You may be cooking chicken all wrong

You May Be Cooking Chicken All Wrong
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You may be cooking chicken all wrong

Read on to learn the mistakes you may be making with chicken.

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You thaw it at room temperature.

Pulling meat out of the freezer and placing it on your countertop to thaw is not the way to go. Thawing it at room temperature can be seriously dangerous because it can lead to bacterial growth including E. coli and salmonella. The better way? Thaw it in a bath of cold water instead.

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You don't use enough salt.

Sure, you could add salt at the end of cooking, but that doesn't really flavor the chicken. Particularly when you're roasting chicken, you should season the cavity in addition to the skin.

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You don't add other seasonings.

Adding salt and pepper isn't the only way you should be seasoning your meat. Rubbing butter and lemon on your chicken is a great way to give it a boost of flavor you won't get otherwise.

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You cook meat straight from the fridge.

Taking your chicken directly from the refrigerator to your heat source can cause it to cook unevenly. You should let it sit at room temperature for about 15 minutes before you start the cooking process.

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You burn it on the grill.

Another way your chicken can end up cooked unevenly is if you cook it over direct heat. This can totally char it on the outside, while the inside remains totally rare.

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You don't bread it correctly.

If your breading crumbles off your chicken and onto your plate, it's probably because your pan isn't hot enough. Or it could be that you've coated the chicken unevenly. It helps to first coat your chicken in flour, then dunk it in egg, and roll it around in the breading last.

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You overcrowd the pan.

You're probably tempted to cram as much chicken as you can into one pan so it cooks faster, but doing this actually traps the heat under the meat and doesn't allow the chicken to get a nice crust.

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You turn it in the pan too often.

Your chicken also won't get a crust if you flip it over too much. You should allow the chicken to cook, and be aware of signs that it's too early to turn it—like if you can't slide a spatula under it without a problem.

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You don't use a thermometer.

Checking the temperature of your chicken is important when you're roasting it. If you don't, you risk totally overcooking it. To avoid running into that problem, use a thermometer to monitor the temperature, and when it reaches 165 degrees at the thickest part of the meat, you can remove it from the heat.

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You don't give it enough resting time.

If you cut into the meat right after it comes out from the oven or off the grill, it's going to release all of the juices inside, and you'll be left with a dry chicken. For small cuts of chicken, just wait about five minutes before you start cutting into it. (A whole chicken requires closer to 20 or 30 minutes.)

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Ever wonder how to get your chicken super moist? Read on for more tips and tricks to make the perfect chicken every time.

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How to make chicken moist

Some people swear by poaching their poultry to make it super juicy. You can poach an entire chicken at once or in smaller parts, depending on how you plan to use it.

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Make your own chicken cutlets.

Turning boneless chicken breasts into cutlets is pretty easy and can save you money. Carefully slicing it horizontally should do the trick. You'll be increasing the amount of chicken you have to go around without spending more.

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Use a rub.

Grilling chicken? Trying rubbing it down with a combination of salt, brown sugar, paprika and cayenne pepper to flavor it up.

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Use high-quality chicken.

Whether you're roasting or grilling, using a nice quality meat will increase the chances of your meal turning out the way you want it to.

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Chicken is a versatile meat that can be roasted, grilled, baked, slow cooked and sautéed. It's used in many cuisines around the world, and because it isn't too expensive, it's a great staple to have on hand in the kitchen.

However, while it's a popular meat with home cooks, it's one that many don't actually cook correctly. There are a number of common mistakes people make when it comes to chicken that make it turn out bland, dry or just plain dangerous to eat.

If you can't figure out why your chicken isn't coming out the way you'd hoped, it could be because you aren't seasoning it properly. Or maybe you aren't entirely sure when it's done cooking. The problem might even start before your chicken is done thawing from the freezer. Have no fear, these errors can be fixed—you just have to know what you're doing wrong first.

Check out the slideshow above to see if you're cooking chicken all wrong.

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