This is baked chicken. We make a batch every week, in the oven 350 degrees for about 21 minutes. Depending on the batch, it comes out good or it comes out grainy/fibrous and very chewy. Is that a problem with baking it? Or is that a problem with the meat we are buying? We tried buying from Costco before and we had the same problem.

If this is a cooking problem, how could I make it better?

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  • Are you using a thermometer or just relying on time?
    – Stephie
    Oct 23, 2023 at 16:38
  • Is this a while chicken, bone-in chicken pieces, or chicken breast fillets?
    – brhans
    Oct 23, 2023 at 20:30
  • Is this pre-cooked? Fresh or frozen?
    – Debbie M.
    Oct 23, 2023 at 21:08
  • I don't know if this was frozen before delivered. Once it's delivered we keep it in the fridge. I don't use a thermometer, only time. These are chicken breast fillets, not pre-cooked.
    – gruszczy
    Oct 24, 2023 at 1:08
  • It looks like the outside is over-cooked while the innermost parts are ok. This is the result of cooking it too long and/or the inside being too cold when cooking started. Temper the meat for at least 20 mins in lukewarm water or an hour on the counter before cooking so that you don't need to overdo the outside waiting for the inside to become safe/cooked.
    – dandavis
    Oct 26, 2023 at 20:33

1 Answer 1


You don't mention the size or type of the chicken you cooked, without further details it sounds like the bird was overcooked. If the size varies from week to week the results will too.

For perfect juicy chicken you could try the following or combination of methods:

  1. Use a meat thermometer in the thickest part of the flesh on the leg/breast to test the temperature. You want an internal temperature between 165-175F (74-79C) depending on how well done you want it (FDA guidelines). You can go as low as 71C (160F), but some would not consider that safe.
  2. Size matters. Smaller joints/birds will take less time to cook. To cook by weight, cook for 20 mins per 454g/1lb plus 20 mins extra (again FDA baseline).
  3. If using a whole bird, spatchcock or butterfly it. This technique will ensure even cooking of both the breast and the legs and is my preferred method for cooking perfect chicken
  4. Consider using a brine or wrapping the chicken in foil or a roasting bag to retain the juices.

Another possibility is the type, breed and age of chicken, older birds will be tougher.

If it is purely down to method, see this guide for perfect roasted chicken: https://www.seriouseats.com/butterflied-roasted-chicken-with-quick-jus-recipe

  • 1
    Thanks! This is all chicken breasts, not a whole chicken.
    – gruszczy
    Oct 24, 2023 at 0:21
  • This. It pretty much boils down (pun intended) to temperature and not overcooking the meat.
    – Stephie
    Oct 24, 2023 at 5:51

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