Chicken is now the most preferred meat in the US, outpacing beef by a mile. There can be many reasons like availability, affordability, and versatility. Yes, chicken must be the most versatile meat of all as it can be cooked in so many ways.
Baked chicken is a favorite alternative to cook chicken. You can find many baked chicken recipes out there. If you are only beginning to bake your chicken, avoiding the following common mistakes will get you the best results:
Not Checking for Freshness
For all chicken recipes, this should be a primordial consideration. Chicken that has gone past its prime will affect the quality of a whole chicken dish. To check on the freshness, check for a change in color and smell. Fresh chicken is pink and fleshy, and it does not have a foul smell.
Using Frozen Chicken
It may also be better to choose locally raised chicken to be sure that they are organic, free-range, and are kept on the fridge rather than on the freezer. Bacterial growth is controlled when chicken is placed in the fridge. In contrast to popular belief, this does not happen when chicken is frozen.
Washing the Chicken
It may seem a good idea to wash chicken to get rid of contaminants. But not at all. You are spreading harmful microorganisms instead. Another mistake to avoid contamination is thawing chicken that is straight from the freezer or fridge on the counter. This will also make your counter messy.
Not Getting Rid of Extra Water
Using newly bought chicken or one that is fresh from the fridge or freezer right away will not give you that lovely brown crisp when you bake your chicken. This is because of the extra moisture or thin sheets of ice embedded on its flesh or skin. To come up with that brown crisp, patting the chicken with paper towels to get rid of extra moisture can be the best way to do it.
You can also let the chicken sit or air dry for some time before baking it. This will also ensure that there are no droplets of water inside and that temperature in the inside and outside the chicken is almost the same to ensure even cooking.
Forgetting to Brine
Soaking the chicken in water of herbs, salt, sugar, and spices for some hours will make your chicken tastier and more aromatic. It will also keep the moisture within the chicken so cooking will be even, which can prevent overcooking of the outside. If you want your chicken to be a bit juicier, this is the way to do it.
Taking the Skin Off
It may be alright to remove the skin when cooking chicken using other options. But when baking chicken, it may not give you the best results. When we bake chicken, we want it brown and crispy. You will not surely achieve this if you peel the skin off. This is because you are taking off the part that can give the chicken moisture. If you are trying to be healthy and you don’t want chicken skin, baking chicken may not be the best recipe for you.
Not Being Aware of the Temperature
Recipe books may tell us the time when the dish we are cooking is already cooked. But sometimes, even if you follow strictly what a recipe tells you, you may still come up with uncooked dish. When cooking meat, using a meat thermometer can be the best way to ensure that the meat is cooked. This will avoid overcooking.
In the case of chicken, it should be cooked at 165 degrees Fahrenheit. Insert the thermometer in the thickest area of flesh. By doing this, you can be assured that your chicken is juicy and soft.
Serving It Right Away
You may think that serving the chicken right away while it is still very hot is better than serving it when cooled. Upon removing chicken from the oven, let it rest and cool a bit for about 15 minutes. This will allow the juices to be distributed and not concentrated on one part. This will ensure you that whichever part of the chicken one picks, it will be as flavorful as the other parts.
Indeed, baking chicken is one of the best ways to cook chicken. You can be sure that all those partaking in it will enjoy the meal that you prepared. But before they do, you must avoid the mistakes above.