Sunday, February 15, 2015

Chicken is scary?!

2 weeks ago I heard something ridiculous. 
"Chicken is scary to make."
are you serious?? 
Obviously I  try to be fearless when it comes to the kitchen so this seriously rocked me! We all become ignorant when we don't understand. I will readily admit I have never understood the fear of cooking anything. I mean I may not be good at certain things like rice. So I lean on Reagan for good rice, truthfully he just uses a rice cooker but I cant even get that down (and for other domestic things that Reagan rocks at and I fall flat on my face when I attempt, see 'Ironing').

Wouldn't you know that twice again this week I heard two different people admit to the fact that cooking chicken 'scares' them. I was baffled. I investigated this because as you would probably do as well, I started thinking maybe I was missing something BIG and that Chicken was radioactive or something, and my hands were about to turn into squids. Not that having suction cups would bother me. If you cant find me I'll be on the ceiling :)

Turns out these fears while well based, were nothing I hadn't heard before. 
Concern #1: keeping things clean and sanitary
Concern # 2: the way it'll turn out. i.e dry, overcooked, too raw, or blackened and not in the good way.

Let me approach the first by saying I don't sit with raw chicken in my clutches and use them as maracas splattering raw chicken juice everywhere. 

I make my chicken just as sanitary as everyone else. I do however take precautions such as I thaw it all in one zip lock bag. you can even run water over the thawed chicken if it really worry's you and drain it all directly down the sink. I always use the exact same knife for cutting and a cutting board that has a gutter on it so that any juices stay on the board and drain into the gutter portion. Also because you would have rinsed and drained the juices there really won't be much. I also keep that same zip lock bag and place any excess skin and fat into that bag. (I always buy pre skinned chicken. but sometimes there is extra). Once you're chicken is prepared and being cooked put that ziplock in the trash and take the trash out immediately after cooking. This step reduces any possible germs and all smell. 
I get that plastic and wooden cutting boards are porous which can hold onto germs easier if not cleaned well. Growing up we had a glass cutting board, or you could get a natural stone one (that would be fancy) that seems like the best option to avoid any mistakes that could be made. 

While cleaning my board I run water as hot as it'll come out of the faucet over the board and this will make any left over pieces of chicken turn white with the hot water so you can see what you're cleaning off. I run soap over the board and rinse off with out any sponges or cloths at first. I've also been known use Lysol spray on basically every surface that the chicken touches. Like EVERY possible surface. 


Kill all those little germy's!!

Now to approach how to cook chicken so that it maintains its juiciness. 
I tend to make my chicken in either small chunks or slices of chicken breasts. There is also the option of doing bone in chicken which you can bake in a tinfoil covered pan for an hour and it'll keep its juices nicely! 

However for diced or slices chicken breasts you want to cook them on a higher heat for less time or on low heat for a long time. I prefer low heat long time it maintains the juices better and I feel like it cooks all the way through more consistently. 

I rarely fry chicken but today I had the hankering for orange chicken. So I looked up a recipe and went to work. It was my first time making orange chicken from scratch but spoiler alert it turned out great!! 



We diced it up and then battered it with a corn startch coating and fried them up for a couple minutes (remember high heat less time)


Once they were light brown on the outside I let them drip off on a paper towel covered plate. 
once they were de-oilfied (I really dislike oily foods) I placed them in a low heated orange juice reduction with brown sugar, soy sauce and garlic. 


I get that those who are scared of cooking in general would just say meh I'll order out the same kind of food I could cook and save time. BUT seriously I had all this stuff on hand and this is WAY better then that panda express crap!!

Enjoy!



*If you felt like this was boring, I agree, but the seemingly unimportant points to me were direct questions I was asked so I answered them here (I also thing raw chicken looks disgusting, sorry for the over load of photos highlighting it). Also I don't know how to blog about anything but food, I've tried. I cant seem to do it. I promise I do more fun things besides food. I really do. like this week I... no that involved food. Okay I'm only a little ashamed of my love of food.

**Ooooh I know we did a service project in the park yesterday and man it was productive. I now sit back and look at all the work everyone helped contribute and it looks phenomenal. 

*** Big things on the horizon, hopefully we're going to have an add on done to our house soon! 

****Our lives really are boring. really really.

Thanks for reading!

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