12. Cooking Chicken Directly from the Fridge
Although we mentioned always to avoid letting chicken thaw on the kitchen counter, it is, however, a great idea to let it sit for about 15 minutes on the counter after taking it out of the fridge before cooking it. This will help ensure that both the inside and the outside of the chicken are about the same temperature, which will ultimately increase the chances of the chicken being cooked evenly.
11. Forgetting to Brine
We have all fallen victim to overcooking chicken at one point or another. Since we’re all obsessed with fully cooking the chicken, we end up cooking it too long. “This is where brining can save the day,” said Derek Wolf, fire cooking enthusiast and owner of Over the Fire Cooking. “Basically, what you do is soak your chicken in a blend of herbs, spices, sugar, water, and salt for a couple of hours to prevent over-cooking and to enhance flavor. Plus, it’s super simple. My favorite brine consists of Morton’s Coarse Kosher Salt, thyme, black pepper, sugar, and water.”
10. Overcrowding the Pan
“Ever found yourself with not enough space to cook the chicken breast? In a desperate attempt to speed up the process, you shove all the chicken into one skillet, hoping it all fits,” Wolf says. “What ends up happening is the meat cooks unevenly due to being overcrowded.” Not to mention, overcrowding the pan can cause the chicken to steam rather than get a nice brown sear. Luckily, there’s a great fix that can save your dinner. “When you run into space issues, make sure to give each piece of chicken enough room to cook. Meat needs the heat rising from all sides to fully cook. Just grab another skillet or wait for the chicken already cooking to finish,” says Wolf.