More Cook Chicken Picks
Serve homemade chicken and dumplings alongside a salad tossed with creamy dressing for a special weekend meal tradition your children will grow up to remember fondly. When you're cooking chicken and dumplings, remember that boiled chicken skin is a nuisance to remove from the pot and unappetizing on the plate. Roasting the chicken with the skin on and then removing it offers some of the extra flavor of skin-on chicken. Stewing the chicken with the skin off is the best solution for one-pot recipes.
You may know some seasoned home cooks who like working with a pressure cooker and know their way around it. The lid locks onto the pot, and a dial gauge adjusts the steam pressure, and therefore the heat, which cooks food up to 2/3 faster than other methods. If you don't want to invest in another kitchen tool or are concerned about the safety of pressure cookers, there are other fast and easy ways to cook chicken that don’t require a pressure cooker and still provide a delicious, warm meal in around 30 minutes.
A meal with stuffed chicken as the star of the menu will often appeal to kids. Keep the stuffing simple, skipping the exotic ingredients, and most kids will enjoy the traditional breading along with tender poultry. Simple sides like a tossed salad with creamy dressing and a cooked green vegetable complete the meal. Because poultry and the eggs in stuffing can become a host for harmful bacteria, it is not safe to stuff a chicken the night before cooking. Instead, there are time-saving steps you can take to handle these foods carefully in the kitchen.
Many moms use chicken stock to add flavor, nutrition and richness to rice, dumplings and stews. You might prefer using plain water, which is the most common cooking liquid, although it lacks a certain something where flavor and nutrition are concerned. Chicken stock allows you to be creative and add a dash of flavor to your family's dinner without spending extra time in the kitchen. However, sometimes chicken stock is unavailable or undesirable, in which case there are alternatives.
Chicken is a family- and budget-friendly choice for sandwiches, whether you opt to bake, fry, poach or grill it. You can make chicken sandwiches from freshly cooked chicken at dinner time or take advantage of leftovers for quick weeknight dinners. Customize sauces, toppings and more to keep the pickiest members of your family happy.
Canning chicken and other poultry at home requires a larger investment in equipment than canning pickles or jam. Those can be safely preserved in a water bath canner, but meat and poultry require a pressure canner. Once you've made that investment, you'll be able to safely can anything from prepared foods to cooked or uncooked chicken.
Brining, the process of soaking meat in a salty solution, makes chicken moist and tender. Although brining prepares your chicken for a number of different cooking methods, it's just a preliminary step to cooking, not a replacement. The USDA recommends cooking chicken to an internal temperature of 165 degrees Fahrenheit to ensure its safety for your family; that goes for brined meats as well.
Boneless chicken is a boon for the busy mom. It cooks quickly, is low in fat and is high in protein and vitamins. Most kids like its mild flavor and juicy texture, especially when prepared with a simple glaze or breading. Many cooking techniques are suitable for boneless chicken. Choose the method best suited to the recipe.
When chicken is the star of the dinner show, many busy moms grab the boneless, skinless chicken breasts, as they typically cook more quickly and are a healthy choice. If your culinary proclivities lean toward taste or if your budget dictates a less-expensive cut, then you already know that bone-in chicken breasts prepared with the skin intact are full of flavor, and they save vital pennies.
Chicken fricassee in its various incarnations is homey comfort food, a bird slowly cooked in gravy or white sauce. Modern recipes are often designed for quick and efficient cooking, using boneless chicken breasts and condensed cream of chicken soup. More traditional versions use a stewing hen, slow-cooked until tender. The cooking time may be long, but the prep time is short, so it's a good family-pleasing meal for busy moms to prepare.
With a light, versatile flavor that can adapt to nearly any style of cooking, chicken is an ideal selection for a variety of cuisines. If you planned on serving chicken for dinner only to discover that you forgot to thaw it out before preparation time, there is no cause for concern. Put away the takeout menu and adapt your recipe's cooking time for frozen chicken. Use a meat thermometer any time you cook poultry to ensure that it reaches the minimum of 165 degrees Fahrenheit recommended by the U.S. Department of Agriculture.
It's dangerous to eat chicken that's not fully cooked. One of the chief risks with undercooked chicken is the possibility of food poisoning from salmonella bacteria, but there are fundamental steps you can take to ensure that chicken gets fully done. Protect your family from the perils of eating undercooked chicken by allotting enough time to prepare dinner and by checking its temperature before serving.
Many home cooks are perplexed by the inclusion of the tough nubs at the ends of their uncooked chicken tenders. You can't eat them easily, so you may wonder what, if anything, you should do with them. You should trim them off and discard them to prevent them from forming a chewy piece of gristle at the end of your cooked chicken tender.
Chicken adds flavor and protein to pasta dishes. You can add chicken to traditional favorites such as macaroni and cheese or make kid-pleasing, Italian-style pasta primavera with whimsical bowtie or wagonwheel noodles. Pasta dishes with juicy chicken breasts are versatile and make a full meal when paired with a vegetable or salad.
Defrosting a chicken in the refrigerator is the best way to keep your family safe from salmonella and other food-borne illnesses. Microorganisms multiply rapidly at temperatures above 40 degrees F, so keeping chicken in the fridge while it defrosts prevents the growth of dangerous bacteria. If chicken's on your dinner menu, save time by sticking it in the fridge the day before. By dinnertime the next day, it'll be ready to cook.