Food Storage & Other Adventures in Motherhood

Book Review: 101 Things to Do With Chicken

by heather

Recently when I was looking for a gift for my dad I came across several of the “101Things” books at 60% off. I have a few of them and have been pleased thus far, so I bought four more. This weekend I read through all of them and I’m so excited to try several of the recipes. 101 Things to Do With Chicken by Donna Kelly and Stephanie Ashcraft had several recipes that look really great, but there were also some that made me think “You don’t really need a recipe for that. There are also a few that are repeats from other books in the series. Having said that I still think that it was worth it. At the beginning of the book is a list of helpful hints which I’ll share, plus my version of the recipe that I tried yesterday.

  1. Always make sure that chicken is thoroughly cooked. Juices should run clear and there shouldn’t be any pink present. Chicken thighs should reach 175 degrees. Chicken and eggs are frequent carriers of salmonella.
  2. Chicken stored in the fridge should be used within 1-2 days.
  3. A whole chicken takes 36 hours to defrost. Chicken pieces usually take 12-24 hours to defrost.
  4. All cut chicken on a non-pourus plastic or glass cutting board. And never cross-contaminate by using the knife you used to cut chicken to cut something else.
  5. Bringing chicken to room temperature before cookin will help it to remain moist and cook evenly.
  6. Soaking in brine with add moistness and flavor to baked or roasted chicken. Add 1/4 cup salt to 1 quart water. Place chicken and brine in ziplock bag. For a carmelized flavor, also add 1/4 cup sugar to brine. Soak chicken in brine for at least an hour per pound or overnight. Drain before cooking.
  7. For crispy skin on roasted or fried chicken,  leave chicken uncovered in the fridge for a few hours before cooking.
  8. When roasting or grilling a chicken, allow to set at room temperature for ten minutes before slicing so that the juices can be reabsorbed into the meat.
  9. 1 lb bonless skinless chicken yields about 3 cups of cubed or sliced chicken.

Tangy Strawberry Chicken Bites
2 lbs boneless skinless chicken tenders or breasts cut into small chunks
2 Tablespoons olive oil
1 cup strawberry preserves
1 cup chili sauce
1 can (20oz) pineapple chunks, drained
2 large carrots, sliced
1 red bell pepper cut into small chunks
3 cups of prepared brown rice

1. Cook chicken in oil over medium heat until browned on all sides. Meanwhile steam carrot slices in microwave with 1/8 cup water for 3 minutes. 2. Drain carrots and add to chicken with preserves, pepper and chili sauce. Cook and stir until preserves are melted. 4. Add pineapple chunks, simmer for one minute and serve over rice.

The Verdict: This recipe was actually in the appetizer section, but I decided to increase the pineapple, add some veggies and serve it over rice to make it a meal. I liked this, my husband loved it, my son who isn’t feeling well wouldn’t try it and neither would my daughter. I thought perhaps if I served it with toothpicks they might be willing to try it. No such luck. I apologize that there isn’t picture, the batteries in my camera died, again. :S

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