When you think about chicken, you probably get hungry. However, chicken is such an important part of the American diet. Whether it’s grilled, baked, or fried, it’s a dinner staple that a lot of people enjoy in their diet. Of course, understanding everything about chicken can be hard because it can be enjoyed in so many different ways. This everything chicken guide is going to help you know everything about chicken.
Understanding How to Buy Chicken Cuts
Walking into a meat market, you are going to get a bombarded with a ton of different chicken options. Here is a list of what will be available for purchased when you are buying chicken.
Chicken Breast – Let’s be honest, this is one of the easiest pieces of the chicken to buy and cook. The chicken breast can be boneless or it can not be boneless. It can be bought as a whole or it can be bought sliced.
Chicken Wing – Chicken wings are perhaps one of the most enjoys parts of the chicken. You can enjoy them baked or fried and add the delicious sauce. Otherwise, chicken wings can also be left plain.
Chicken Drumsticks – Some of you all would do anything for a drumstick and it’s clear to see why they can be so delicious. Drumsticks are an inexpensive part of the chicken and can be cooked however you like.
Chicken Legs – Another inexpensive part of the chicken is the leg. Chicken legs are popular in a lot of recipes because they are easy to cook and it doesn’t take much to make them delicious. You can make chicken legs to be tender or crispy, whatever you like!
Whole Chicken – If you really want to save money and want to do the work yourself, you can buy the whole chicken. These are normally a lot cheaper to buy and you can break it down how you want.
How to Prepare Chicken Before Cooking It
Once you have the cuts of chicken that you want, you may be wondering how you prepare it for cooking. Prepping chicken isn’t a hard task, but it may be something that is a little weird to you at first.
Before you cook with chicken, it’s recommended that you don’t wash it. It’s said that if you wash chicken before you cook it, the bacteria can spread around your home. Because you may not know where the bacteria lands, it can end up causing food poisoning.
Storing the Chicken
If you are going to store the chicken before cooking it, then you need to make sure it’s covered the entire time that it’s in the fridge. It’s also recommended that the chicken is stored at the bottom of the fridge so that none of the juices can contaminate other foods that are being stored in your fridge.
How to Freeze Chicken
Sometimes you buy chicken in bulk and you want to freeze it. Have no fear about freezing chicken because it’s actually quite easy.
- After you have bought the chicken.
- Separate it into portion sizes. For example 2 or 3 chicken breasts for one meal.
- Put the 2 or 3 chicken breasts in a freezer bag.
- Let all of the air out of the bag before sealing it.
- Lay flat in the freezer for it to freeze.
- You can write a date on the freezer bag, so you know how long it’s been there.
When stored properly in the freezer, chicken can last anywhere from 9 to 12 months. Keep in mind you can store it longer, but it won’t have much flavor. The USDA only suggests chicken be left in the freezer for around 3 months. You have to use your best judgment when it comes to freezing chicken and how long before it’s no longer consumable by your family.
Always Wash Surfaces Touched By Chicken
If at any time, chicken has touched the surface of anything, it is vital that the surface is washed. For example, a cutting board, utensils, the countertop, your kitchen sink, anything. Raw chicken has some nasty bacteria and washing the surfaces that it has touched with soap and water can kill the bacteria.
Cooking Chicken Thoroughly
One thing that must be larned by anyone cooking chicken is that it must be cooked thoroughly. You cannot, under any circumstances, eat raw chicken.
Chicken needs to be cooked all the way through. You can tell that the chicken is cooked all the way through when the chicken is no longer pink and all the juices are entirely clear.
You can easily take a knife and cut through the thickest part of the chicken, to make sure it’s not pink and cooked all the way through. Of course, you will also want to make sure all parts of the chicken are warm. Cold chicken means that it’s not thoroughly cooked.
How to Boil Chicken
Have you ever looked at a pack of chicken and you needed to cook it, but didn’t know where to get started? You can cook any cut of chicken by boiling it and the directions remain the same. However, for thicker chicken, you may have to cook it longer.
- Take a pot of water and the chicken and place it on the stovetop.
- I place the chicken in the pot of water before it’s boiling, some people add the chicken after it’s boiling.
- Keep the heat on medium to high heat while the chicken is cooking in the boiling water.
- After a few minutes of it boiling, you can reduce the heat to low.
- You will want to cover the chicken as it cooks to help keep the chicken cooking well.
- Depending on how big the chicken is, is how long you will want to cook it.
- Use a meat thermometer to ensure your chicken has reached the optimal temperature.
- You can season the chicken while it’s boiling or after, up to you!
