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How to Cook Chicken – Preparation and Cooking Tips

Knowing some preparation tips and how to cook chicken will help you make healthy chicken recipes that your family will love

We’re talking about chicken recipes that are truly nourishing for your family.

Raw Chicken Parts

It is one thing to know the ingredients and directions on how to cook a chicken meal.

It is, however, another thing to actually prepare and cook the meal in a healthful way.

Follow these How to Cook Chicken tips and you’re on your way to ensuring that the chicken meals you cook for your family will be nutritious for them.

1. Cleanliness As You Prepare Your Chicken

• Use hot water and soap to thoroughly wash your hands after having handled raw chicken.

• Also wash your hands before starting to prepare and cook anything to eat.

• When preparing raw chicken for your healthy chicken meals, don’t allow it or its juices to touch other foods.

• When refrigerating raw chicken, don’t allow it or its juices to touch any other foods.

• If you have used a plate to put raw chicken in, don’t put any cooked food in that plate. Before using the plate, thoroughly use hot water and soap to wash it.

• Also wash any other utensil that has come in contact with the raw chicken.

• If the chicken has touched your counter or any other surface, clean the surface with hot, soapy water. Then spray the surface with anti bacterial kitchen cleaner solution, and then wipe with paper towel.

• You may also mix one teaspoon of chlorine bleach in one quart of water to sanitize the surfaces.

2. How to Cook Chicken - Thawing Your Chicken

Two best ways to thaw your raw chicken are either in cold water or in the refrigerator.

• Do not thaw your chicken at room temperature.

• Put the chicken in a plastic bag that is watertight or leave it in the wrapping it came in originally, and then put it in water. Change the water every 30 minutes.

• Remember to wash and disinfect the utensils and kitchen sink you used in thawing chicken.

• Microwave is a good equipment to use if you want to thaw chicken quickly.

• The time it takes you to thaw chicken using the microwave will depend on whether the chicken is whole or in parts. If in parts, it will also depend on how many parts were frozen together. 

• Set the microwave to “Defrost”.

• And as the chicken thaws, turn it and separate the parts if you are thawing chicken parts that were frozen together.

• When you finish using microwave to thaw the chicken, cook it right away.

3. Marinating Your Chicken

• You can make your own marinade to your taste or buy already made ones.

• Do not marinate chicken on your kitchen counter. The refrigerator is the best place to do it.

• After using marinade, throw away whatever remains of the marinade because it may contain bacteria from the raw chicken. If you want to use the surplus marinade to make sauce. In that case, boil it thoroughly.

4. Cooking Advice

Kitchen Thermometer

For you to know how to cook chicken, it is very essential you have a kitchen thermometer handy.

Using it will help you avoid not cooking the chicken thoroughly and prevent illnesses that are caused by bacteria.

How to Cook Chicken - Cooking Whole Chicken and Chicken Parts

• Always cook your chicken to a temperature that ensures that all bacteria are destroyed.

• Make sure you cook chicken to a minimum internal temperature of 165 oF (74 oC) or more. This will destroy harmful bacteria in the food.

• Do not rely on the color or looks of the chicken to confirm that you have cooked it thoroughly and destroyed all bacteria. Use a food thermometer to ensure this.

If you are baking a stuffed chicken, make sure you insert the food thermometer in the center of the stuffing to make sure the temperature is minimum 165 oF (74 oC).

• For chicken parts, insert the thermometer in the thickest part of the chicken. Don’t put the thermometer where there is bone.

• You may also insert it in different parts of the meat to make sure all parts of the chicken are well cooked.

How to Cook Ground Chicken

Cook ground chicken to minimum of  165 oF (74 oC) to destroy bacteria.

Ground chicken is not like whole chicken.

The process of grinding chicken exposes it to bacteria from the grinding machine, the environment, and from the hands of the person grinding the chicken.

5. Serving Your Cooked Chicken

• Use soap and water to wash your hands before serving cooked chicken food. Also do the same before eating the food.

• Serve your cooked chicken on clean plates using clean utensils.

• DO NOT put your cooked chicken in a dish that you had earlier used in putting raw chicken. Wash the dish with hot water and soap before putting cooked food in it.

6. Leftover Chicken Meal:

• Store leftover cooked chicken in clean vessels.

• If the leftover is large amount of food, then divide it into smaller portions. This will help the portion cool or freeze quickly.

• Avoid putting a whole stuffed cooked chicken in the refrigerator or freezer. Take out the stuffing from the chicken and cut up the chicken. Store the stuffing and chicken separately in the refrigerator or freezer.

• Do not put large amount of stuffing in one pot, in the refrigerator. It will take long time to cool. Share it into smaller portions before refrigerating.

• For cooked chicken in the refrigerator, use it up within three days.  For frozen cooked chicken, use it within a month. Always wrap cooked chicken in heavy foil before putting it in the refrigerator or freezer.

• Throw away any cooked chicken you have kept too long in the refrigerator or freezer.

Now you know how to cook chicken, check out the healthy chicken recipes we have below.

While preparing any of the recipes, don’t forget to apply the tips we’ve given you above. Happy Cooking and Good Appetite!

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