Cooking Tip: Cooking Chicken

Do you ever cook chicken, especially on the grill, and fear that perhaps the chicken is not all the way cooked? You certainly don’t want to make anyone sick with under-cooked chicken.  It is particular hard to get bone-in chicken or large chicken breast cooked through, at least on the grill, without also charring the outside.

Help is on the way…

Whenever I am grilling bone-in chicken (legs and thighs included) or large chicken breast, I always boil the chicken first.*  I find that this method is only necessary when grilling, but you can certainly boil chicken for any dish.  The chicken is pretty much fully cooked after boiling, then you stick it on the grill to get that wonderful grill flavor and browning.  (Caution: Still check the interior of the chicken to check for doneness.)

Boiling Chicken

You can boil as much chicken as you choose, but be aware that the cooking time will increase.


  • chicken breast-boneless, skinless
  • chicken legs
  • chicken thigh, bone-in
  • water
  • salt


Place chicken in large stock pot. Completely cover with water and season with salt.
Bring to boil, cover with lid and turn heat down to low.
Set the time for 12-15 minutes, depending on the amount and size of chicken (adjust time as needed).
Remove chicken from pot and continue to prepare as desired.

Don’t throw out that wonderful chicken water/broth!  It makes for a great broth in Rice Pilaf.

Do you ever boil chicken?  What methods do you use to make sure your chicken is completely cooked?

*Frozen chicken cooks up well using the boiling method.  However, I don’t recommend it if you can help it.  I always think the chicken turns out rubbery when cooked from a frozen state.

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2 Responses to Cooking Tip: Cooking Chicken

  1. Desi says:

    I boil chicken when once-a-month cooking, then chop it up to use in many different dishes. I am always afraid chicken is undercooked when grilling. As a result i end up grilling it too long and it is overcooked and dry. I am going to start using this method! Thanks, Michelle!!

    • Cook says:

      I have done the freezer chicken this way too, in my limited experience with once-a-month cooking. The boiling method definitely helps keep the chicken from being dried out or burnt by the gill. I love grilled chicken, just not the fear of undercooked chicken. Let me know how using this method works for you.


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