9 Easy Ways to Cook Chicken

One of the most versatile foods on the planet, chicken can be roasted, baked, grilled, sautéed, braised, or fried. Whether you've never cooked a chicken before, or you're looking for a new twist on the same old bird, here's the ultimate guide on how to cook chicken.

  • 01 of 09

    Roasted Chicken

    Roasted chicken

    Iain Bagwell / Photolibrary / Getty Images

    Roasted chicken is one of the tastiest, most satisfying dishes you can make. Not only that but roasting a chicken is also one of the easiest ways to prepare a delicious family dinner. Here's a tutorial on how to roast a chicken.

  • 02 of 09

    Baked Chicken

    Seasoned Oven Baked Chicken

    The Spruce

    Baked chicken is different from roasted chicken in two ways. First, baked chicken is prepared with chicken parts (i.e., individual drumsticks, thighs, breasts, and wings) whereas roasted chicken is cooked whole. Second, baked chicken is dredged in seasoned flour before we cook it, which we don't do when roasting a whole bird.

  • 03 of 09

    Braised Chicken

    Braised chicken pieces

    Eising / Getty Images

    Braising is a great technique for when we want to cook cheaper or less tender cuts of meat, but it's also a wonderful way to cook chicken. Braised chicken is a warming, soulful dish, and the meat will almost fall off the bone.

  • 04 of 09

    Poached Chicken

    Poached chicken breast with vegetables

    StockFood / Getty Images

    Whether you're just poaching chicken breasts or you're poaching a whole chicken, poaching is an easy and delicious method for cooking chicken. Poached chicken is naturally low in fat and always comes out moist and juicy. And as an added bonus, when you're done poaching the chicken, you're left with a delicious, savory chicken broth that you can use for making sauces, soups and all kinds of other recipes.

    Continue to 5 of 9 below.
  • 05 of 09

    Fried Chicken

    Fried chicken

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    The key to deep-frying is maintaining the oil's temperature between 325 F and 400 F. Hotter than that and most oils will start to smoke. Fried chicken is a great example of the basic deep-frying technique where items are dipped in a simple batter or seasoned flour before we cook them, which helps to protect and further seal in moisture. Here's a recipe for buttermilk fried chicken.

  • 06 of 09

    Broiled Chicken

    Broiled chicken over brown rice with sautéed squash, onion, and mushroom.

    seangregorcreative / Getty Images

    Broiled chicken is prepared using a smaller bird called a "broiler" (typically around two to three pounds) which is either split open around the backbone so that it can be cooked flat or simply halved. Either way, flattening out the chicken helps it cook faster, which is important given that broiling involves very high heat.

  • 07 of 09

    Grilled Chicken

    Grilled chicken

    Maya83 / Getty Images

    Grilled chicken is always a favorite dish, especially during the summer months. You can grill an entire cut up chicken, which is great because the breasts cook a lot faster than the thighs or drumsticks. Skinless, boneless chicken breasts are especially popular for the grill.

  • 08 of 09

    Sautéed or Pan-Fried Chicken

    Close-up of sauteed chicken in a pan

    Image Studios / Getty Images

    Sautéed or pan-fried chicken is really a two-stage procedure that involves cooking in a hot pan with a small amount of fat and finishing it either in the oven or by simmering it in some sort of sauce. This lets flavors develop while also ensuring that the chicken is fully cooked. Boneless chicken breast cutlets are great for this method.

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  • 09 of 09

    Smoked Whole Chicken

    Smoked Beer in the Butt Chicken
    Smoked Beer in the Butt Chicken.

     Peter Sieling/Flickr

    Using the smoker (or grill set up as a smoker) is a nice alternative to simply roasting a whole bird in the oven. The chicken is covered with a flavorful spice rub and then left to slowly cook over low heat. The result is moist, rich-tasting meat with a crispy outer skin.