Aside from making sure your knives are sharp (and you’re using the right one), there is no more important thing a new cook can do than thoroughly prepare before cooking each dish.
First, make sure you read the recipe more than once… maybe read it three times! And second, as the French say “mis en place” or literally, “put in place’ each element of the recipe BEFORE you even preheat a single pan or turn your oven to 325, 350 or 400.
Next, measure out your spices. Put them in ramekins. Chop your veggies and your protein and pick a stainless bowl them to wait to be added at the right moment. Measure your liquids. If you have more than one liquid, use a ramekin or even a soup bowl to store until the moment of truth. Measure your dry ingredients and have them standing by.
Once I started taking the time to get everything organized first, cooking became sooo much easier and my results improved astronomically. Your’s will too, believe me!