Chicken Breast Done-ness?

Answered on August 19, 2014
Created February 07, 2012 at 4:46 AM

Is it ok for skin-on, bone-in chicken breasts to be slightly pink in certain areas? I cooked some tonight (2pounds- 350 deg - 50 min) and 80% of the meat was white and the rest was just slightly pink. The chicken was free range if that helps.

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on February 07, 2012
at 06:23 AM

I agree with Eric here, a digital meat thermometer is an amazing kitchen tool! Worth every penny, and they aren't that pricey (under $15 will get you a decent one).

I used to overcook all of our meat, especially poultry, "just to make sure" it was done, which kind of wastes the potential of good juicy meat, and is less enjoyable to eat overall.

I've been finding chicken cooked to the proper temperature is often still slightly pink, no need to go all the way to beige sawdust with your chicken breast. I've also noticed some of the free-range heritage breed birds we get are just a deeper hue, and more pink from start to finish.

And, I'm personally not beyond popping those bird bits in the microwave for a minute if there is any worry, and you have hungry people sitting around the table already.


on February 07, 2012
at 05:38 AM

Most commercially-raised chicken has harmful bacteria (e.g. http://www.nhs.uk/news/2009/10October/Pages/chicken-food-poisoning-bug.aspx and http://www.rte.ie/news/2010/0317/chicken.html). The rate for locally raised, free range chicken is likely lower, but I don't know if it's ever been measured.

If I can make a recommendation, a quick, responsive digital meat thermometer is quite possibly the best kitchen investment you can make. No more wondering if something's undercooked or overcooked or partially cooked. It's seriously awesome.

Edit: To actually answer your question, I would say that pink is questionable. I wouldn't want to eat pink/bloody chicken. But you really can't tell for sure w/o a thermometer.



on February 07, 2012
at 09:28 AM

I cook mine white. Pink = undercooked IMO. Free range might be better, might not, can't say. They lie and mislead a lot in the chicken industry.


on February 07, 2012
at 05:19 AM

I've noticed that when I cook chicken, some of it is just like that, slightly pink. I doubt it will be an issue, but hey salmonella acts pretty quickly so you'll know soon :P Next time, I would just err on the safe side though. I'm not an expert, but I assume the safety of free-range would definitely be better than the GMO crap :)

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