Why does boiled chicken still have a pink color? The chef reveals the secret to boiling chicken with a glossy skin and even cooking.

Cooked chicken that has a pinkish-red color indicates that it is not fully cooked or has not been boiled thoroughly, which is actually related to other reasons. With this boiled chicken recipe, you don't have to worry about unevenly cooked chicken anymore.


Boiled chicken is an indispensable dish on every table, especially during Tet holiday. When boiled, chicken meat will turn white. However, in some cases, even though the chicken has been boiled for a long time, you still see that the meat and bones inside are pink. Many people think that the chicken is not cooked yet. In fact, the pink color of the chicken is not due to being uncooked but originates from another reason.

The reason why boiled chicken still remains pink is due to myoglobin – a protein found in chicken bones, reacting with air during the cooking process. You will often encounter this phenomenon in young chickens because their bone structure and skin are not firm, allowing blood from the bone marrow to easily penetrate into the meat during cooking and make the meat pink.

Why does boiled chicken still have a pink color?

In addition, when boiling chicken in boiling water, the outer meat will immediately cook, causing globin to tend to move from the outside to the inside. The thicker the meat, the more globin accumulates inside. When cut, the center of the meat will appear pink. This is a normal phenomenon when the meat is exposed to hot water.

How to boil chicken without pink meat:

Put the chicken into the pot as soon as the water is still cold

When boiling chicken in hot water, the meat may tend to turn pink. Therefore, you can choose to put the chicken into the pot as soon as the water is still cold. The slowly heated meat will not cause globin to move from the outside to the inside, resulting in even, white cooked meat.

Remove the chicken bones

If you do not cook the whole chicken, you can consider removing the chicken bones. When separating the bones from the meat, the red pigment in the bones cannot penetrate into the meat during cooking, helping the meat to remain not pink.

Marinate the chicken before boiling

You can marinate the chicken with a little vinegar or lemon juice to reduce the pH on the chicken meat. This will prevent the reaction of globin and limit the problem of pink chicken meat during cooking.

Keep the heat low when the boiling water starts to boil

When boiling the chicken, pay attention to let the chicken belly face down and pour water into the pot so that the chicken is fully submerged, choose a pot that is not too big or too small for boiling. When the water in the pot has boiled, at this point, turn down the heat, because if it boils vigorously, the meat in the thigh will shrink, resulting in a poor end product. After the water has boiled for about 5 minutes, turn the gas down to the lowest, leave it for another 5 minutes, then turn off the heat and cover tightly for about 20 minutes.

You can check if the chicken is cooked by poking it with chopsticks, if the chopsticks penetrate easily, the water that comes out is not pink means it is cooked.

To boil a delicious and fast chicken, it takes about 20 minutes (usually 30 minutes), but to evenly cook the chicken, with golden and shiny skin, it takes about 45-60 minutes (keeping the heat low).

To make the chicken look juicy with a fresh yellow skin, after taking it out, dip it immediately into a boiling pot of water to cool down, preferably cold water. When the chicken is completely cool, then take it out on a plate. If you don’t do this, the chicken skin will dry and have a dull color. After that, let the meat drain a bit, use 1 turmeric root after peeling, then crush it and squeeze to get water mixed with the fried chicken fat to brush a layer on the chicken skin, we will have boiled chicken with a shiny and smooth yellow color.