View Full Version : Holding Chicken

07-07-2011, 10:19 PM
I'm cooking for my daughters birthday and my neighbor's father birthday tomorrow and Saturday. Chicken and pork. I'd like to do the chicken on Saturday morning (thighs, drums and wings). If I finish them and then pan them (half sheets) with sealed lids with a smaller layer of juice, how long will they reasonably hold in a 190F oven? Dinner is at 5p for both parties. I was hoping to have them done by 11a. Can I hold them for 6 hours?

07-07-2011, 11:44 PM
I believe they will be pretty dry after 6hrs @ 190.

07-08-2011, 06:57 AM
It will, indeed, either dry out or the skin become really tough and nasty!!

I've held that long but didn't care what the skin was like. A little apple juice in the pan, foil, and hold at about 170 (my oven will only go that low) or so (190 is way more than need to hold safely). I just added extra sauce when serving and tried not to notice the skin!!

Oh yeah, one other thing, if held with the extra moisture, the chicken is more than likely going to fall off the bone. Be careful serving or you'll have pulled chicken.

07-08-2011, 09:55 AM
Suggestions on what to do? Other than target it to complete around 3? Would it be better to get it off at 11 and fridge it? Then reheat it again at 200 for an hour?

Dave Russell
07-08-2011, 01:23 PM
I KNOW there's an answer, but it might be one of those "bbq secrets" that are supposed to be found in books but never are.

The reason I know there's an answer is this:

Several years ago, my cousin and myself had the errand of picking up a 17lb packer and twenty pounds of leg quarters that my aunt had a local 'q joint smoke for our family reunion. We showed up with a cooler, and left with it full of hot poultry and brisket. Anyway, it wasn't like we got to the retreat and ate it with the family in the next half hour.

Well, after slicing the brisket (which was fantastic, by the way), everyone made for the serving line. What I'll remember about that chicken was that the skin was nice and TENDER, almost falling off, but the chicken was NOT overcooked or dry at all. I have no idea how to do that, and maybe it has to do with the fact that the guy that smoked it has an Aunt named Leetha that's known for some of the best bbq in Mississippi.

I've learned that I can get more tender skin by removing as much fat as I can and putting some butter pads UNDER the skin, but I still haven't tried actually HOLDING chicken for very long. Wish I knew how though, 'cause it sure would be more convenient if you could get it done, wrapped, and coolered as soon as done, like you can with bbq.

07-08-2011, 02:15 PM
My first question is why would you hold chicken at 190 when you're not even cooking it to that temp? You're going to end up with dry, cruddy bird that way. Do not do this.

My second question is what is the reason for holding so long? You can cook chicken in less than 2 hours. Is there a reason you can't do it fresh?

Steaming chicken for 6 hours is not the way to go (in my opinion).

07-08-2011, 03:04 PM
I have to deliver it to my neighbor by noon because of other commitments. I guessed 190 because that seems to be about as low as my oven goes when I put it on warm. She's planning on having her dinner at 5. So I'm looking at her needing to do something with the chicken between noon and five.

I'm open to ideas.

07-08-2011, 03:39 PM
I thought your EZ-Bake had a holding temperature? :mrgreen:

Dave Russell
07-08-2011, 03:39 PM
I agree....190* is just TOO hot. A warmer would be set to 150*, simply to keep the meat's surface warmer than 140*.

07-08-2011, 06:09 PM
I rechecked my oven with another thermo and it's warm setting is actually 160F. So that said, I'm thinking if I can delay getting the chicken done till 1p or 2p then maybe it will hold for 3 hours a little better in the lower temp.

Dave Russell
07-08-2011, 06:47 PM
I would do the "uncle umberto" and twist the joint out of socket at the legs. This way, you can stop cooking the thigh at no higher than 170* with no fear of pink juices, and allow for more cooking while in the warmer. I've been cooking to 170* in the thigh with no problems at all, as long as I disjoint.

Also, I'd brine or at least dry brine with kosher for a couple of hours to help retain moisture. Just be sure to rinse well, and use very little salt in the rub. Good luck with it!

07-08-2011, 08:12 PM
Do boneless/skinless thighs, they cook quickly so you don't have to hold them so long and you can cook them later in the day. No worries about skin.