Have you had a bad chicken experience? Then read on. With a little care and knowledge, these bad experiences can be replaced with great, finger licking chicken fun.
Here are some suggestions that, if adhered to, should make your chicken cooking experience much less stressful.
As stated in my E-books, it’s essential you use a separate board to cut chicken and clean all equipment thoroughly. It is seldom the chicken that causes illness. Often it’s the raw juices that have contaminated other uncooked foods. Bugs love raw chicken juice……..

When taking this onboard also watch where you place the wrappings the chicken came in. If your chicken is packaged in plastic, check there are no holes spilling juice onto other foods or bench tops. Wipe bench tops, knives and boards constantly. Keep the cloth used separate from other foods and wash immediately before using again.

Chicken is only safe with two temperatures. Hot or cold. Keeping it warm for any length of time is not a safe option. There are many wonderful recipes which enable chicken to be served either hot or cold giving versatility to your organisation if the time between cooking and serving is an unknown factor.

The grilling techniques for cooking chicken on a BBQ are different to cooking red meat and burgers. The fat on a chicken is on the outside, in the skin, as are a good many vitamins. The fat in red meat is veined throughout. This means chicken will dry out quicker than red meat, if over cooked. The bones in a chicken also add a variable, conducting heat to the centre of the bird quickly.
The up side of this is that bones and skin add huge value in flavour and tenderness of chicken. Here are some tips to keep your chicken experiences all good ones.
1. Do not remove the skin from breasts before cooking. It protects the meat from drying out and if cooked to crispness adds a pleasing textural contrast.
2. Keep a spray bottle of water handy. When the fat under the skin catches fire, a quick squirt gets things under control.
3. It is far better to cook over a slatted grill than a solid one. The slatted grill is a little more exciting with flare-ups from the melting fat flavoring the meat and leaving the crisp goodness of the vitamin enriched skin. A solid grill allows the chicken to cook in it’s fat which is not such an healthy option.
4. If you have a fear of the chicken skin adding kilos and insist on removing it, you need to marinade your chicken with something that will protect the meat. Check out my blog for tips and free recipes of great marinades.
5. When cooking kebabs, keep in mind that most vegetables cook SLOWER than the chicken. Either partly pre-cook vegetables or cut your chicken thickly. Personally, I prefer to make my kebabs individual performers; a separate kebab for the chicken and vegetables.
6. Always try to have a hot, fast cooking side and a medium, gentle cooking side on your BBQ. This allows you to gently finish cooking larger pieces or whole butterflied birds.
7. Chicken bones absorb salt which turns them pink. This pink colours the flesh next to it. I have seen many cooks ruin their chicken trying to get rid of the pink flesh next to the bone. If the flesh pulls away from the bone, it is cooked, pink or not. If the juices run clear when pricked with a fork, it is cooked.
8. If you soak the chicken in dark marinades containing soya sauce, black bean paste or similar, your chicken will turn grey when cooked. Keep these marinades for basting the chicken with as it is cooking, enhancing the flavor without changing the color.

Chicken is a wonderfully nutritious and healthy food and perfectly safe when treated with the respect it deserves and a little knowledge.

Author's Bio: 

Irene Palmer is a food writer, party planner, yacht master and personal chef. Working as a personal chef for the past 20 years, her many international clients have her frequently travelling the world, providing her with a constant source of new material and recipes.

Irene’s food is a combination of the many cultures she has experienced. A fusion of cooking styles from the East, West and everywhere in-between.

Irene has written 6 specialized cook books. She has a novel and contemporary style, marrying basic food skills with stress free organisation. Her original recipes and work plans are specially designed to ensure the cook enjoys the party also.

Irene is also an expert on producing great food simply and easily. ‘A five star appearance and taste on a one star budget’, is her favorite quote. – online books and dinner packages – personal chef business

Palmer Hospitality - consulting for small businesses to improve performance and overseeing management while the owners are away

To contact Irene:
NZ telephone: 021 2369422