How to Cook The Best Chicken: Cooking Techniques & Spices to Use

by | Jun 20, 2021

spices to use for chicken

I am of the opinion that there is no more versatile food than chicken. It can be fried, roasted, souped, grilled with an array of sweet, spicy, and herbaceous blends. It is the taste standard of almost any other meat or meat-substitute, (“It tastes like chicken!”) and it is a dietary staple of culinary cultures around the world. In fact, the average American eats over 80 pounds of chicken every year, most of those being wings during the Superbowl!

This favorite fowl was first domesticated from the Red Junglefowl originating from northern India. Chickens have been used for food for so long, that there is even evidence that Egyptians created the first chicken egg incubator approximately 4000 years ago!

Dietary wise, the human body can obtain about 30 different substances from just 100 grams of chicken, and 100 grams of meat contains 916 kilojoules of energy. This all being available for 120 calories in the average serving size. That’s a lot of nutrition bang for the buck!

Here’s a guide to the best way to cook and season chicken, plus some of our favorite recipes…

Best Spices & Herbs to When Cooking Chicken

Ours are all certified organic…

The Best Organic Seasonings & Spice Blends for Chicken

Check out of homemade, handcrafted spice blends as an easy way to add dynamic flavor to your meals…

  • Buffy’s Slayer Helper: All organic blend of minced garlic, garlic granules, garlic powder, chili flakes, parsley, sea salt, and basil.
  • Madras-Style Curry Powder*: a classic blend of cayenne chili, turmeric, fenugreek and Ceylon cinnamon.
  • Herbs de Provence*: Versatile traditional French sophistication with basil, rosemary, thyme, parsley, marjoram, tarragon, and a hint of floral lavender.
  • Mrs. Pinch (Salt Free) Seasoning*: All organic and salt free, minced onion, coriander, granulated onion, celery seed, sumac, onion powder, dill weed, black pepper, and dill seed.
  • Jamaican Jerk: Sweet and medium-spicy Caribbean blend of brown sugar, sea salt, onion, black pepper, garlic, bird’s eye chili, allspice, coriander, cinnamon, galangal, thyme, clove and nutmeg.
  • Ras El Hanout*: A blend of 26 spices that includes floral notes of rose, lavender and hibiscus. A staple of Morroccan cooking.
  • Advieh Khoresh (Khoresht)*: Great for Persian and Iranian cuisine! A sweet, spicy, tart blend of coriander, cumin, black pepper, cardamom, dried lime, Ceylon cinnamon, rose, clove and nutmeg.
  • Wings of Doom: We start with the Honey Chipotle BBQ Blend and add locally grown ghost peppers. They’re HOT! But it’s a flavorful, heat!
  • Tandoori*: Homemade Tandoori chicken is a treat! Just mix this blend with plain yogurt, marinate chicken overnight in the fridge, then grill or broil on high heat. This blend has paprika, coriander, cumin, cayenne, cinnamon, black pepper, fenugreek, cardamom, ginger, garlic, and turmeric.
  • That’s Amore (Classic Italian Herbs)*: Oregano, basil, rosemary, marjoram and thyme make this a super versatile blend of Italian seasoning.
  • Pinch Valley Ranch (with Buttermilk): Shake up your chicken night by coating them in Ranchy goodness! Contains dairy and an herby blend of garlic, onion, salt, parsley, black pepper, dill, and chives mixes with creamy buttermilk powder and no added preservatives!
  • Carolina BBQ On My Mind: Perfect for summer grill-outs! Mix this with a little high-heat oil and brush on your chicken for Carolina kick! Contains paprika, black pepper, ancho chili, mustard, cumin, garlic, sugar and salt.
  • Your Bangin’ Turkey Brine: Not just for turkey! Keep your chicken juicy and tasty by brining overnight. This blend includes sea salt, cane sugar, brown sugar, black pepper, coriander seed, yellow mustard seed, black mustard seed, allspice, juniper berry, bay leaves, and dried roses.
  • Blackened (Blackening Seasoning)*: Great for Cajun and Southern cooking! Contains paprika, garlic, black pepper, thyme, celery seed, oregano, and cayenne pepper.
  • The No More Boring Chicken Bundle: Get a bunch of great spices for your chicken dinners by scoring our 6-pack spice bundle: Tikka Masala, Jamaican Jerk, La Dulce Vita, Honey Chipotle BBQ, Blackened & Finger Lickin’ Chicken.

* salt-free seasoning

How to Cook Chicken

Chicken lends itself to a variety of cooking methods. Like most poultry, you want to make sure the internal temperature hits 165˚F, but not over cook it for fear of drying the meat out. Chicken is usually served whole or in pieces, and each has its own special method of cooking. Here are some best ways to bring chicken to the dinner table:


Whole Chicken:

  1. Remove any giblets from inside the chicken’s cavity and wash the outside and inside thoroughly with cool running water. Once washed, dry thoroughly with paper towels. Place the chicken breast side up on a rack set over a shallow roasting pan.
  2. Combine seasoning of choice and melted butter and brush over all sides of the chicken.
  3. Season the inside of the cavity with salt, pepper, and add half a lemon and half an onion. You can also add fresh herbs inside the cavity like rosemary, sage, and garlic.
  4. Tie the legs together with kitchen twine, and tuck the tips of the wings under the body to avoid burning.
  5. Roast at 450˚F for 10 minutes, then reduce temperature to 350˚F for an hour and 10 minutes, or until internal temperature reaches 165˚F.
  6. Remove from the oven and baste with remaining juices. Let sit for a minimum of 15 minutes before cutting.


