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Problem when boiling chicken

Unless Ozhit can explain the process of safely removing oneself while extracting the chicken, I suggest bypassing this advice. Detaching the cat from the chicken could also be as problematic as detaching it from one's head or other part.

Jep, I make a lot of chicken soup and never have this problem. The proteins/impurities that are initially released into the water during cooking are normally skimmed off and discarded. This scummy stuff would cook hard onto the sides of the pot if a broth were boiled hard enough to drop the water level and deposit it on the sides, and I strongly suspect that's what's happening.

A standard process is chicken, water, flavorings, bring water just to boil, then drop the temperature and cook at a slow simmer until the chicken is done, skimming the impurities early on as needed. This keeps the broth nice and clear, and in the pot instead of the atmosphere.

The only time it might be boiled is sometimes for a couple minutes at the beginning to bring up those scummy proteins and some fat -- as an alternative process to skimming them as above. This way, the chicken is brought to the brief boil, then the water discarded and the chicken and pot rinsed of all scum with running water, then returned to the pot, new water added, additional ingredients introduced, and cooking resumed -- again at a slow simmer as soon as it's hot enough.

about 13 hours ago
Thymus in Cookware

The B&B breakfast from hell

I was a little surprised at some of the responses you've gotten, but this thread has given me some good chuckles too, so thank you.

Your own kindness toward the B&B owners is also appreciated. We have a very sweet old acquaintance, who will also remain unidentified, who began her new life after divorcing by purchasing an old home to open a B&B. We were afraid for her due to her decorating tastes (still duck-on-stick near the turn of the century), and I'd been passing by her coagulated tasteless mac and cheese at potlucks for years. Oh, and her very chatty nature; pleasant with a lot of friends in common to gab about, but maybe not for strangers. She chalked her closure the same year up to an economic downturn, so apparently she lacked good feedback, which we felt was about as happy an outcome as could have been hoped for. :)

about 15 hours ago
Thymus in General Topics

1950s Atrocities

Duffy, I agree it is undoubtedly a true American classic. And, now that I revisit this, I have to say it's terribly unfair of me to blame the 1950s for it. If a culinary atrocity, we own it just as truly in our times as then.

about 16 hours ago
Thymus in Home Cooking

1950s Atrocities

And somehow that's just as it should be? Reminds me of how much I missed Bert Parks' horrible "Thaaair she goooes..." after he was kicked off the Miss America Pagent. There I went too -- it just wasn't the same.

At the other end of the generational span is my beautiful DIL who avoids cooking as much as possible but does have this treasure securely stored in her repertoire. Tradition endures.

about 16 hours ago
Thymus in Home Cooking

1950s Atrocities

Okay, I just thought of what just might be, in my mind, a true 1950s "atrocity": That beloved-by-millions Thanksgiving green beans in mushroom soup thing. It certainly is emblematic of all that unfortunate era is now, not entirely justly, famous for (except the jello). So I looked it up, and according to the International Business Times it was created -- taadaa: IN 1955! by Dorcas Reilly of the Campbell Soup Company.

Miss Reilly's job was to produce recipes that used Campbell's soup combined with items almost everyone already had in their kitchens. For this one, her genius fastened on canned green beans. She then picked 2 other items from those most households had available -- milk and soy sauce -- to round out this 2-can delight, and a classic was born.

To elevate it to haute cuisine worthy of being proudly served for Thanksgiving, of course, the final touch of a topping of another can of something available in most markets across the nation was needed, and her brilliance at composing off a list was up to the challenge, or maybe she walked the aisles until inspiration struck: Greasy canned fried onions...

We all know nostalgia makes a major contribution to taste, and for anyone here for whom this dish is much more than its ingredients, please don't be offended by its being offered up here. Maybe just take this dish as more, and outstanding, proof that the '50s are unjustly maligned instead.

1 day ago
Thymus in Home Cooking

What to cook in rented beach house Labor Day weekend?

What a nice plan. As one who is closer to a "basic" cook than to many of the sophisticates here, for a crowd I definitely like to stick with main recipes I've had good success with before. Then maybe accompany them with more adventurous sides and drinks, plus tablecloths, etc., to develop a holiday theme.

