Tips for cooking chicken?
I just bought my first raw chicken to cook (I'm slowly moving away from being a vegetarian - doing great with fish, and have been eating prepared chicken from WF - but haven't tried cooking it, until now!)
The butcher cut it up in pieces for me... and it's sitting in my fridge.
Any tips? I'm kind of nervous...
I have a recipe to roast it, so I need to go buy a roasting pan - but my plan is to roast all the pieces, then freeze what I can't eat in a day or two after it's cooked. That should be ok, right?
Thanks... and wish me luck!
Should be perfectly fine. Roasting is a very easy and tasty way to cook chicken. Did the butcher keep the skin on the pieces?
Make a compound butter using fresh herbs - thyme, rosemary, sage and pasteured butter. Rub liberally all over the chicken. Put on a oven safe pan w edges to catch the drippings. Roast uncovered for about 35 - 40 mins. Use the drippings for the chicken and whatever vegetable you may be serving. Super easy and delish!
try marinading it for 24-48 hrs before cooking it. this will impart an "other than chicken" flavor and extra juiciness. my chicken-hating husband likes this marinade:
juice from 1 lime or 1/2 lemon
4-5 garlic cloves, crushed
chopped cilantro or parsley
Keep it simple. Rub it with butter or bacon fat and season with salt, pepper, and maybe some parsley. If the pieces still have the skin, tuck some minced garlic under the skin. Roast at 400 degrees F. No special pan should be needed. Roasters are nice if you have the chicken whole though.
I have chicken hindquarters (legs & thighs with skin on) in my fridge that I'm cooking for dinner. I will put them in a big pyrex dish (like 9 x 12) and dab a little bit of pesto I have on hand onto each one with some salt and pepper and then just roast for about 35 - 45 minutes (or until my meat thermometer says they're done), then enjoy with a big side of veggies. Sometimes I just sprinkle on a variety of seasonings - like an Italian herb blend is good and you can even put some lemon zest and juice on them too. Or go for more of tex-mex inspired flavor with a little chile powder or smoky paprika and lime juice. Or go Asian and do a soy-sauce with sesame oil, garlic, chile flakes, etc. (I know some folks don't eat soy sauce - we eat it sparingly).
Oooh awesome, thank you guys for all the tips! I'm a little nervous about rubbing anything on it at this point, I'm still not over the "it looks gross and bloody" thing (sorry - I'm working on it!).
I *think* the skin is still on, but I haven't really examined it closely yet. It's still in a big plastic bag, with that in a bowl, sitting in the fridge.
Weird question: I was going to buy a roasting pan that has a lid, because I was under the impression that roasting chicken without a lid would make the inside of the oven really dirty/greasy? Is that not a problem?
And THANKS for all the ideas for seasoning and cooking! You guys make it sound easy which is what I needed to hear !
You don't need a lid. If the fat is on all the pieces still, I like to lay them on a cooling rack on top of a cookie sheet. This gets the fat nice and crisy.
If you can't bear to touch it, remove it with tongs, place in roasting pan, sprinkle with olive oil, salt & pepper, and maybe some herbs, and roast until the juices run clear when pierced with a sharp knife.
Put the pieces in a ziplock bag, pour a nice herby marinade and let it sit at least 20 minutes. Then bake, grill, broil or sautee. Tnis marinade is awesome:
Grilled Lemon Chicken
1/3 cup lemon juice
1/4 cup olive oil
1 tbsp dijon or coarse mustard
2 cloves garlic, mashed
2 tbsp red bell pepper, finely diced
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp ground black pepper
4 boneless breasts or 1 chicken cut in half
Mix all ingredients, marinate chicken for at least 20 minutes. Grill until breast registers 165 degrees, thighs 180.