I am looking for exact instructions on how to cook chicken. I have bought fresh chicken numerous times and its mostly chewy. It can be in gravy, oven cooked, tandoori style etc etc I just want it cooked perfectly.

  • Welcome to Seasoned Advice. Recipe requests aren't allowed here, that's considered "off topic", so I deleted your references to recipes. "Instructions" are allowed, so you'll still get answers to the heart of your question.
    – Jolenealaska
    Commented May 29, 2014 at 16:14

2 Answers 2


No instructions are going to be that precise; there are too many variables at play. What temperature was the chicken before you started? Exactly how big are the pieces? How precisely can you measure and maintain the temperature of the oven or cooking medium?

What you need to be sure that your chicken is perfectly done is an instant read thermometer. At first, aim for 165F (74C), that's the minimum "safe" temperature. After that, you may choose to go a little higher, especially for dark meat. Some people prefer a few degrees lower, especially for breasts. Whether temperatures under 165F are safe is a bit controversial, you need to assess any risk on your own. Once you know the exact temperature that seems perfect for you, that's where to aim. The temperature will continue to rise after you remove the chicken from the heat. For small pieces that "carry-over" temperature rise will be pretty negligible; a whole chicken will rise a few degrees.

Whatever recipe you follow, take the temperature a few minutes before the time in the recipe. As you gain experience, you'll get better at zeroing in on doneness by appearance.

  • I find that if you have the time to brine your bird before cooking, that's good protection against juice loss and the associated chewiness.
    – logophobe
    Commented May 29, 2014 at 16:19
  • Yes, brining can make a big difference. Here's more on that: cooking.stackexchange.com/questions/1442/…
    – Jolenealaska
    Commented May 29, 2014 at 16:26
  • Ok, I guess I have been cooking at higher temperatures. Secondly how long should I cook it? Say its a 700 grams chicken with all main pieces separated. Also, does marinade in any way affect the softness? If so, how to best marinade it and for how long. (A video reference would be appreciated) Thanks Commented May 29, 2014 at 16:50
  • How long chicken needs to be cooked depends, that's kind of the point to my answer. Follow a recipe you trust, but start temping it before the time the recipe states elapses. Consider brining, also velveting: cooking.stackexchange.com/questions/20506/…
    – Jolenealaska
    Commented May 30, 2014 at 1:37
  • Cooked chicken today! I realized the oven temperature set was too high (180C). Cooked the bird at around 90C and it was perfect. Commented Jun 1, 2014 at 18:32

To tenderise chicken or any meat, you can consider soaking it in the juice of a raw papaya or in pineapple juice. The former is preferable because it is more effective and has a more neutral taste.

Both these things act as tenderisers for animal protein.

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