How Long Should You Cook a Chicken? What Is the Healthiest Method?

Chicken, beloved by food lovers everywhere, holds a special place in our hearts. Whether it's fried to a golden crisp or simmered in comforting stews, it delights our taste buds every time. It's no wonder chicken dishes are a constant source of joy and satisfaction for many.

However, to give your chicken dish that desired taste means cooking it to perfection. Ensuring that chicken is cooked properly is not just about taste, it's also about safety and health. In this blog, we'll understand the importance of cooking chicken thoroughly and explore the healthiest methods to do so.

Why is it Important to Cook Chicken Before Eating?

Chicken, much like any other type of meat, has the potential to harbour harmful bacteria such as Salmonella and Campylobacter. Consuming undercooked chicken can result in foodborne illnesses, that can cause anything from mild discomfort to severe complications. However, thorough cooking effectively eliminates these pathogens, making chicken safe for consumption and minimising the risk of illness.

Safe Cooking Durations for Chicken

Cooking times for chicken depends on various factors, including the cut and method of cooking. Here are the safe cooking durations for different types of chicken products-

  1. Whole Chicken- Roasting a whole chicken at 190°C typically takes about 20 minutes per pound (450 grams). Ensure the internal temperature reaches 74°C at the thickest part of the bird.
  2. Chicken Breasts- Boneless, skinless chicken breasts can be cooked in a skillet over medium heat for 6 to 8 minutes per side or until they reach an internal temperature of 74°C.
  3. Chicken Thighs- Bone-in chicken thighs are best cooked in the oven at 220°C for 35 to 45 minutes, or until the internal temperature reaches 74°C.
  4. Chicken Legs (Skin Off)- For chicken legs with the skin removed, the safe cooking duration typically ranges from 35 to 45 minutes in an oven preheated to 220°C. Ensure the internal temperature reaches 74°C at the thickest part of the meat before serving.
  5. Chicken Drumsticks (Skin On)- For chicken drumsticks, ensure thorough cooking by baking them at 220°C for approximately 35 to 45 minutes. Check for doneness by verifying that the internal temperature reaches 74°C at the thickest part of the drumstick.
  6. Chicken Niblets- When baking or grilling chicken niblets, they usually require about 20-25 minutes at 200°C until they reach an internal temperature of 74°C. However, cooking times may vary slightly depending on the specific recipe and the size of the niblets. It's always best to use a meat thermometer to ensure they are cooked thoroughly and safe to eat.

3 Healthy Methods for Cooking Chicken

When it comes to cooking chicken, opting for healthy methods not only enhances flavour but also ensures a nutritious meal. Here are 3 tried-and-true best healthy ways to cook chicken-

  1. Grilling- Grilling chicken imparts a delicious smoky flavour while allowing excess fat to drip away. Marinate chicken breasts or thighs in your favourite herbs and spices, then grill over medium heat until fully cooked.
  2. Baking- Baking chicken in the oven is a convenient and healthy option. Place seasoned chicken breasts or thighs on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper and bake at 190°C until cooked through.
  3. Steaming- Steaming chicken is a gentle cooking method that preserves its natural flavours and nutrients. Place seasoned chicken breasts or thighs in a steamer basket over boiling water and steam for 10 to 15 minutes or until fully cooked.

What Is the Healthiest Method to Cook Chicken?

Stir-frying chicken is often considered one of the healthiest methods of cooking due to its quick cooking time and minimal use of added fats. This cooking technique involves rapidly cooking small pieces of chicken over high heat in a skillet or wok with a small amount of oil.

The high heat of stir-frying seals in the natural juices of the chicken while caramelising its exterior, resulting in tender and flavourful meat. Additionally, the short cooking time helps to retain the chicken's nutrients, ensuring a nutritious meal.

3 Ways for Cooking Chicken Safely and Healthily

To cook chicken safely and healthily, you need to keep in mind several key practices. Here are 3 essential strategies for preparing chicken in a way that prioritises both safety and nutrition-

  1. Use a Meat Thermometer- To ensure chicken is cooked to a safe internal temperature, use a meat thermometer inserted into the thickest part of the meat. Chicken should reach 74°C to be considered safe for consumption.
  2. Avoid Cross-Contamination- Prevent the spread of bacteria by keeping raw chicken separate from other foods, utensils, and surfaces. Wash your hands thoroughly after handling raw chicken and clean all surfaces with hot, soapy water.
  3. Proper Storage- Store raw chicken in the refrigerator at 4°C or below and use it within 1 to 2 days of purchase. If freezing chicken, package it securely in freezer-safe bags or containers and use within 6 to 9 months for optimal quality.

Order Quality Chicken Products from Tariq Halal

Cooking chicken properly is not only about creating delicious meals but also making sure that it is nutritious enough to consume. So, order your favourite chicken product with us and cook it to perfection to make a delicious meal-

  1. 5Kg Chicken Breast
  2. Premium Chicken Mince
  3. Chicken Drumsticks (Skin On)
  4. Chicken Legs (Skin Off)
  5. Chicken Niblets

By following proper cooking guidelines and healthy cooking methods, you can enjoy chicken dishes that are both flavourful and nutritious. Remember, cooking chicken thoroughly is always worth the effort for a satisfying and safe dining experience.