Cooking Lesson 102: Basic Kitchen Knowledge

Cooking Lesson 102: Basic Kitchen Knowledge

Basic Knowledge of Chicken

  • When buying fresh chicken, check the "Buy By Date" for the latest possible date.
  • Never leave cooked chicken at room temperature for more than 2 hours. Don't keep raw or frozen chicken at room temperature if you can. Use unfrozen raw chicken within 2 days (store in the coldest part of the fridge).
  • Thaw frozen chicken in the fridge, or, if necessary, use the defrost setting on the microwave and watch carefully.
  • Before you start your recipe, rinse the raw chicken pieces in cold water, then pat them dry with a paper towel.
  • Clean everything that comes in contact with raw chicken or its juices with hot, soapy water.
  • Chicken should always be cooked through. Check for doneness by cutting a slit in the thickest part of the chicken, then see if it is cooked through the middle. The chicken juices should be clear (not pink).
  • When marinating chicken, do not use the same marinade as raw chicken as a seasoning sauce during cooking or as a dipping sauce afterwards. Put some marinade on the chicken before adding it for spreading and dipping.

Basic Knowledge of Pasta

  • Make sure to cook the pasta in a large saucepan or stockpot with plenty of water. Pasta needs a lot of space to move around. Boil the water before adding the pasta.
  • You can add a tbsp of oil to the water to keep the pasta from sticking together, but it's not mandatory.
  • Adding salt to the water is also optional, but it adds flavor and helps the pasta absorb the sauce better.
  • Add only one type or shape of pasta to the boiling water. If they are different shapes, their cooking times may also be different.
  • The pasta should be tender but still a little firm to the bite. If you overcook the pasta you can still eat it. But it will be softer and probably mushy.
  • Drain cooked pasta in a colander in the sink. Rinse only when you're making the cold pasta salad. The starch on the outside of the pasta helps the sauce stick better. When you rinse the pasta, the starch will be washed away.
  • Make pasta by using the sauce and adding vegetables and/or cheese. You can also add roasted or grilled chicken or other meats. Try frozen cooked shrimp - just thaw them in the microwave and they're ready to add to your dishes.
  • Stuffed pasta, such as ravioli and tortellini, is an easy way to make your pasta look more like a meal. Just cover with the sauce and you are good to go!

To Be Continued…

1 comment

  • Apo N.

    I love the cooking lesson series. Looking forward to more!

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