Chicken has a mild flavour and it easily picks up the flavours of added ingredients and seasonings. It can also be prepared in lots of ways, but the most hands-off method is using the oven. While cooking chicken in the oven is easy, you also risk drying it out if you overcook it.
The cooking time for a whole chicken varies depending on its weight, but the rule of thumb is 25 minutes for every 500 grams pus an extra 25 minutes for good measure, according to Good Food magazine. A chicken between 1.81 and 3.63 kilos can take anywhere between two and four hours to cook. Do not crank up the temperature in an attempt to reduce the cooking time. An overly high heat will dry out the meat. If you are stuffing the chicken, add another 15 to 30 minutes.
Cutting a chicken into individual pieces can reduce its cooking time; however, some pieces require more cooking time in the oven than others. Thighs and wings need to cook at 200ºC for a minimum of 40 minutes, while drumsticks require about 25-30 minutes. Breasts have a cooking time of 15 minutes. To prevent breasts and wings from overcooking, add them to the oven after thighs and drumsticks have cooked for five to 10 minutes.
Boneless chicken doesn't need as much cooking time in the oven and can become overcooked and flavourless if you dont keep an eye on it. A 113-gram boneless chicken piece will take about 20 to 30 minutes in a 350-degree oven. Some boneless chicken pieces weigh up to 227 grams, so you can either increase the cooking time or slice horizontally through the side of each chicken piece to make two 113-gram pieces.
Is it cooked?
A visual way to check that a chicken is done is to ensure its rendered juices run clear, not pink. You can also cut into the meat and make sure the centre flesh is white with no sign of any pink meat.
- Brand X Pictures/Brand X Pictures/Getty Images