How To Cook Chicken

Cooking chicken is an essential skill for any home cook. It is a versatile protein that can be used in a variety of dishes and can be cooked in many different ways. If you’re new to the kitchen or just looking to expand your cooking skills, this guide will give you everything you need to know about cooking chicken.

Before you start: Safety and Handling

Before you begin handling chicken, it’s essential to know about food safety. Bacteria such as Salmonella can be present in raw chicken, so it’s crucial to handle it properly to avoid getting sick. The following are tips to keep in mind:

– Always wash your hands before and after handling chicken to prevent cross-contamination.
– Keep raw chicken separate from other foods to avoid cross-contamination.
– Store chicken in the refrigerator until you’re ready to cook it.
– Make sure the chicken reaches an internal temperature of 165°F to destroy harmful bacteria.

How to Cook Chicken

1. Pan-frying chicken breasts

Pan-frying is one of the most popular methods for cooking chicken breasts. Here’s how you can do it:

– 2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
– Salt and pepper
– 1 tablespoon olive oil
– 1 tablespoon butter

1. Season both sides of the chicken breasts with salt and pepper.
2. In a large skillet, heat olive oil and butter over medium-high heat.
3. Once the pan is hot, add the chicken breasts to the skillet.
4. Cook the chicken for 6 to 7 minutes per side or until the internal temperature reaches 165°F.
5. Transfer the cooked chicken breasts to a plate and let them rest for a few minutes before slicing and serving.

2. Grilling chicken thighs

Grilling is an excellent way to cook chicken thighs as it gives the chicken a smoky flavor. Here’s how you can do it:

– 4 chicken thighs
– Salt and pepper
– BBQ sauce

1. Preheat your grill to medium-high heat.
2. Season the chicken thighs with salt and pepper.
3. Place the chicken thighs on the grill and cook for 5 to 6 minutes on each side.
4. Brush the BBQ sauce over the chicken thighs and continue cooking for another 1 to 2 minutes.
5. Once done, remove the chicken from the grill and let it rest for a few minutes before slicing and serving.

3. Roasting Whole Chicken

Roasting a whole chicken can be intimidating, but it’s surprisingly easy to do. Here’s how you can do it:

– 1 whole chicken (3-4 lbs.)
– Salt and pepper
– 1 lemon
– 4 cloves of garlic
– 2 sprigs of fresh rosemary
– 2 tablespoons of olive oil

1. Preheat your oven to 375°F.
2. Clean the chicken and remove the giblets.
3. Season the chicken with salt and pepper.
4. Cut the lemon in half and squeeze the juice over the chicken. Stuff the lemon halves into the chicken cavity.
5. Crush the garlic and add it to the chicken cavity along with the fresh rosemary sprigs.
6. Brush the chicken with olive oil.
7. Place the chicken in a roasting pan and roast it in the oven for about 1 hour and 15 minutes or until the internal temperature reaches 165°F.
8. Let the chicken rest for a few minutes before carving and serving.


Q: How do I know if the chicken is cooked?
A: The best way to ensure that chicken is cooked is by using a meat thermometer. Insert the thermometer into the thickest part of the meat without touching any bones. The internal temperature should reach 165°F to ensure that all harmful bacteria are destroyed.

Q: Can I cook chicken without oil?
A: Yes, you can cook chicken without oil. For example, you can bake or grill chicken without using oil.

Q: How long does it take to cook a whole chicken?
A: A whole chicken typically takes about 1 hour and 15 minutes to cook in the oven.

Q: Can I marinate chicken overnight?
A: Yes, you can. In fact, marinating chicken overnight can add more flavor to the meat.

Q: How many pounds of chicken should I buy for a family of four?
A: For a family of four, you should buy about 3 to 4 pounds of chicken, depending on how much each person eats.


Cooking chicken is an essential skill that everyone should have in their cooking arsenal. With the tips mentioned above, you’ll be able to cook chicken in a variety of ways, ensuring that it’s safe, delicious, and packed with flavor. Remember to always follow food safety guidelines when handling chicken, and use a meat thermometer to ensure it’s cooked to perfection. Happy cooking!

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