I agree the grill would be a terrific, easy way to enjoy local seafood - if someone in the party is capable of doing good by whatever might be picked up. Especially with unfamiliar equipment. Competence always seems to be assumed here but is not at all a given in our circles.

In addition to grilling I'd absolutely take a large, programmable crockpot, with ingredients in it or ready to grab for a couple dinners of one of my better recipes. A crockpot so that everyone could just wander off for hours without having to tend a stove. A large one for "extra" food just to keep things loose and worry free; we'd know something would always be available regardless of what time people arrived home, as backup in case bad weather drove everyone inside or a seagull flew off with the fish, etc.

A big bowl of a salad that kept well in the fridge over the weekend, green, pasta, rice, whatever. Easily thrown together and ready to grab with no fuss.

Aug 30, 2015
Thymus in Home Cooking
2

Ebook deals of the minute.

I'll be happy to, Audrey, although the thread may disappear before I have something worthwhile to report. Three recent tries at REALLY good fried rice, as well as stir-fried shrimp and veggies, mei fun, and my husband's favorite hot and sour soup (moderately successful - just not our notion of great stuff), mean further adventurings with his dinner need to be spread out a bit.

The download is free, btw, for checking out.

Aug 30, 2015
Thymus in Home Cooking

browning chicken in advance

No, just sends them and...other matter off to the sea, but please keep tossing that out now and then. Each time that visceral ewww looses a bit of conviction. :)

Aug 29, 2015
Thymus in Home Cooking

Ebook deals of the minute.

I've gone back to check those "5-star" reviews, and they're all supposedly by men.

That said, after reviewing the recipes, I'm glad I downloaded this and am going to be trying some. They're similar to others I've seen for American-Chinese takeout dishes I want good versions of at home, and the ingredient lists are Americanized for availability. I'd just love to know where, or who, the recipes came from, though.

Aug 29, 2015
Thymus in Home Cooking

Ebook deals of the minute.

Okay, I just downloaded, "The Ultimate Chinese Cookbook, The Best Chinese Recipes Book Ever." In spite of its rather trumpy title, it has 4 enthusiastic reviews, it looks interesting, and I'm definitely intrigued.

Note that the author is "Thomas Kelley," author of a string of wide-ranging e-books. If I'd seen that first, I'd never have gone further, but the writing recipes suggest they were written by someone very close to them.

http://www.amazon.com/Ultimate-Chines...

Aug 29, 2015
Thymus in Home Cooking

Ebook deals of the minute.

Milgwimper, thanks for the topic.

I own waaay too many hard copies and no end in sight when a hard-cover copy of many more genuinely fine books than I could read in a lifetime are available on line for a dollar or less, and millions for $10 or less. New books are usually just put it on a wish list for their prices to drop. This is my main source of cookbooks since I love to hold onto them.

Desirable Kindle books are typically far more expensive. For that reason, my Kindle, including Unlimited membership, usage has mostly devolved to free borrowing and purchasing low-price novels that sound fun but I don't expect to want to keep.

That said, I'm off to browse Kindle cookbooks, definitely a sadly neglected category, so thanks.

Aug 29, 2015
Thymus in Home Cooking
1

browning chicken in advance

No, don't gamble. I'm not saying don't be sensible and aware of our current state of knowledge and official best practices, but just to maintain a realistic perspective that allows for some flexibility based on context. There's almost always more than one way to accomplish a goal, including killing pathogens.

BTW, I wholly agree with the problem of many hands, etc., but that problem is, for very good reason, of much more concern to us when dining out than when eating food I prepare in my own kitchen. Otherwise, the recommendation not to rinse poultry is where emotion overrides my left brain, that many-hands thing, but I do at least now keep the water pressure low.

Aug 29, 2015
Thymus in Home Cooking

"fear of frying"

Oh, it's not just me? My husband says I should at least stop reading while I cook.

Palomalou, as you obviously know, fears aren't governed by rationality. If it turns out you just don't feel comfortable, maybe you could try changing out your ring for a cast-iron one.

Aug 29, 2015
Thymus in Home Cooking
1

browning chicken in advance

Like Dogboa, I'm often more casual than many obviously are, but I'm quite sure ER bills and crying children would have caused me to change my ways decades ago, and pronto, if I needed to be more careful.

If the cooking time weren't obviously longer than would be needed to cook your chicken through, I'd probably make sure it was by bringing the sauce to a good, allover boil on the stove before setting the pan in the preheated oven.

