Food

Quick and Easy Chicken Dinners

Spicy chicken wings on a picnic table with beer

Feel like some chicken tonight? Well you are not alone. In Canada the average person consumes nearly 30 kg (66 lbs) of chicken per year, and the Canadian Chicken Farmers produce an average of 1,024 million kgs of chicken each year.

Chicken often gets a bad rap for being boring: “tastes like chicken” as in doesn’t taste like much. But chicken is anything but boring – it’s endlessly versatile, and easy to make.

Poultry primer

Whether you like dark meat or white, chicken has something to offer for everyone, and a roasted or baked chicken is one of the easiest go-to weeknight dinners sure to satisfy. Curious how to bake chicken perfectly? Check out our article, The Skinny on…Chicken.

A top tip for making the best, most succulent chicken breast ever? Brine it! Mix three tablespoons of salt (preferably kosher) with four cups of cool water in a large bowl. Submerge the chicken breasts in the brine. Refrigerate for 30 minutes or up to one hour. The meat will plump considerably and will retain more moisture while being cooked. Just be sure to reduce or omit any salt in the recipe, since the breasts will already have been salted. What’s best, lean proteins like chicken can help to maintain a healthy weight.

When cooking chicken you are looking for and internal temperature of 165°F (74°C) for individual cuts and 180°F (82°C) for the whole bird.

Play it safe

People are often wary of the contamination risks of raw chicken. Take these three precautions to keep safe and sanitary.

Don’t rinse the chicken​: It sounds counterintuitive, but rinsing raw poultry can cause cross-contamination in your kitchen through random splashes or run-off. Bacteria are killed by heat, not water.

Wash your hands: After working with raw poultry, wash your hands with soap under very warm water for 20 seconds.

Clean everything else: All cutting boards and utensils also need to be washed with hot, soapy water, preferably in the dishwasher. And wash all kitchen surfaces with an antibacterial cleaner.

Check out these easy to make chicken dinners that will bring this bird from everyday to gourmet.