1. ITV Report

A chef's top tips on how to prepare and cook chicken

The Food Standards Agency said 59% of chickens tested carried the food poisoning bug campylobacter.

Leyli Homayoonfar is a chef who works at Jamie Oliver's cooking school in south London.

Here, she tells ITV News her top tips on cooking and preparing chicken.

How to prepare the chicken

Using several chopping boards helps in the preparation of chicken. Credit: Frank May/DPA
  • Prepare meat in a clean environment away from other raw foods such as salads or meat that is already cooked to stop cross contamination.
  • Use separate plates, chopping boards and utensils such as knives and tongs for raw and cooked meats.
  • Meat that has been frozen must be thoroughly thawed before cooking.
  • Do not wash raw poultry as bacteria from the raw meat can be dispersed causing cross contamination.
  • Cooking equipment must be thoroughly washed after use i.e. bowls for marinating raw meat and chopping boards used for preparing and slicing raw meat.
  • Always wash hands thoroughly after touching raw poultry and other meats.

How to check the chicken is cooked

Check there is no pink meat visible after cooking the chicken. Credit: Tim Goode/EMPICS Entertainment
  • Slice into the thickest part of the chicken meat to see if juices run clear.
  • There should be no pink meat visible.
  • Use a meat thermometer to check the temperature is above 77 degrees centigrade.
  • Cooked meat should be rested on a clean board or plate and not one that has previously contained or come into contact with raw poultry of meat.
  • When roasting a whole chicken in a hot oven, keep to cooking guidelines and instructions relating to correct cooking times to weight of the chicken, check chicken is cooked by removing it from the oven and ensuring that meat around joints such as thighs and legs are thoroughly cooked and not pink, if so then place back in the oven and cook for longer.

How to cook chicken on a BBQ

How to cook chicken on a BBQ. Credit: Daniel Maurer/DPA
  • Allow the coals on the BBQ to reach a stage where they are glowing red with a powdery grey surface, this means your BBQ will be the correct temperature to cook on.
  • Using separate tongs, regularly turn the chicken over so the meat can cook evenly.
  • Do not place raw meat next to partly cooked or cooked meat on the BBQ.
  • Marinades or sauces that have come into contact with raw meat must not be used on cooked meat.