Breast (White Meat):

  1. Brine chicken breasts for a minimum of 30 minutes, but can also be done overnight.
  2. Drain the brine, and dry the chicken pieces completely dry with a paper towel.
  3. Season the breasts with your desired seasoning, and then transfer to a greased baking dish or sheet pan.
  4. Roast at 425°F uncovered for 15-20 minutes or until the internal temperature reaches 165°F.
  5. It’s important to let the chicken rest before cutting so that the juices remain in the chicken and not all over your plate.


Thighs, Drumsticks and Wings (Dark Meat):

  1. Wash chicken pieces with cool running water and then pat dry with a paper towel.
  2. Sprinkle with desired seasonings. Drizzle olive oil or a neutral oil over the chicken pieces and rub well.
  3. Transfer pieces to a baking pan with sides, either a roasting pan, or jelly roll pan, skin side up.
  4. Roast at 400˚F for 30 minutes, then reduce heat to 375˚F and roast for another 20 minutes until internal temperature reaches 165˚F.
  5. Remove from oven and garnish with fresh rosemary.
  6. Let sit for 5-10 minutes for juices to redistribute.



  1. Wash the chicken pieces with cool running water. No need to dry them. Just place them in a bowl or large storage bag.
  2. Mix together 2 tsp salt, 1 tsp garlic powder, and 1 tsp onion powder and add to the chicken bag/bowl, mixing until coated.
  3. Add 2 cups of buttermilk and 2 tablespoons of hot sauce (Louisiana style is my favorite for this,) and let sit covered overnight in the fridge. If using a storage bag, place the bag with the chicken pieces in a glass baking dish and refrigerate overnight, (or at least 2 hours before cooking.)
  4. In another medium sized bowl, add 1 cup all purpose flour, 1 cup cornstarch, 2 teaspoons black pepper, and any additional seasoning you’d like to use. (DIY 11 herbs and spices!)
  5. Heat up a deep fat fryer, deep sided iron skillet, or dutch oven with your choice of high temp oil to 350˚F. Peanut oil is a great option, or you can use melted vegetable shortening as well.
  6. One at a time, drip off the excess chicken pieces of the buttermilk mixture and add to the flour mixture. Coat well, and shake off any excess.
  7. Carefully add the pieces to the oil making sure not to crowd the pan. Fry until golden brown, making sure to turn every few minutes.
  8. Take pieces out and drain on a wire rack or on a couple paper towels. Sprinkle with extra salt if desired and seasoning, then serve hot.

Air Fried

  1. Rinse and dry chicken pieces. Preheat your air fryer to 390˚F.
  2. In a medium bowl, mix together ½ cup all purpose flour, and 2 teaspoons of your desired seasoning, salt and pepper as desired.
  3. In a separate bowl, beat one egg.
  4. Season the chicken with salt, pepper, and the seasoning of your choice. Then dredge the chicken into the flour, transfer to the egg wash bowl, and then back into the flour. Shake off excess flour.
  5. Use some cooking spray or brush some oil onto the basket of the air fryer.
  6. Depending on the size of your air fryer, add the chicken two to 4 pieces at a time.
  7. Spray the tops of the chicken with cooking spray (optional,) and then cook for 25 minutes. White meat should reach a temperature of 165˚F, but with thighs, you may want to cook until 180˚F to break down the fibers for more tender chicken.
  8. Remove and let sit for 5-10 minutes to allow juices to redistribute.


  1. Rinse 3 pounds of chicken pieces and dry with a paper towel.
  2. In a heavy bottomed Dutch oven, add about ½ cup of cooking oil and bring up to high heat.
  3. Season your pieces with whatever you want to use, and then, working in batches, brown the chicken pieces on all sides. You don’t have to worry about cooking them all the way through. We just want to get that Maillard reaction going on.
  4. Once all chicken is browned, set aside and add ½ c flour a little at a time to the remaining drippings and oil. Stir constantly while cooking for about 4 minutes. (Congratulations! You just made a roux!). Add 2 quarts (8 cups) of heated chicken stock or broth a little at a time, whisking constantly. Add 1-2 tablespoons Blackened (Blackening Seasoning) and salt and pepper to taste.
  5. Add the chicken back to the pot, bring up to a boil, cover, and then reduce heat to a simmer. Cook for 1 hour.
  6. Remove the lid. Add 2 cups of vegetables, (I suggest either a mirepoix found in French cuisine, [chopped carrots, onion, and celery,] or the “Holy Trinity” mirepoix found in Southern cuisine, [chopped bell pepper, onion, and celery.]
  7. Cook for 30 more minutes. Serve with rice or mashed potatoes.

Also suggested, this recipe for Coq Au Vin with Herbs de Provence.


  1. Set up your grill with a 2-zone medium hot fire by setting up your coals on one half of the grill. Prep the grill by carefully brushing oil on the top side of the grate.
  2. Wash chicken pieces with running cool water, pat dry with paper towels, and season with desired seasonings.
  3. Place the chicken pieces on the hot side of the grate directly over the coals. Place larger dark meat pieces in the center where the coals are the hottest.
  4. Sear the pieces for about two to three minutes per side making sure to only turn once.
  5. When all the pieces are browned, move them to the warm side of the grate.
  6. Close the lid and bring the grill temp up to 350˚F.
  7. Let cook covered for about 20 minutes or until the internal temperature reaches 165˚F.


Our Favorite Chicken Recipes


Happy cooking! No matter which way you decide to add flavor or cook up some chicken, you are now armed with the knowledge to wow any meat and poultry lover at the dinner table!


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