Read these 13 Cooking With Poultry Tips tips to make your life smarter, better, faster and wiser. Each tip is approved by our Editors and created by expert writers so great we call them Gurus. LifeTips is the place to go when you need to know about Cooking tips and hundreds of other topics.
Chicken soup is a popular way to use chicken. The type of chicken used to make soup makes a difference in how it will come out. If you are buying the chicken specifically for soup, choose a kosher pullet (which is a young female chicken that is old enough to lay eggs). Kosher pullets are raised in a free-range environment and eat natural vegetation and insects. If a kosher pullet is not available, select a soup chicken, which are usually older, female birds. The meat might be tougher than a younger chicken, but it has more flavor. Cook the chicken whole first before cutting it into pieces. This process will take longer to cook, but the chicken will release more flavor into the soup.
Cook chicken to an internal temperature of 165 degrees Fahrenheit. Use an internal thermometer to check the temperature of the innermost part of the thigh and the wing as well as the thickest part of the chicken breast. If preferred, chicken can be cooked to higher temperatures. However, it is not safe to eat raw or partially raw poultry in any instance.
The internal temperature in the thickest part of the meat should be 180 f degrees for whole birds and 170 for breasts only. It is also a good idea to check the thigh as well as the breast because the texture of the meet sometimes takes a little longer to cook.
Lay out a sheet of plastic wrap and place your boneless chicken breasts on it. Then lay a second sheet of plastic wrap on top of the chicken breasts. Beat the chicken with your meat tenderizer. This prevents raw chicken from getting in the crevices of the meat tenderizer. It also prevents raw chicken from touching your counter tops. This is the safest way to prevent salmonella when tenderizing your chicken.
The poultry family consists of a number of different birds. A common misconception is that poultry is just chicken. Poultry can be chicken, turkeys, ducks, geese, Cornish hens, pheasants and more. Each has a distinct flavor and can be prepared differently.
Cornish hens are similar to chickens --- in looks and flavor. The main difference between the two is that Cornish hens are much smaller than chickens --- weighing in at just one or two pounds. Because the ratio of meat to bone is smaller, one hen per person is the preferable serving size. The bones in Cornish hens are weak, which makes it easy to split them in half before you cooking them. Roasting is the perfect method to cook these small birds, although they can be braised and sautéed as well. They can also be stuffed or glazed to add flavor.
Poultry is the optimal meat for stuffing. Sage is one of the more popular spices used in poultry stuffing. However, people experiment with a variety of ingredients, including breadcrumbs, fruit, vegetables, vinegars, oils and more. A mild stuffing is best for wild game, such as pheasant or duck. If you have a moist poultry piece, such as a breast, it is best to stuff it between the skin and the breast meat before roasting.
Proper freezing methods are important in poultry storage. You can either freeze chicken in its original package or repackage it for portion control. For alternative packaging methods, store meat in a heavy-duty foil or freezer paper and an airtight, Zip-lock bag. Wrapping poultry in a proper manner will prevent freezer burn, which occurs when air reaches the surface of the chicken. Freezer burned poultry will have spots, colored either gray or brown. If the portion of the affected poultry is small, simply cut it away. However, if too much of the poultry is freezer burned, you will likely have to discard the entire product, as it will turn out too dry or poor tasting.
Turkey is not just served around Thanksgiving or other special holidays. Many people have found that turkey is a healthy poultry selection to incorporate into a regular meal schedule.
Choosing the right size and type of turkey is imperative to your meal preparation. You should plan on buying about 1 1/2 pound of turkey per person. So if you are cooking for 10 people, buy at least a 15 pounds bird.
Turkey can weigh in at as much as 70 pounds; however, most average about 20 pounds. Most supermarkets sell frozen turkeys year-round. Some, however, give shoppers the option to order a fresh turkey if they give a few days notice.
Handle fresh chicken delicately. When you choose a fresh chicken in a grocery store, put it in your basket just before you check out. Bag chicken in a separate, plastic bag so that any possible leaks do not contaminate other foods. Do not make additional stops after you leave the grocery story. As soon as you arrive home, immediately place your poultry in a refrigerator that maintains a temperature of 40 degrees Fahrenheit. Use it within a day or two.
When choosing a turkey, keep these tips in mind: * Choose a turkey with soft, clear skin. Avoid birds with bruised or torn skin. * Store fresh turkey for up to two days in the coldest part of the refrigerator. * Don't freeze turkey for longer than two months. * If you want your cooked turkey to stay moist when you store it, place it in a broth --- either turkey or chicken. * Before you freeze a turkey, take out the giblets and store them separately.