The main reasons that people wash raw chicken (whole or pieces) are as follows:
- To remove dirt
- To remove debris like bone or feathers
- To remove blood
- To remove bacteria
- Because the recipe says so
- Because their Mum always washed the chicken
Are any of these worthwhile reasons for washing chicken?
No. 4 most definitely isn’t. Any bacteria or disease on chicken such as campylobacter or salmonella can only be killed by cooking. Moreover by washing the chicken you risk splattering any bacteria over the sink and work surfaces from running taps.
This alone is enough to discourage me from washing chicken – especially as its a pain to do anyway.
My conclusion is that one should not wash chicken for the sake of it, but if you wish to remove visible dirt, debris or blood, do so in a deep sink with the tap running low. Ensure the chicken touches as few surfaces as possible and thoroughly clean the sink and surrounding sides after you have finished.