How Can I Cook Duck? Careful preparation of meat and poultry is essential to the success of all types of cooking.
The skillful use of different cutting methods, marinades, and coatings can make even the most inexpensive cut look and taste delicious.
Making General Preparations
There are many ways of preparing meat and excessing fat and skin, keeping some fat for flavor poultry to enhance their appearance, flavor, and moisture. Retain bones and trimmings to and tenderness. For healthy cooking, trim off make stock, and freeze for future use.
• Slicing for tenderness: Slice meat across, not with the grain for a tender result.
• Dicing evenly: When dicing meat for casseroles or curries, make the cubes the same size so that they cook evenly.
• Trimming kidneys: Use kitchen scissors instead of a knife to cut out and remove the tough cores from kidneys.
• Cutting stir-fry strips: Freeze meat for 30 minutes before slicing for a stir-fry. This will make it easy to cut thinly.
• Snipping edges: To prevent the edges of grilled or fried steaks, chops, or bacon from curling, make slits in the fat at VAn (1-cm) intervals.
To coat chicken pieces in seasoned flour or spices quickly and cleanly, place the coating mixture in a plastic bag, and add the poultry. Shake the bag until the contents are evenly coated. Remove the pieces and cook.
To tenderize a tough cut of meat, puree fresh papaya and spread it over the surface of the meat. Alternatively, pour papaya or pineapple juice over the meat, cover, and refrigerate for three hours. Dry the meat before cooking.
To prepare duck breast for grilling or frying, score the skin deeply in a diamond pattern. This will help the meat cook evenly, keep its shape, and release excess fat during cooking.
• Soaking liver: For a milder flavor, soak strong-tasting liver, such as pig’s liver, in milk for one hour before cooking.
• Tenderizing liver: To make liver tender, pour tomato juice over it, and let soak three hours before cooking.
• Cleaning hearts: Wash hearts thoroughly, then soak in lightly salted water for one hour to clean out any blood deposits.
• Blanching sweetbreads: To keep sweetbreads firm, first blanch them for 20 minutes in salted, boiling water with the juice of half a lemon. Then drain, and press between two plates before cooking.
To tenderize a tough cut of meat, puree fresh papaya and spread it over the surface of the meat. Alternatively, pour papaya or pineapple juice over the meat, cover, and refrigerate for three hours. Dry meat before cooking.
To “chop” bacon quickly and easily, use a pair of kitchen
scissors. Cut raw bacon slices straight into a pan. Snip cooked bacon over salads.
Most of the basic preparation of meat cuts is done before you buy them, but it is worth learning a few simple skills to get the best out of meat and poultry. Boning and trussing meat at home save money, since prepared cuts are the most expensive.
Preparing Lamb Joints
Protecting bones Cover the bone ends of a rack of lamb with foil to prevent them from burning during cooking.
For an easy carving the shoulder of lamb, loosen the blade bone from the flesh but leave it in place. When roasted, the meat will shrink back, and the bone can then be pulled out easily.
Using Dental Floss
To truss or sew meat or poultry unobtrusively, use some unwaxed dental floss. It is strong enough to hold the shape neatly and firmly, without spoiling the appearance of the dish.
• To reduce fat levels in poultry, remove the skin. The skin contains a high proportion of the fat found in poultry.
• Using paper towels: To remove the skin from a drumstick easily, grasp it with a paper towel or a clean, dry dishtowel. Pull the skin away from the flesh toward the narrow end.
• Checking the cavity: Before roasting a whole chicken, check inside the cavity and remove any lumps of fat, which can spoil the flavor and will make the juices fatty.
• Removing the wishbone: Before roasting poultry, lift the neck skin and pull out the wishbone. This will make the breast meat easy to carve.
Follow these few simple guidelines when handling meat to keep it free from bacterial contamination.
• Washing hands: Wash before and after handling meat and poultry, and before preparing other foods.
• Cleaning equipment: To avoid cross-contamination after preparing meat, thoroughly wash knives, surfaces, and cutting boards.
• Keeping cool: Once the meat is prepared and ready to cook, cook it immediately, or cover it with foil and store it in the refrigerator until it is needed.
• Using stuffings: Always make sure cooked stuffings have cooled completely before using them to stuff raw meat.
Splitting For Grilling
Pressing flat To ensure that poultry lies as flat as possible when opened out for cooking, press firmly on the breastbone with the heel of your hand.
Using skewers To hold a split Cornish hen in shape for cooking, push metal skewers through the thickest parts of the meat. They will allow the heat to penetrate and ensure thorough cooking.
Using Cut-Up Poultry
• Soaking duck pieces: Soak joints of wild duck in cold water for about an hour to remove any excess blood. Dry thoroughly on paper towels.
• Cutting up whole birds: Buy a whole chicken, and cut it up yourself, since this is less expensive than buying pre-cut pieces. Use the trimmings to make a stock for future use.
• Adding flavors: Remove the skin from poultry pieces and slash the thickest parts of the flesh before coating in spices or marinades. This will allow the flavors to penetrate fully.
• Using coatings: Use herb-flavored, packaged stuffing mix as a quick coating for chicken. Dip each piece in egg, and then into the stuffing mix before baking or frying.