Tag Archives: chicken

Defrosting the Bird

Defrosting turkey in the water method.

Defrosting turkey in the water method.

In 35 years of marriage, I have roasted at least some of 35 turkeys and probably 100 whole chickens. So with that said, I have defrosted most of them in either of three ways. The first way, is to take the bird out of the freezer, and place it in the refrigerator so it can defrost totally which typically takes a couple to several days, depending on the size of the bird. The other way is to take it out of the freezer and place it in a tub of cold water, which helps to keep it cold yet defrosts it at the same time. The water is changed often. The third way is to do a combo of both methods. Most times, I do the combo method. This particular story is about defrosting a chicken. I took the chicken out of the freezer, filled up a large pot of water and placed it in it to defrost for the recommended time. Then, I took it out and placed it in the refrigerator as I planned to stuff and roast it for dinner the next day. The next day came, and I unwrapped the chicken. I looked at it with a perplexing look, as it was an odd shape, which I mentioned to DH. Then I went to retrieve the neck and giblets bag out of the breast cavity. The darn thing was still frozen!  So I placed it back in the refrigerator and we went out for burgers. DH told me I planned it that way, so we could go out for dinner. Of course he was just teasing me, so the next day when it came time to prepare the chicken for the oven, I took it out again. And that chicken was still partially frozen! I could see and feel the giblets bag but couldn’t get it out. So, DH said to me, that I should let him try since his Dad had been a butcher originally, before going into poultry sales. DH couldn’t get it out either, so he went to the garage and got pliers and vice drips which he boiled to decontaminate them. Then I held the chicken and he pried it open and he was able to pull everything out. I changed my mind on stuffing it and decided to make a beer can chicken instead. Only then did I realize I had the chicken upside down the whole time. DH had pulled everything out through the neck hole. This story makes me laugh just writing about it. I’d like to say this happened when I was first married which would be a newlywed blunder, but no, it was a couple of years ago. I just do not know, what I was thinking? Happy Thanksgiving and I hope you all don’t have any kitchen antics!

Tangine Cooking

My tangine.

My Tangine has a lovely design on it which I love! Photo by Copyright 2014 Deborah Kaplan

On a popular food website during the last several years, I became involved in a forum where other home-cooks were interested in the flavors of the NA*ME (North African/Middle Eastern) region. In doing so, that is where I came in contact with concept of cooking with a Tangine. So when our daughters asked me for an idea to give me for my birthday, I suggested a Tangine. I was also picky, as I wanted one with a design rather than one that was a solid color. So back in February of this year, at my birthday, I received this beautiful Tangine cooking vessel. The only problem with it, is it came with no directions on how to use it.  I searched the Internet and found that it is common place for Tangine vessels to be sold without any directions on how to use them. What I found was a big debate as to whether or not the top should have a vent hole or not. Mine has a vent hole and the ceramic interior also has a clear glaze. A lot don’t have the glaze and therefore need to be conditioned or cured before use. I thought I would be placing it in the oven, however I wound up using it on the stove top on a low flame. Some suggested using a diffuser: I did not, mainly because I didn’t have one. Then there was the time issue? I decided to jump in with both feet and I have to say the recipe I created came out delicious! DH and MIL also raved about it. I cooked three chicken thighs, which I browned first in a non-stick skillet. In my research, I did find out that the Tangine should never be used with high heat. After dinner, DH placed it in the dishwasher which I said no to, so he hand washed it. Since the dishwasher uses hot water plus a heating element, I didn’t want to risk causing the Tangine to crack.