The Reason Ina Garten Almost Always Cooks Chicken With The Skin On

Do you like your chicken savory, moist, and seasoned just right? Some people prefer cooking chicken with the skin removed, while others cook chicken with the skin intact. You have reasons for your chicken preferences, and there's no right or wrong way.

According to America's Test Kitchen, when chicken is cooked too long, it becomes dry and chewy, and when it's undercooked, chicken causes severe illness. The FDA recommends cooking chicken to a minimum internal temperature of 165 degrees Fahrenheit. So, cooking your fowl to perfection is an art, and Ina Garten has perfected her craft.

Whether it's fried chicken, roasted chicken, baked chicken, or grilled chicken, there's a reason Garten chooses to do things the way she does. Chicken is so versatile that it can be added to many delicious dishes, but should you leave the skin on or remove it before cooking? That's a debate that the Barefoot Contessa is here to settle.

Ina Garten wants you to leave the skin on

The famous chef leaves us with a few things to note when it comes to cooking chicken. In a question listed on the Barefoot Contessa website, a fan writes, "I notice that you almost always use chicken breasts with the skin on. What is your reasoning? Does it keep the meat juicier? I tend to not eat the skin. Will the chicken taste as delicious without it?"

For reference, Food & Wine recommends keeping the skin on chicken for the juiciest meat, regardless of the cut, and Garten agrees. Her response to the foodie fan reads, "For the most part, I always cook chicken with the skin on. I find it makes the meat much more tender and moist. Even if you're going to remove the skin after cooking, I would recommend you roast the chicken skin-on and then remove the skin."

The Barefoot Contessa practices what she preaches in her recipe for Lemon Chicken Breasts. The savory lemon and herb chicken takes chicken breasts (skin on, of course) and cooks them to juicy perfection in lemon, oregano, thyme, and white wine. It's a seriously decadent dish.

Next time you cook chicken, leave the skins on, you'll be glad you did.