Preparation, uses, and tips
Wash chicken thoroughly in cold water and pat dry with a paper towel. Chicken should always
be cooked until well done. For best results, particularly when roasting a whole stuffed
chicken, use a meat thermometer inserted in the meatiest part of the bird. Internal
temperature for a whole chicken should be 165°F (74°C) when the chicken is done.
You can make a visual check to see if the chicken is done by piercing it with a fork. You
should be able to insert the fork with ease, and the chicken juices should run clear. Chicken
is thoroughly cooked when it is no longer pink inside.
Wash whole chicken inside and out under cold running water, then pat dry with paper towels.
Mix together 1 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper; sprinkle over outside of whole chicken
and inside body cavity, or stuff with bread crumbs, herbs,
spices, and vegetables if desired. Hook
wing tips under the back of the chicken. Place chicken breast side up in a shallow pan. Roast
in preheated 350°F (180°C) oven for 1 hour or until internal temperature reaches at
least 165°F (74°C). Let stand 10 minutes before carving.
In a plastic bag, mix together 1/2 cup flour (60g), 1 teaspoon salt, and 1/4 teaspoon
pepper. Add cut-up chicken parts, a few at a time, and shake to coat. In a large frying pan,
heat 1/3 cup (90mL) cooking oil to high temperature. Add chicken, skin side down, and cook,
uncovered, about 10 minutes, turning to brown all sides. Reduce heat to medium-low, cover, and
cook about 20 minutes more or until chicken is brown and fork tender.
Melt 1/4 cup butter or margarine in a small pan or microwavable dish. Remove from heat and
stir in 1 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper. In a shallow dish, place 1/2 cup dry bread
crumbs. One at a time, dip cut-up chicken parts in butter or margarine, and then in bread
crumbs, turning to coat well. Place chicken pieces in single layer on lightly greased baking
sheet, skin side up. Bake in preheated 375°F (190°C) oven about 50 minutes or until
chicken is brown and fork tender.
In a large pot or Dutch oven, place 1 whole chicken or 1 cut-up chicken, 3 to 4 pounds
(1,350 to 1,800g). Add enough water to cover (2 to 2 1/2 quarts or 1.89 to 2.5 liters), 1
teaspoon salt, and 1/4 teaspoon pepper. Add 1 small onion, sliced; 1 bay leaf; and 3 celery
tops, if desired, for richer broth flavor. Cover and simmer about 1 to 1 1/2 hours or until
chicken falls off the bone. Remove chicken from pan and let cool. Separate meat from bones.
Discard skin and bones. Cut chicken into desired size pieces.
Place chicken pieces on a rack above simmer cooking liquid (broth, wine, or water). Simmer
for about 45 minutes; test for doneness.
Preheat broiler. Line broiler pan with foil for easy cleanup. Spray the rack of the broiler
pan with nonstick cooking spray, if desired. Place chicken halves, leg quarters, parts, or
boneless, skinless chicken pieces on rack set in broiler pan. Position oven rack so that
chicken pieces on the broiler rack are 6 inches (about 15cm) from the heat source. Broil,
turning over several times, until juices run clear and internal temperatures reflect properly
cooked chicken. Boneless chicken takes approximately 4 to 5 minutes per side; bone-in pieces,
depending on the size, take about 20 minutes per side. Use tongs to turn chicken over to
prevent piercing and loss of juices during cooking.
For more uniform thickness and even cooking, flatten chicken halves with the heel of your
hand before placing them on the preheated grill. To preserve chicken’s natural moisture
and to prevent dryness, leave the skin on during grilling and remove it before eating, if
Place chicken halves, quarters, or parts on a prepared grill with the rack about 8 inches
(20cm) from the heat source. Grill, turning frequently (using tongs to prevent piercing skin),
about 1 to 1 1/4 hours or until fork tender. Chicken drumsticks, thighs, or whole legs (thighs
with drumsticks attached) require a longer cooking time than do chicken breasts. Homemade or
bottled barbecue sauce (or other glazes) may be brushed on chicken during the last 10 to 20
minutes of grilling time.
To test the temperature, place your palms above the coals or heat source at cooking level.
If you have to remove your hands after 2 seconds, the temperature is hot; after 3 seconds,
medium hot; and after 4 seconds, medium. More than 4 seconds indicates the grill has not
reached cooking temperature.
In a shallow microwave dish, arrange 1 cut-up chicken (or equivalent parts), skin removed,
in a single layer, with meatier parts toward the edges of the dish. Brush chicken with 1
tablespoon (15mL) melted butter or margarine. Cover with waxed paper and microwave on High 18
to 20 minutes or about 6 minutes per pound (450g), rotating the dish a half turn after 9
minutes. Sprinkle with 1/2 teaspoon seasoned salt and let stand, covered, 5 minutes. When
microwaving a whole chicken, use the Medium setting.
Chickens can be purchased whole, with weights that range from 3 to 10 pounds (1,350 to
4,540g); cut in parts such as breasts, thighs, legs, and wings; and even as ground meat. Some
chicken parts are available boneless and skinless. Chicken is usually sold fresh, but in some
supermarkets it has been frozen and thawed.
Cornish game hens (also called Rock Cornish hens) are tender, young hens that are specially
bred to be smaller-boned and meatier; they have a more delicate flavor. Broiler-fryers are
young (about 45 days old), tender birds. Roasters are older, about 10 weeks old. Capons are
large (8 to 10 pounds or 3,600 to 4,500g) castrated male chickens that have been kept confined
so their meat is tender. Fowl or stewing hens are older, laying hens, and give excellent
flavor to soup or broth.