Today, chickens are cooked and prepared in so many ways. Fast food chickens have been one of our favorites but it's not that healthy. Usually, we buy them for the taste and for convenience when we lack time to cook but fast food chickens are mostly fried containing a lot of cholesterol. Let us remember that we should still be conscious of our health and it's better to prepare the food ourselves.
One healthy option is baking a chicken; You can just use little olive oil to cook it. It does not require a huge amount of oil to cook you can less the cholesterol going into your body. Another advantage of preparing the chicken yourself is that you are sure of sanitation when it comes to food preparation. It will not just be quite enjoyable to make but a family bonding as well. So here is how to bake a chicken:
• About 2 to 3 lb. Chicken cut up
• Freshly ground salt and pepper
• Dried or fresh herbs such as rosemary, tarragon, thyme, or oregano
• Marinade (optional)
• Olive oil or nonstick cooking spray
• Baking dish
• Meat thermometer
• Kitchen oven
• Sharp kitchen knife
• Roasting pan
Baking A Chicken 101:
Step 1- Preparation
The first and very important thing before before baking a chicken is to wash the chicken thoroughly and pat the chicken dry gently. If you want to use marinade, marinate your chicken overnight for the flavors and juices to be fully absorbed. This will not just soften your chicken but will add aroma and flavor when it's baked. There are already prepared marinades like the Italian dressing. It's convenient because it's already prepared for you. You only need to put the marinade into a zip lock and place the chicken inside, mix it well through the chicken's body by turning. Close it tightly and place it overnight inside the refrigerator.
Step 2- Getting Ready
Preheat the oven to 350 ° F. Get your roasting pan and coat lightly with olive oil or spray with a little amount of non-stick cooking spray. If you have marinated it, take the chicken out from the marinade and place the chicken skin side up in the roasting pan. If you have not used marinade, sprinkle a little salt and pepper and other herbs as you desire. If you have used marinade, you do not have to season it that much because the flavor is already there.
Step 3- Cooking The Chicken
Place the chicken inside the oven and bake for 50 minutes. Do not cover it and check whether it is done using a meat thermometer to ascertain the temperature. Always make sure to place the thermometer in the thickest part of the chicken to get accurate readings and avoiding uncooked or overcooked chicken.
Step 4- Making Sure The Chicken is Ready To Eat
When the chicken is still pink, it is not yet fully cooked and not recommended to be ateen yet. If you are not sure whether it is already cooked or not, take a knife and cut through the thickest part of the chicken. If the juices run clear and the meat is not is no longer pink then it is ready to serve.
There are lots of recipes for baking a chicken. You can choose a wide variety to make a twist on the usual menu. You can make a crunchy bake chicken by doing all the steps above and adding up different ingredients. Examples are the Corn Crisp Chicken using a coating of corn flake crumbs. Another is the California Crusty Chicken with a great buttery taste. You can also try the Dung Gong Yam Guk Gai – Salt baked chicken. It is simply cooked in brine, or covered it with a salty mixture before steaming it or baking it in an oven. You can also try the mustard chicken recipe; Lay out foil squares in a flat surface then put 2 small chicken pieces in the center of each foil. Sprinkle salt and pepper and add a few sprigs of parsley and onion slices on top of the meat. Drop mustard mixture evenly among the chicken. Fold the sides of the foil upwards to create foil packs.
Be sure that the chicken is fully cooked before serving because uncooked meat can cause food poisoning. Wash any surface that can come in contact with the chicken using soap and water or diluted bleach solution. This will help prevent contamination.
Baked chicken is good for all occasions and can be even served for Thanksgiving if a turkey is not available. It's a healthier option so bake a chicken now and celebrate life's good taste with your family.