This attitude, by the way, goes all the way back a childhood which did not always include a refrigerator -- which, after all, is quite new to the human race. We ate a lot of soups and stews then because they could be recooked each day until gone, new veggies added now and then, and their flavor getting better each day.

Aug 29, 2015
Thymus in Home Cooking

Rustic garden party ideas needed

I was just wishing I had some hummus, so I'm thinking cucumber slices hollowed out a bit and filled with a flavorful hummus should hold up well. A pico de gallo-style filling would also be fresh and gardeny.

Aug 28, 2015
Thymus in Home Cooking
1

Ideas for planned leftovers/make ahead meals

As Querencia suggests. And if you don't have adequate freezer space, maybe get one so you can do this a lot. It'd be a real serenity maker for the many times when mobile time crunches and conflicting desires will be smashing the best-laid plans. Also, there'd be no need for those large pots of good food (made easily at your convenience) to get tiresome when extra servings could just be spooned into zip-locks, frozen, and switched out with others as desired.

A large container of steamed rice will wait nicely in the refrigerator for some days for family to heat with a zip-lock packet from the freezer. Most of those freezer packets would also do nicely over a quick-nuked potato or vegetables. Lightly steam enough veggies for a couple days and refrigerate.

A double recipe of a rice pilaf with nuts and ? in the fridge would make a nice but very quick meal paired with a leg quickly snatched off the rest of a roast chicken, or at worst by itself. And, of course, freeze the pilaf in packets too.

Aug 26, 2015
Thymus in Home Cooking
1

Portable Christmas Dinner

Logistically I think I'd go Dfrostnh's way. It would be delicious and evocative of a holiday dinner without actually trying to replicate it. A slow-cooker meal would combine turkey or chicken with gravy and stay warm and moist all day. Could be one-dish or combined with rice or mashed potatoes in another. Homey comfort food for those who don't get to be home.

My own experience of dining from trays of holiday foods doesn't average out very well, but the good ones were well tended and only out for a handful of hours. In this case I'm imagining increasingly dried, disordered and picked-over over long hours.

A cranberry sauce, as suggested, just says holidays to many. Or how about some type of cranberry-fruit-veggie-nut salad recipe to tuck in some healthy nutrition?

For veggies, lightly steamed asparagus spears and/or brussels sprouts would be extremely easy and fine at room temperature or microwaved as desired. In two or three containers, one served immediately, the other)s) waiting in the fridge for your husband or some helpful person to bring out later.

Desserts!! Here maybe a little extravagant for the many sweet freaks out there? And for those who only drop in to scout hopefully for a quick treat?

Aug 25, 2015
Thymus in Home Cooking

What are your favourite Southern Cookbooks?

Oh, same here for Craig Claiborne's Southern Cooking, and I also treasure Neal's Southern Cooking and his ex-wife's Remembering Bill Neal, Favorite Recipes from a Life in Cooking, whose recipe for shrimp and grits is just the way my DIL especially loves her favorite comfort food dish. They're all the kind of chatty books I love to settle in with, not just collections of recipes.

Aug 25, 2015
Thymus in Home Cooking
1

Home Cooking Dish of the Month (September 2015) Nominations 

Oh, perfect. And I just took note of weezieduzzit's note below.

Aug 23, 2015
Thymus in Home Cooking

Home Cooking Dish of the Month (September 2015) Nominations 

I forgot to mention fruit terrines, of course, which sound lovely for summer.

I meant to mention also that meat appeals especially because many meats produce a wonderful gelatin that just appeals more as a binder in summer than heavier cheese and ground vegetable alternatives.

Aug 23, 2015
Thymus in Home Cooking

Home Cooking Dish of the Month (September 2015) Nominations 

Um, of course, didn't think of that. How about opening the topic to mixed-ingredient terrines that could include meat, but no pates? (That would presumably eliminate just considering a bacon-wrapped meatloaf recipe I've been meaning to make a terrine, which did cross my mind.)

I've just been browsing recipes for ham hock based terrines because I picked up some good ones while driving through south Georgia and the gelatin can be delicious, and turns out there are actually a bunch of recipes. Who'd have thought? He'd probably eat a slice of cool vegetable terrine happily enough on the porch if it included chunks of leftover corned beef.

