- Posted February 13, 2013 by
This iReport is part of an assignment:
Who taught you to love food?
Tips in Cooking Chicken
Chicken is an extremely multipurpose fowl food that can be combined into any meal course or food category: soup, appetizer, salad,entree, sandwich, pizza and pasta. The only thing perhaps it cannot be made into is dessert, though many cuisines associate with chicken and sweet sauces and even fruits. Pretty much all the cuisines of countries have countless forms of dishes made from chicken.
When cooking chicken, extra care must be taken to avoid contamination as poultry products and eggs can contain bacteria, specifically salmonella that can cause food poisoning if not cooked properly. Even the handling of raw chicken must be considered as tools like knives, storage ware, serving containers, and chopping boards can be spoiled with the bacteria when it comes into contact with the bird. To be sure, wash everything and thoroughly in hot water when cooking with chicken and other food items like salads. Some even use color coded chopping boards (red for chicken, blue for other meats, green for vegetables, etc.) to eradicate such risks.
Speaking of contamination and bacteria, it goes without saying that chicken must be cooked thoroughly to kill off any harmful agent and yield a wholesome dish. Particularly with preparing a whole bird like a roast or stuffed chicken, it is suggested to use a meat thermometer which indicates the doneness of the bird all through to the center. In the absence of a thermometer, there are some guidelines on how long a bird is cooked given the oven temperature and the weight of the bird. Another tip it to insert a knife to the thickest or deepest part of the bird and lightly touches it to the lips. If it is warm, the dish is done.
On the other hand, take care not to overcook chicken as it has the tendency to dry out. When using dry heat like baking and roasting, you can grease the chicken with a marinade or olive oil to keep the meat moist as it cooks. Do not let the small risk of food poisoning discourage you from preparing this great poultry product. Just follow good kitchen sanitation and cooking time and you’ll be fine. Chicken is high in protein and naturally low in fat if the skin is removed prior to its serving. It is not advisable to remove skin especially in breast part before cooking as it tends to dry out the meat.
Other health considerations is using free range and organic chickens which are raised without synthetic feeds, growth hormones and/or are permitted to pasture in an open area rather than cramped in coops.