Cuts of Chicken and How to Cook Them

The two main cuts of chicken are the leg and the breast. They both have advantages, but it is important to ensure you cook them correctly or you could end up with a tough and tasteless dish that no one enjoys. The wings could be considered as the third cut, but they often do not make it as far as the table.

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Chicken Breast

The breast meat is paler in colour than the leg meat and is generally more tender. Which is why it can be cooked so quickly. If you can afford corn-fed free-range chicken, so much the better. It is always best to choose the highest-quality meat you can afford and be careful not to overcook it.

Chicken is always chilled when it comes out of butchers fridges, so it is a good idea to bring it to room temperature before putting it in the oven. To ensure that it remains moist and succulent, preheat the oven to gas mark 7 or 220 C and bake on a foil-lined tray. If your chicken breasts are of varying thicknesses, beat the thicker ones to the same depth as the others.

When you have brushed the fillets with oil and added seasoning, bake them uncovered for ten minutes, and then turn over and bake on the other side for another eight minutes or until the juices run clear. Eating Well gives alternative methods for checking that meat is properly cooked. Allow the chicken to rest for a few minutes before you serve it. If you are buying cooked chicken, ensure it has been stored at the correct temperature. Food businesses can find all the equipment they need from suppliers such as


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Chicken Legs

Chicken legs can be separated into the thigh and the drumstick. The meat is darker than breast meat and benefits from long, slow cooking as it is not as tender. Chicken leg cuts are much cheaper than chicken breasts but also have a far superior flavor. So as long as you are not in a hurry, go for the leg when you can. Chicken legs are ideal for casseroles, curries and pies that need longer cooking times than chicken breast recipes.

Of course, whole roast chickens are always popular and very easy to cook if you are feeding a crowd.