Handling and Storage of Chicken
Separate cutting boards, knives and utensils should be used when handling raw and cooked chicken. A useful tip is to have colour coded cutting boards for raw and cooked foods so it’s always easy to tell which is which. All cutting boards, knives and utensils should be washed thoroughly in hot, soapy water both before and after handling.
A frozen chicken should always be completely thawed before cooking. To ensure that any harmful bacteria do not have a chance to multiply, it is best to thaw your chicken in a refrigerator. Do not thaw it on the kitchen bench or under running water. Once chicken has been thawed, do not refreeze.
When storing frozen chicken, keep your freezer temperature set to minus 18°C or below
Fresh Chicken and Chicken Smallgoods
When storing fresh chicken or chicken smallgoods, keep your refrigerator temperature set to 4°C or below.
Chicken smallgoods can also be frozen on the day of purchase and thawed in the refrigerator when required. They can be frozen for up to 6 months. Keep smallgoods in the refrigerator with their wrapping sealed until required. After opening, they must be consumed within 2-3 days.
Always make sure you store cooked chicken or other cooked foods above raw foods in the refrigerator. If you cook chicken to eat later, refrigerate it whilst it’s still hot.
Chicken Cooking Tips
Chicken is a very versatile product and can be cooked in a variety of different ways. Chicken mince is a tasty substitute for lamb, beef or pork mince and can be cooked using the same cooking methods. Check out our Chicken Recipes section for some great ideas on cooking with chicken mince. Remember that appliance temperatures can vary so you may need to adjust your cooking times accordingly.
All poultry should be fully cooked before eating. To ensure your chicken is properly cooked, pierce it with a cooking fork or skewer in the thickest part of the cut. If the juices run completely clear, it is cooked.
Roast Chicken Cooking Tips
A perfectly cooked chicken with golden crispy skin and moist juicy flesh is enough to make most mouths water. Here are some tips to help you cook the perfect chicken.
- To keep the breast area of the chicken from drying out during roasting, place a piece of foil over this area. Alternatively you can use rashers of smoked bacon which will also add a delicious smoky flavour to the skin. Remove either during the last 30 minutes of roasting time to allow the chicken to brown fully.
- Don’t overcook your chicken or it will dry out. As a guide, the rule of thumb is to allow 20 minutes per 500g (or per lb) plus 20 minutes extra.
- Allow the chicken to rest for 10 minutes before carving, after removing from the oven. This allows the juices to settle for beautiful tender, moist meat.
For further information and cooking tips, please refer to our Cooking with Chicken FAQs