There are also a lot of recipes that include chicken in chunks with veggies, nuts and/or other ingredients, which sound very usable because we eat a lot of chicken and DH would be less likely to wonder at me doing something very different with his dinner. Friends are bringing us a couple of live lobsters from Maine, a rare treat, and I've going to want to make lobster shell broth for something, doubt much meat will be left.

Just stuff crossing my mind and I have not the slightest idea what other conflicts might pop up.

Aug 23, 2015
Thymus in Home Cooking

Home Cooking Dish of the Month (September 2015) Nominations 

Please consider the source since I've never officially (i.e., reported) participating, but last month I was intrigued and spent over an hour musing over vegetable terrine recipes, even broadened the scope to include veggies in aspic (seemingly by some definitions a terrine), but ultimately didn't find anything I wanted to invest all that time in and was fairly confident the two of us would want to finish. (I know better than to serve my "exotic" experiments to others.)

So my suggestion is, how about broadening vegetable terrines to terrines, which of course would allow those who want to create one of those gorgeous veggie designs to do so.

Aug 23, 2015
Thymus in Home Cooking

Repurposing leftovers

Same for breakfast here - many leftovers don't last to a second dinner. Since MAH's isn't my problem, though, I'm finding all kinds of unconsidered ideas in this interesting thread.

That said, I'm not as enthusiastic a cook as many here, and if my husband didn't like leftovers, my first new trick would be to make more freezable recipes and just trot the leftovers out a month or so later.

cooking for a crowd over a weekend

I would have really enjoyed that, Luckiesduck. BTW, unadventurous, or perhaps often just nervous, eaters are pretty common around here. Our extended-by-marriage family even includes one who, despite coaxing, pointedly ate only white rice in an excellent (and obviously upscale) Chinese restaurant that threw a lavish on-the-house prewedding luncheon for the families. I never heard what she suspected those luscious sauces might have been hiding. In her defense, it was in California.

DH likes sweet potatoes, and I'm going to try Midwesterner's sweet potato salad very soon (thanks!) -- but never for Thanksgiving, when blended family requires satisfaction of a strong marshmallow nostalgia.

Aug 19, 2015
Thymus in Home Cooking

Wild Rice and Edamame Salad

Aug 18, 2015
Thymus in Recipes

1950s Atrocities

I've noticed a lot of younger-generation posters enjoying an EWwww-Gross group squeal over this stuff. This bit of fun will pass, but as you're hearing here, many of those jello salads and casseroles were actually quite good. And pretty. And even nutritious.

Good things have a way of coming around again, so I won't be too surprised if I hear some nice summer that the new trend is grating veggies into gelatin and sending jello-mold selfies to friends.

Aug 14, 2015
Thymus in Home Cooking
2

Soup 911

Same here. Over the years I've eaten a lot of stuff I've left out overnight, but it's stuff I've cooked up myself. I know I wash my hands and veggies, etc. From a commercial facility with so many things unknown...

Aug 12, 2015
Thymus in General Topics

Need suggestions for sides for a raw oyster party

Yum! Wish I were coming. How about a light simple steamed rice tossed with lime juice, and perhaps cilantro?

Or an avocado-based salad popped to mind and is staying there. Probably in part because both of my favorite recipes, as well as the "Obsessively Good Avocado-Cucumber Salad" I've been meaning to try from Smitten Kitchen, have lime and/or lemon dressings.

Good or too much of a good thing depending on what you're putting on those oysters...

Aug 11, 2015
Thymus in Home Cooking

How do you store your bacon fat?

Old retail jelly jar here, too. Only one, gets cleaned out now and then when level drops low, but I have no idea how long I've been using this one. Coated lid's in good shape.

Aug 10, 2015
Thymus in Home Cooking

cooking for a crowd over a weekend

It REALLY does sound like a good way to go, Luckiesduck. I'd enjoy it. And if it ends up easier for you definitely a win-win.

FWIW, I sometimes keep a bowl of a fairly indulgent make-ahead, like a pasta salad, in the fridge for the gnashers to go hit if they feel hungry tween times or want to pad a meal. The disciplined eaters are taken care of at mealtimes, of course, and it sounds as if you may have a lot of those.

Aug 09, 2015
Thymus in Home Cooking