15. Thawing Chicken on the Counter

Thaw Chicken

Decided to let the chicken thaw on the kitchen counter? Not good! Room temperatures provide a warm breeding ground for all sorts of harmful bacteria. Not to mention, the outside of the chicken thaws quicker than the inside, which makes the outside vulnerable to bacteria. To avoid this problem, opt to thaw the chicken overnight in the fridge. Or you can also place it in a plastic bag and submerge it in cold water.

14. Not Following Food Safety Practices

Food Safety Practices

Food safety is just as important as taste, and in the spirit of cooking better food, you should always make sure that you never re-use a plate you placed raw chicken in. You should also avoid letting chicken rest on the counter. Instead, place the chicken in the fridge to marinate. And while this is common knowledge, we’ll go ahead say it anyway: be sure to always wash your hands before and immediately after handling raw meat.

13. Not Tenderizing Chicken

Tenderizing Chicken
Related: 11 Mouth-Watering Ways to Cook Chicken Breasts

As we’ve all heard before, it’s critical to tenderize a steak before cooking, but tenderizing chicken before tossing it in the pan is just as important. Pounding chicken can help the meat cook in less time, and makes it easier to achieve an overall even cook. For best results, be sure the chicken breasts have an even thickness; aim for half an inch. Another great option is to butterfly the bird.

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