How to Bake Chicken
When you are in the mood for some baked chicken, you may be wondering how you should cook it. Baked chicken is just as enjoyable as any other type of chicken out there, you just need to know the basic instructions for baking chicken in your over.
- Preheat the oven to at least 450 degrees.
- Take a baking dish and line it with aluminum foil.
- Take the chicken and spray it with olive oil, add salt and pepper or your choice of seasoning.
- You will want to bake the chicken uncovered until it reaches a temp of at least 165 degrees F.
- The chicken will need to be baked for 20 minutes for every 2 chicken breasts that you are making. (2 chicken breasts = 20 minutes or 4 chicken breasts = 40 minutes).
- You will want to slice the chicken up to make sure it’s cooking thoroughly on the inside.
- Always let chicken rest after it has been baking. Resting means you’re allowing the chicken to sit there for at least 5 minutes.
- It will sit in the spices and juices for those 5 minutes and then you can start slicing and dicing to serve your guests.
How to Grill Chicken
How many of you LOVE grilled chicken? It’s something that most people enjoy eating in the summertime. Grilling is simple and such a delicious way to enjoy chicken. If you have never grilled chicken before, then there may be some things you need to know!
- Consider marinating chicken before putting on the grill.
- Take some time to tenderize the chicken, if you don’t have time to marinate it.
- Make sure you clean the grill before you add the chicken to it.
- Put the chicken on the grill and start grilling it.
- You’ll want to have the heat on at least medium.
- Use tongs to help you move around the chicken with ease.
- You can grill any cut of chicken on the grill.
How to Cook Chicken in a Slow Cooker
Chicken can also be cooked in a slow cooker or a crockpot. When chicken is put into a crockpot it can be fresh or frozen.
If you want the chicken to be cooked quickly, you will want to turn the slow cooker on high for 4-6 hours. If you want the chicken to be cooked slowly, you will want to turn it on low for 6-10 hours.
You don’t need to add extra liquid to the slow cooker because the water from the chicken will help to cook it. You can add spices or other ingredients to help the chicken cook into something juicer.
How to Cook Chicken in an Instant Pot
How many of you own an Instant Pot? Cooking chicken in an Instant Pot is one of the easiest ways in which you can make it. Keep reading to discover how to cook chicken in an Instant Pot. Before you put anything in an Instant Pot, you should know that you need liquid.
- Add 3-4 chicken breasts to the Instant Pot.
- Add enough liquid per the instructions on your IP.
- Seal the Instant Pot.
- Put on high pressure for 10 minutes.
- You may need to play around with the times, depending on how much chicken you’re cooking.
How to Cook Chicken in an Air Fryer
Air fryers are very popular these days! Almost every household has an air fryer or is thinking about buying one for their home. The good news is that cooking chicken in the air fryer is quite easy! Here are some tips for cooking chicken in an air fryer.
Frozen Chicken in an Air Fryer
If you want to cook frozen chicken in an air fryer, you will need to preheat the air fryer to around 390 degrees. The frozen chicken breast will need to cook for around 20-25 minutes. If you have more than one chicken breast, you will need to cook it longer.
Fresh Chicken in an Air Fryer
To make fresh chicken in an air fryer, you will need to preheat the air fryer to 400 degrees. You will want to season the chicken before putting it in the air fryer. Put the chicken in the air fryer basket for 7 minutes. Once it’s cooked for 7 minutes, you will want to flip it over and cook it for another 4 minutes.
What else would you like to know about chicken? We’re hoping this everything chicken recipe helps you cook chicken according to how you want it.
Air Fryer Rotisserie Cornish Game Hen
One of the easiest chickens you will ever make. The skin is golden brown with the help of lemon juice and melted butter, and a blend of herbs. This creates a VERY juicy chicken.
- Prep Time: 5 minutes
- Cook Time: 30 minutes
- Total Time: 35 minutes
- Yield: 2 servings 1x
- Category: Main Course
- Cuisine: American
- 2 Cornish hens
- 1/2 cup lemon juice
- 1/2 cup melted butter
- 1 teaspoon paprika
- 1 teaspoon dried thyme
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
- Start off by cleaning the cornish hen, I run water through it, until the water comes out clean.
- Then in a small bowl, mix together the melted butter, lemon juice, paprika, thyme, salt, garlic powder, and pepper.
- Rub the mixture over the Cornish hens.
- Set the seasoned Cornish Hens in the air fryer, for 30 minutes at 390 degrees. I basted my Cornish hens every 10 minutes until done. I also flipped my hens at the 15-minute mark, so both sides would get nice and brown.
- Check the internal temperature of the Cornish Hen, which should read 165 degrees F.
- Plate, serve and enjoy!