Did you know that chicken, as soon as its processed, begins to dehydrate? Even the freshest chicken you buy has already begun to lose water. What to do? Rehydrate, naturally! After you have cleaned the chicken and before you cook it, let it rest at least 15 minutes submerged in cool water. That goes for both whole pieces of chicken (legs, thighs, wings, breasts), or cut-up chicken meat chunks. Discard the hydrating water before you continue, and wash the water container with soap to remove any lingering germs.
Additionally, chicken meat, like most fowl, retains a bit of a gamey flavor. To make your chicken as tasty as possible, you must wash away that gamey trace. How to do it? There are two methods that I use.
The first method is to rub the chicken meat all over with salt, then rinse in cool water.
The second method is to liberally flood and wash the chicken with lemon juice, then rinse in cool water.
I typically will combine these two methods: salt first, then lemon juice.
Spring onions are the sprouted form of garlic. Typically found in farmer’s markets in the spring, the plant has a delicate taste of both green onions and garlic, making it suitable for a myriad dishes. I find that cooking lengths of spring onions with shredded pork threads and some crushed red pepper flakes to make an excellent side dish. Unfortunately, unless you grow your own, the market window for spring onions is rather short.
But, not to worry. You can create a substitute anytime of year that closely mimics both the taste and texture of spring onions.
One green onion stalk combined with two minced cloves of garlic equals one spring onion stalk.
For my recipe, I wok together 6 green onions, sliced diagonally into 1 inch lengths, combined with 12 cloves of garlic, crushed, minced, and then I add ¼ cup shredded cooked pork threads, and 1/8 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes.
Covering Casseroles in Aluminum Foil
Has this ever happened to you? You create an excellent casserole, possibly one with a cheesy topping, then you cover the casserole in foil, sealing in the edges. You pop it in the oven as the recipe directs. Then when you remove the casserole from the oven and take off the foil, you find a goodly amount of that casserole’s topping stuck to the foil?
That has happened tome more times than I care to relate. But I did find a simple and elegant solution: Cooking Spray!
Merely spray one side of the foil with cooking spray, then make sure that the sprayed side is placed in contact with the casserole. The cooking spray forms a release surface that the casserole’s toppings can’t stick to!