Some hints on cooking chicken, a most versatile ingredient

Chicken is a really versatile ingredient in cooking, and is type of protein that seems to be available in nearly all cultures. This makes sense, as chickens themselves are pretty easy to grow and manage.

Here are a few KitchenHints about chicken.

Chicken can be cooked frozen.

Chicken is one of the few (if only) meats that can actually be cooked from frozen. If you forgot to take something out of the freezer, chicken is your best bet. It is important to watch the cooking process, and use lower heat if you’re starting from frozen because it is possible to overcook the outer layers while undercooking the inner parts. I would only recommend doing this with chicken breasts, and not thighs or legs, as breasts are more of uniform thickness.

Cube chicken before marinating and/or sautéing.

This might not make for the best presentation of chicken if you’re serving it at a dinner party, but for casual dining, this is pretty great. Cubing the chicken before soaking it in a marinade lets the chicken soak up more of the marinade and be diffused more uniformly in the meat. Also, when sautéing the chicken, it will cook a little quicker and be more uniformly done than as a whole piece of meat. This is how I prepare any chicken that is going to be part of another dish.

Wash chicken preparation areas before and after you work with the chicken.

Really, this should be done with any sort of meat preparation, but most especially chicken. Wash the cutting board(s), knives, your hands, etc. It is too easy to transfer germs from the uncooked chicken to something else that you are going to eat otherwise.