Chicken meat is a cheap source of protein to our bodies. It is also easily available especially when you are keeping poultry in your homestead. Their meat is tender and boneless which explains the need to be carefully observant during its preparation. Chicken meat can be prepared by roasting, frying or grilling. While cooking the meat using any of the methods, you should ensure that you avoid the mistakes like the ones below as to ensure that you have the best quality meat and help maintain your health.
1. Thawing the meat on the counter
You should always abstain from leaving the chicken meat in the counter for too long. Apart from bacteria infecting the meat, there is also a high chance of toxins infections to the meat. Bacteria thrive well in conditions of moisture and food and meat provides the perfect environment for them. The bacteria, therefore, multiply faster in the meat making it unsafe for use.
2. Washing the chicken meat before cooking
Washing the chicken meat before cooking can cause serious health problems. This is because it increases the chances of poisoning from the campylobacter bacteria. Also, splashing water from the tap to the meat spreads the bacteria to the ground surface. When the chicken meat is cleaned with water from the tap, the Campylobacter cells are carried by water to other areas which can lead to massive food poisoning in that area. Campylobacter poisoning symptoms include severe diarrhea, tummy pain, and vomiting. You should also avoid slaughtering the chicken in places with food substances as it will infect the food with the bacteria.
3. Poor hygiene
Poor hygiene when cooking chicken meat can cause various health problems. You should always ensure that you wash your hands before and after cooking chicken meat. This is because the meat contains some bacteria which if it comes in contact with your body causes serious health problems. Also when dividing the meat into slices ensure that they do not come in contact with your body or mouth. Wash your hands thoroughly with a soap after cooking the meat. Also, ensure that you clean and disinfect the surfaces that came into contact with the chicken meat.
4. Ignoring food safety practices
You should always ensure that you follow safety practices while handling chicken meat at home. For example, you must always ensure that you do not put the cooked meat in the plate that was used to hold the raw meat. Doing so means that bacteria present in the raw meat will get transferred to the cooked meat in the plate. Ensure that all the utensils used for handling the raw meat are not used again in handling the cooked meat.
5. Forgetting to tenderize chicken breasts before cooking
Fewer people realize that it’s important to make the chicken meat breasts tender before cooking them in the pan. Pounding the chicken meat is significant for many reasons. This includes reducing the time for cooking the meat and making it easier to cook the meat better. You should also ensure that the breasts are of the same thickness approximately half inches each.
6. Forgetting to dry the meat
Since washing of the chicken meat is not recommended you should try drying the food. Besides drying the meat gives it a lovely brown color. For the best results you should allow the meat to dry outside of any packaging. While drying the meat ensure that you put it in the fridge. After drying remove it from the fridge and dry it using paper towels then proceed to cook the meat.
7. Overcooking or undercooking
You should always ensure that the chicken meat is properly cooked before serving. Also when roasting the meat ensure that heat reaches the inner tissues of the meat. Undercooked meat contains bacteria and other harmful micro-organisms that can cause serious damage to your health. Overcooked meat is also not preferable since overcooking the meat kills the vital nutrients found in the food. Therefore, when cooking you should always ensure that you cook the meat using the right temperature and serve only when it is well-cooked.
When cooking chicken meat you should be patient in the whole process of cooking. This involves ensuring that the meat is properly cooked. When roasting the meat for example, before turning the meat always ensure that the sides are properly roasted before turning them.