Psst... We're working on the next generation of Chowhound! View >
HOME > Chowhound > Home Cooking >
Jul 31, 2011 05:10 PM

Can I salvage undercooked chicken?

Made a roast chicken for dinner. Seemed fine, pop-up timer had popped up, skin was nicely golden and crispy. We enjoyed half a breast and then I decided to pull the meat off the bone for future meals. That's when I discovered that everything except the breast seemed a bit on the rubbery side and didn't come off the bone easily.

This makes me queasy enough to throw the whole thing out, but my husband wants to try to salvage. So I put all the meat in a casserole dish, covered with foil and put back in a 350 oven for about 30 min.

Think this will work?

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. Yep, if you have an instant-read thermometer it should read 180 in thigh.

    3 Replies
    1. re: letsindulge

      180F? Carbon doesn't taste too good IMHO. I do mine to 165F and it's perfectly tender everytime.

      1. re: gmk1322

        Sorry, no carbon at 180F. I like breasts at 155-160 but thigh and leg for me needs to be at 170-180 or else the meat does not pull away from the bone nor do the joints separate easily. At this temp the meat is very succulent and tender and far from dried out. Now if the breast meat was at 180 that would be a different story. Dried out but still no carbon.

        1. re: scubadoo97

          As with you scubadoo I don't care for mid-rare chicken! I should have specified in my original response that the goal temp is 180 after resting. Don't hate people!

    2. I probably would have waited for the "additional" cooking. Things to make with undercooked chicken [since they all involve more cooking]:

      chicken enchilladas or fajitas
      chicken pot pie
      crispy chicken over lettuce
      dry sauteed or grilled chicken in almost anything

      Assuming that the chicken in the oven comes to a temp you like, chicken salad would be very good.

      p.s. or a really nice soup!

      2 Replies
      1. re: smtucker

        I wasn't sure if I could wait or not. So I could have?

        And I've got a lot of chicken stock in the freezer, so soup sounds like a good idea!

        1. re: Thanks4Food

          When we hit an undercooked chicken, we refrigerate it. The next day we pull it from the bone (if we're having a dish with chicken, that would work with partially cooked chicken...enchiladas, fajitas, pot pies, sauteed, as mentioned above, are all good options) or dump the whole works into broth, sometimes re-browning it first, for those nifty "toastyflavins(tm)".

          Your cooled chicken should be FINE in the fridge, just don't let it hang out there for a week before you do something with it. ;-)


      2. I would have put the chicken in the refrigerator without the additional cooking. Use it to make anything you would make with leftover chicken short of cold chicken sandwiches. The next time you get a bird of any kind with one of those popup timer things you should pull it out and throw it away as the first part of prepping the bird. Buy an instant read thermometer. You can find an analog thermometer for less than $5.

        2 Replies
        1. re: John E.

          I saw some TV chef - can't recall who but it was PBS - say not to go by the pop-up, but to leave it in place because if you remove it, juices will leak out as the bird roasts. Toss it out when you carve the cooked meat.

          1. re: greygarious

            Yeah, I've heard that too, but it has not happened to me yet. That might be one of those things that if repeated often enough it can become a 'fact' such as searing meat seals in the juices.

        2. "...a bit on the rubbery side and didn't come off the bone easily."

          Was the chicken visibly raw ? or was the chicken just rubbery?

          No, matter. Yes, you can use the chicken or have refrigerated for later.
          For you twice cooked chicken you have now, you can do anything with it.
          For a quick meal, I would make Green Chili stew (Pollo Verde).

          3 Replies
          1. re: dave_c

            No, not visibly raw. The white parts were white but more like plastic/rubber than nicely done meat.

            Yes, I do have to invest in an instant-read thermometer, but I seem to be hopeless using thermometers: I'm never sure I've inserted them in the right place.

            This is why I never make turkey!

            1. re: Thanks4Food

              The reason I asked if the chicken was raw or cooked is the rubbery-ness may be the chicken you used.

              Some chickens are injected/pumped which will give the chicken a different texture, usually rubbery. The label on the chicken will state of the chicken is injected "to retain moisture".

              Just something to look out for when buying a whole chicken (or pork).

              1. re: dave_c

                Oh, thanks. This was a different brand than we normally buy--a well known name, but have never purchased. But at .99/lb, I couldn't pass it up. I'll check the label next time I'm in the store.

          2. You will be fine. never count on those pop ups. They are worthless. Get your self a good thermometer. The digital ones that go into the meat and are attached to a long cord so the read out is on your counter. You don't have to keep opening the oven to check.