At first I was hesitant if cooking raw chicken together with vegetables was safe. I wondered if the raw chicken needed to be cooked first. My concern being that the raw chicken could contaminate the onions.
Can I cook onions with raw chicken? Raw chicken and vegetables can be cooked together safely if brought to proper temperature. Both foods must cooked to 165° Fahrenheit (75° Celsius). Chicken and vegetables must remain cooking together until the correct temperature is reached.
Onions or any vegetable can be cooked right along side raw chicken. Any pathogens that touch the veggies absorb will be killed if the temperature is reached high enough.
The safe internal temperature of chicken is 165° Fahrenheit. So as long as you don’t mind cooking the veggies to that temperature it will be safe to eat after.
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Raw Chicken and Vegetables
Since raw chicken is notorious for food borne illness. Many people are uncertain what you can do with it. Luckily there is a lot of ways to cook and prepare raw chicken. These can be done safely but with some extra precautions.
- Stir frying chicken and vegetables. A popular dish with thousands of different recipes. The best way to make this is to cook the chicken first, then start the veggies separate. Add the meat back in towards the end. Cooking the raw chicken first is to make sure the veggies do not get overcooked.
- Chicken and Vegetable Kabobs. A great way to combine the two. The raw chicken can be put onto the skewers in between the veggies. Grill them to the right temperature and enjoy.
- Marinating chicken and vegetables. You can marinate vegetables together with chicken. Vegetables do not need to be marinated, but its more for the flavor of the chicken. Just make sure the vegetables are thrown out or cooked up to 165° Fahrenheit.
- Slow cooker chicken and vegetables: You can add the raw chicken and vegetables in the slow cooker (Crock-Pot, Instant Pot) together. Cook them for 6 – 8 hours. This will release and combine the flavors together really well. Also will not loose a lot of nutrients.
You can use any vegetables you like. I am just using the term vegetables in a general sense.
Cooking Raw Chicken in Sauce
This can be done, but any extra sauce must be cooked as well. The Chicken and sauce must be cooked together. If you marinated the chicken in BBQ sauce. The sauce left over must be thrown out or poured onto the chicken before cooking. Same goes with any type of marinade used for the raw chicken.
Cook Meat or Veggies First?
There is no cooking rule that states you must cook either meat or vegetables first. This is determined by what recipe you are going to make.
When cooking beef its best to brown it first. Cook off some of the fat and then add the veggies. Since the beef takes longer to cook. Adding onions right away could cause them to overcook or burn.
Read more: Can You Cook Raw Meats In A Slow Cooker?
On the other hand if you are making a stir fry. Go ahead and start the onions or veggies before the meat. If you are making a chicken stir fry then start cooking the veggies first. You want the oil you are going to fry with to pick up the vegetable flavors.
With soups you should add any vegetables in first. You want the veggies to start to release their juices. Onions are great for a soup to sweeten it up. Onions get sweeter when cooked slowly with low heat.
You can always saute onions or garlic separate from the meat. This will caramelize the veggies. Caramelizing will allow the vegetables to be cooked at a higher temperature. Do this before adding other ingredients.
In order to properly do this you must saute the vegetables without any liquid other than oil or butter. You want it to create a brown glaze layer in the pan. This layer is called fond. The special reaction of caramelizing adds a flavor unique only to fried foods.
This is the same reason you might simmer a meat before pressure cooking it. Because the flavor of the fond is what you want to add. Pressure cooking or steaming will not caramelize meats or vegetables.
Cooking Raw Chicken With Other Raw Meats
Is there any concern with combining raw meats? You can cook raw meats like chicken and beef together. Both meats must be cooked enough until they are no longer raw. This means they must be cooked to the proper temperature until they are safe to eat.
Cooking chicken and beef together is easier if they are both sliced already. Boneless meats would make this easier. Because different cuts take different amounts of time to cook.
Cooking a steak and some chicken legs on the same grill is possible. Just check the internal temperature of both before serving. Since steak can be served rare and chicken must be fully cooked.
Pork and chicken can be cooked together. Both are lean meats and have similar cooking times.
Should You Rinse Raw Chicken?
Both the FDA (Food and Drug Administration) and the USDA (United States Department of Agriculture) say no to rinsing raw chicken. Rinsing raw chicken meat in a sink can cause more harm than good. Since it can cause any bacteria to contaminate the area.
Sink water can splash onto other surfaces spreading harmful bacteria. If you are going to do this make sure to disinfect the area after. Make sure to use sink at low pressure. To ensure water is not splashing out of the sink. After you are done spray some soap into the sink and wash it out.
How long to Marinate Raw Chicken?
You can marinade chicken meat for up to two days but, after a few hours the marinade is not increasing any more. So really a few hours is enough to marinate chicken meat.
Any longer and the meat can become mushy on the outside. This is especially true if marinating with acidic juices (citrus) or vinegar based marinades.
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Chicken meat can actually become tougher if you marinate for too long. The marinade is never going to actually reach the center of the meat. Two to three hours is just about right if you want to go longer. Because chicken can dry out it is recommended to marinate first. Just don’t overdue it.