really hurt and could even severely injury you if enough hot grease gets on your skin (or in your eye).