Baking Chicken Evenly

When baking chicken pieces, remember that dark meat takes longer to cook than white meat.

To make sure that your meat cooks more equally, when you are ready to start baking, place your dark meat in the oven first.  After about 5 or 6 minutes, go ahead and put your white meat pieces in the oven next and continue to cook as normal.

Cooking a Stuffed Turkey

Cooking a stuffed turkey can be a bit tricky. No matter what method you choose, you will need to make sure that you bake your bird to an internal meat temperature of 165ºf in an oven no less than 325ºf.

If you cook the turkey at any temperature less than that the stuffing will not cook thoroughly. The stuffing internal temperature needs to be more than 140ºf to kill any bacteria.

Using a slow cooking method with a stuffed bird has been known to cause numerous food poisening cases.

To prevent this, you can put some stuffing into your bird, but cook the remainder in a pan in the oven. When you serve the bird, do not serve the stuffing inside the bird.

Another option is to bake the stuffing in another pan in the oven, then stuff the bird just before serving.

Perfect Poultry

You made a baked chicken and it was dry as the bottom of a shoe. When you have chicken out it is always juicy and moist, what could be going wrong.

Several things could cause the dryness, here are a few possible solutions:

Your oven may be heating too hot. Check it for accuracy.

Place an apple inside the cavity of the bird before you place it in the oven. Once the chicken is done remove the apple and throw it away. The juices from the apple will help keep the chicken moist.

Get a meat thermometer and place it in the meatiest part of the chicken, not touching a bone. Remove the chicken from the oven when it is 5 degree’s below done. Place it on a cutting board and cover lightly with foil. The chicken will continue to cook while it rests. It will also give you a few minutes to finish preparing the rest of the meal.

 

Marinated Chicken Wings

If you are having a little get together, you can make up a batch of these great tasting wings for your friends or family.

Combine 1/2 Cup Soy Sauce, 1/2 Cup Honey, 1/4 Cup Molasses, 2 Tablespoons Chili Sauce, 2 teaspoons Ground Ginger, and 4 cloves of garlic into a large bowl.

Add about 3 pounds of chicken wings to the sauce and mix well.

Cover and refrigerate at least one hour.

Preheat the oven to 375.

Grab a broiler pan and line it thoroughly with aluminum foil.

Spray the foil well with nonstick cooking spray.

Remove the chicken from the refrigerator and place on the baking sheet.

Bake in the preheated oven for 30 minutes, marinating about every 10 minutes with the sauce remaining in your bowl.

Remove from the oven and turn the chicken pieces over. Place back in the oven and bake for another 20 minutes, marinating about 3 more times.

Chicken is done when the thickest piece of chicken is no longer pink near the bone.

Throw out any remaining marinade, do not serve it or coat the chicken with it after it is done baking.

Serve warm or chilled. Tastes great either way.

Leftover Chicken

Have some left over cooked chicken, but not sure what to do with it?  Make a chicken sandwich!

Rummage around the kitchen to see if you can find an extra croissant, pita bread, flour tortilla or even just plain old bread.

Chop up the leftover chicken. For each cup of chicken, add 1/4 cup mayonaise, 3 tablespoons minced onions, and 1/8 cup minced celery.

Serve on your bread of choice with some fresh lettuce if you desire.

Tasty Turkey

You are slicing your turkey, or even a chicken, you find that when you are done the first slices are a bit cold and dry.

You can easily warm them up and add a bit of moisture by drizzling on some stock from the bottom of the pan on top of the pieces just before serving.

Brown Bag Turkey Hint

You are getting ready to make your Thanksgiving Turkey with the old recipe that your mother used. The recipe has you place the bird into a paper bag and bake it.

Now days you are not going to want to do this. Most brown bags that are provided by your local grocer are made from recycled paper products and may contain harmful chemicals.

Instead, most stores carry an affordable plastic poultry baking bag that is designed specifically for this purpose.

Sharing Thanksgiving

To really get kids into the festive spririt for Thanksgiving, get each one of the kids a cornish game hen.

As you are preparing the Turkey, let them prepare their own birds.

You can then bake them in their own roaster and as you baste your bird, they can baste theirs and for the feast they can enjoy their own creation.

This is a great learning experience and it keeps the kids occupied.

Gravy Tips II

The hardest thing to tell with gravy is how much to make. The general rule of thumb is to make about 1/3 cup of prepared gravy for each person.

If you have gravy lovers like in my house, I will bump it up to 1/2 cup as you can never have too much gravy!

For each cup of gravy you will want 1 tablespoon of fat from whatever you are making, 2 tablespoons of flour and 1 cup of broth.  Heat your fat over medium heat in a sauce pan large enough to hold the amount of gravy that you are making.

Reduce your heat to medium low and remove the pan from the heat to add the flour.  Using a wire wisk, blend the flour well into the fat and return your pan to the heat.

Let cook for 3-4 minutesstirring often with your wire whisk until golden brown to light carmel in color.  Add about 1/3 of your broth and remove from heat.  Whisk the mixture well until all lumps have been removed.

Return to the heat and add the remaining liquid.  Increase heat to medium and bring to just a boil for at least 2-3 minutes.  The gravy will thicken as the mixture cooks.

Taste and if needed you can season with some salt and pepper, don’t forget to let the mixture cook for a few minutes after the addition to blend the flavors well. Don’t keep adding flour if the gravy is a little thin, it will continue to thicken as it cools just before serving.

Place your gravy into a bowl or a gravy boat to serve.

If you will not be serving the gravy immediately, place a piece of plastic wrap over the surface, actually touching the gravy to keep a film/crust from forming. You can then remove the wrap and reheat in a microwave or reheat in a pan on the stove over medium heat.

Keeping Gravy Warm

As you found out that when you serve gravy it thickens while it cools. Toward the end of dinner you can sometimes find a congealed glob that really isn’t that appetizing or pourable.

The next time that you serve gravy for a large dinner, try serving it in a fondue pot. The heat from the candle or burner will keep your gravy warm and pourable.  Just make sure to keep it away from the decorative centerpiece or it could catch on fire!

Don’t have a fondue pot? Grab your crockpot.  I bought a small one specifically for keeping gravies and sauces warm.