How to cook chicken and turkey
I received many requests for a page on how to cook chicken and turkey. But as poultry is so versatile, one page would never manage to cover all the things you can do with it!
So think of this page as your hub. I will add links to all the chicken recipes on the site.
Make the most of chicken
Chicken is a healthy alternative to red meat due to it's lower fat content. Recently it has become more popular than beef in the US. It's hard to believe that it was once a luxury food and reserved for special occasions!
The cheapest way to buy chicken is as a whole, frozen bird. You can roast it for one meal and then use the leftovers to stretch it for another day. Alternatively you can cut it into separate pieces before cooking.
Don't forget the carcass makes great chicken stock, to use in other recipes too. Nothing need go to waste, ideal if you are cooking on a budget.
Chicken is also available as leg, thigh, drumstick, wing and breast (skinned and/or boneless) portions for convenience. Another option is minced or ground chicken meat. You can even buy pots of chicken livers which make a tasty, risotto or pate.
Names for chicken breast cuts:
A fillet of chicken has the bone removed, whereas a supreme has the wing still attached.
From a humble chicken bake, to tasty chicken Kiev, there is so much you can do with this bird. It is well worth learning how to cook chicken!
If you have a freezer, it makes sense to keep chicken portions or breasts on hand. But do make sure it is fully defrosted before cooking, to avoid any upset tummies.
Handling raw poultry
Exercise caution when preparing raw chicken to prevent any risk of salmonella.
Always wash your hands after handling it and clean your work surface thoroughly before doing any other cooking.
What about free range birds?
If you want the ultimate in flavor, you can't beat a free range chicken.
Granted, they are pricier, but you may feel, like me, that it is worth it. After all, they have been able to find their own food instead of eating a grain based diet. They also had the chance to build muscle by flapping their wings.
How to cook chicken
There are so many ways to cook chicken! It can be roasted, pan fried, deep fried, casseroled, braised, stuffed, grilled and even made into soup.
- Drumsticks - barbecue or fry
- Thigh - casserole or braise
- Leg - casserole, stew, crock pot
- Breast - fried, stuffed, stir-fried
- Whole bird - roast, crock pot
How to reheat chicken
At the top of this page you read about roasting a chicken for one meal and then using the leftovers the next day. So does this mean it is safe to reheat chicken?
Yes - but there are some important things to keep in mind.
- First, you will want to cool any leftover meat as quickly as possible. This will help to prevent bacteria growing and making you ill when you eat the rest of the bird.
- Next, leave the meat on the carcass until you are ready to use it up. This helps to avoid it “drying out”, and also prevents it losing nutrients.
- Reheat the meat as quickly and thoroughly as possible. You don’t want to continue cooking the chicken, just to heat it up and then serve it straight away.
- Don’t reheat food more than once. If there is any remaining after your second dish, dispose of it.
Because of the need for swift reheating, frying and grilling are often the safest methods to use. You could also make a sauce to serve over the reheated meat as this helps to moisten the chicken.
How to Cook Chicken - Recipes
How to Cook Turkey
Where better place to start this section than with a delicious roast turkey for a festive meal! I will be adding further turkey recipes to the site, which will be listed here, so you may wish to bookmark the page.
How to roast a turkey