Ina Garten's Trick For Knowing When Your Chicken Is Fully Cooked

Anyone who has cooked chicken — or any meat for that matter — at home knows that it can be challenging and nerve-wracking to tell if it's actually time to take the chicken out of the oven or off the grill. No one wants to pour tons of energy into a meal that turns out to still be raw when it is cut open. That's why an Ina Garten fan, Tony P. from New York City, asked her about checking chicken before taking it out writing, "I always get nervous when making chicken that it's going to be undercooked. How do you know when it's done?" Fortunately, the "Barefoot Contessa" has an easy trick that doesn't require any special equipment.

While My Fearless Kitchen suggests using a meat thermometer to check the interior temperature of the bird to ensure it is done, Garten uses a simple trick just by looking at the chicken. Though explains that chicken should be at least 165 degrees, Garten says you also don't want to overcook it.

This is how Ina Garten evaluates when chicken is done

When Garten suspects that a chicken is nearing done, she makes on small cut so she can see the inside of the chicken. She said, "the best way to know if the chicken is done is to cut between the leg and the thigh. If the meat is no longer pink and the juices run clear, it's done." That gives you two physical indicators to look for without having to pull out a meat thermometer.

However, the expert cook goes one to explain why you don't want to overcook chicken either. She divulged, "it's really important to let meat rest after it comes out of the oven. Cover the pan with aluminum foil and allow the chicken to rest for 15 minutes. The reason you don't want to overcook a chicken is because it will keep cooking under the foil and the juices will get back into the meat." So, if the chicken is overcooked when it comes out of the oven, it will be even more overcooked by the time it rests and is served. Make sure to check that it isn't pink and that the juices are clear then take it out and allow those juices to get reabsorbed, so the chicken is moist and flavorful.