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Cooking Chicken Mistakes You Might Be Making

Handle with Care: Cooking Chicken Mistakes You Might Be Making French Food: Chicken with forty cloves of garlic in the dish for baking and ingredients close-up on the table. horizontal view from above

Chicken meat is extremely popular in America, but also most places in the world. It’s available everywhere – fast food or fine dining – and you probably use it frequently as an ingredient in your own dishes. But, as with anything, there are some cooking chicken mistakes you might be making because nobody has all-encompassing knowledge about everything. Find out if that's the case!

We're all human, we all make basic mistakes in the kitchen. I surely didn’t know all the things below, and I feel that now I can make tastier, healthier chicken, for myself and my loved ones. These cooking chicken mistakes might happen while making any kind of dish. And chicken can be used into a wide range of delicious, finger-licking good dishes, from schnitzels to salads, pizzas and even soups for the soul! Serve your chicken dishes with some mistake-free guacamole. 

Handle with Care: Cooking Chicken Mistakes You Might Be Making

If you learn how to cook properly with chicken, the path is clear to great foods, like souvlaki.

4 cooking chicken mistakes to stop making!

1. Cooking it straight from the fridge

If your meat is still cold when you throw it in the pan, skillet, or oven, then you will get overcooked meat or a deceptively delicious outside and undercooked inside for the chicken. You don’t want to leave the chicken on the counter for too long, but you also don’t want to leave it there for too little time.

Wait until it gets to room temperature, and then cook it. It should take about 10-15 minutes, and the bacteria on the meat tends to multiply after the 20-minute mark.

2. Slowly thawing the chicken

When I was planning dinners, I used to take out some frozen chicken from the freezer, put it in a large bowl, and let the water flow over it so it can thaw slowly. Then I honestly got too impatient and started to check on the meat too frequently, waiting for it to be tender flesh again!

Why is it a mistake?

Because it’s a simple, easy path to getting food poisoning. The outside of the chicken thaws at first and then remains at room temperature until the inside part thaws as well. All those hours are just perfect for the bacteria on the surface of the chicken to multiply.

You should put the chicken in a Ziploc bag and keep it in a bowl with water.

Handle with Care: Cooking Chicken Mistakes You Might Be Making

Learn how to thaw a chicken the right way, as fast as possible.

3. Handling without care

One of my biggest shocks, when it came to cooking chicken mistakes, was that you have to handle poultry meat with a lot of care. That’s because you can find salmonella on the surface of the chicken cuts, and you can transfer that bacteria to your whole kitchen, house, or life if you don’t pay attention.

I went a bit paranoid even after I found out that info, and I paid so much attention to the meat handling, that I hardly got anything else done. But even being careful is best in moderation.

So, don’t reuse any plates the raw chicken has been on. Wash them immediately after that. Wash your hands after you touch the chicken before you touch other food in your fridge. And whatever you do, don’t wash the chicken in the sink, because the drops from the faucet can give movement to the bacteria and spread it around your house!

4. Removing the bones and skins!

It’s much easier to buy chicken cuts without bone or skin, from the market. I don’t necessarily like that because I am the number one fan of crispy, seasoned chicken skin. I eat that on top of bread as a sandwich. But I know that a lot of people don’t because of health concerns or personal preferences.

The thing is this: bones and skin ensure that the chicken will have a more intense flavor and texture after being cooked thoroughly. Bones and skin keep the moisture in, and I did not mean to rhyme, but I love chicken skin, so I’ll allow it! The skin also protects the chicken meat from extreme heat. I rhymed again, but I guess that’s what the thought of chicken skin does to me: puts me in a poetic mood.

If you're making some stock, there's no way you should remove the bones. And if you have some extra crispy skin, send it my way, pretty please.

Handle with Care: Cooking Chicken Mistakes You Might Be Making

Even if you don't eat the crunchy chicken skin, cook the meat with the skin on.

I’m a pop culture nerd who thinks too much about fried bacon, Buffy the Vampire Slayer and life, the Universe and everything. I love food and sometimes you can see that on my hips, but I don't care that much about that.
What I do care more about is trying to eat healthier, even though I admit that I like to indulge in my food fantasies. I’m addicted to puns, so forgive me for that when you read my articles. I now know too much about nutrition to be fun to hang out with. So long and thanks for all the fish-based omega-3 fatty acids.

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