Q:

How long do you bake chicken?

A:

The length of time it takes to bake a chicken depends on the temperature of the oven as well as the size of the chicken being used. If baked at 375 degrees Fahrenheit, a whole chicken that weighs 2 1/2 to 3 pounds should be cooked for one hour to one hour and 15 minutes. Fifteen minutes should be added to the cooking time for every half-pound.

Chicken pieces such as bone-in thighs, drumsticks and breast halves that weigh a total of 2 1/2 to 3 pounds should be cooked at 375 degrees Fahrenheit for 45 to 55 minutes.

A meat thermometer can be used to check if chicken is done. For a whole chicken, insert the thermometer into the thickest portion of the meat. To test chicken pieces, insert the thermometer into several pieces to make sure that all of the meat is cooked completely. A whole chicken that weighs between 3 and 8 pounds should have an internal temperature of 180 degrees Fahrenheit. This is also the internal temperature for bone-in thighs, leg quarters, wings and drummettes. A bone-in breast should have an internal temperature of 170 degrees Fahrenheit, while boneless breasts and thighs should have an internal temperature of 165 degrees Fahrenheit.

If a meat thermometer isn't available, a chicken can be checked for doneness by piercing the thickest portion of the meat with a fork. The juices from the chicken should be clear, and the fork should slide into the meat easily.


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