Cooking chicken to the proper internal temperature is essential to kill food-borne bacteria such as salmonella and E. coli. Looking at the chicken is not sufficient to determine if it’s reached a safe temperature to kill these unpleasant and dangerous bacteria. Use an instant read cooking thermometer to ensure proper doneness whenever cooking individual chicken pieces in your oven.
Rinse your chicken pieces under cool running water and pat dry with clean paper towels.
Drizzle the chicken with olive oil and use a paper towel or your fingers to thoroughly coat the chicken. Season the chicken with salt and pepper and any additional seasonings that suit you.
Arrange the chicken parts in a single layer in a baking dish. Do not overcrowd the pan; the chicken pieces can be placed closely together, but try to avoid having them touch. This way, all sides will brown evenly.
Bake the chicken at 375 degrees Fahrenheit for 45 to 55 minutes. If you choose to broil the chicken pieces, broil for 25 to 35 minutes.
Check the internal temperature of the chicken pieces by inserting an instant read thermometer into the thickest part of the piece. The U.S. Department of Agriculture recommends that poultry reach an internal temperature of 165 degrees Fahrenheit to kill any potential bacteria in the chicken, rendering it safe to eat.
Cook the chicken in increments of 5 minutes, testing the temperature after each additional cooking period.
- USDA: Is It Done Yet?
- HGTV: Chicken Dark Meat Excels on Grill; Joyce Rosencrans
- “New Cook Book Special Edition”; Better Homes and Gardens; 2005
- Do not allow the tip of the thermometer to touch the bone or the bottom of the baking dish.
- Chicken without a bone cooks faster than chicken with a bone. Reduce the cooking time of boneless chicken to approximately 15 minutes.
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