How to Buy: 5 Things to Keep in Mind
- You'll often see chicken labeled "broiler-fryer", "roaster." These recommendations aren't set in stone — they're telling you more about the bird's age and size than how to cook it. Nothing bad will happen to you if you roast a "broiler" or stew a "roaster." One suggestion that you could heed is when the label says "for stewing" — those really are best when stewed.
- The more that's happened to a chicken (that is, the farther it is from its original state as a whole chicken), the more expensive it will be per pound. That's why boneless skinless chicken breasts cost more relative to bone-in, skin-on chicken or chicken parts.
- White meat is leaner and cooks more quickly, which makes it a great choice for quick sautés. Dark meat, by comparison, is cheaper and more flavorful — great for stewing.
- When calculating portion sizes: Plan on about 6 ounces of boneless chicken meat per person, and about 8 ounces of bone-in. A three-pound whole chicken feeds between two and four people, depending on appetites and accompanying side dishes.
- Rotisserie chicken is fantastic for busy cooks. And save the bones (we recommend freezing them) which adds flavor and body when simmered in store-bought chicken broth.
How to Store: 3 Must-Know Tips
- Chicken is best kept in the coldest part of the fridge (that's the back), away from other foods.
- Cook raw chicken within two days of buying, or freeze it for up to two months.
- To freeze chicken: Wrap individual servings in plastic wrap and stow away in your freezer. Thaw them in the bottom shelf of the fridge the night before you plan on using them.
How to Prepare: 2 Simple Guidelines
- You don't need to wash chicken. If you cook it properly (that is, to an internal temperature of 180 degrees in the thigh), all the bacteria will be killed. Washing chicken actually gets bacteria all over the sink and all over the kitchen.
- Use a separate cutting board for poultry. And be sure to wash everything (hands, knives, cutting board, countertop) thoroughly after handling chicken.