Chicken Fear, Fried chicken and just bone in Chicken in general

Discussion in 'Professional Chefs' started by icanburnanythin, Jul 30, 2017.

  1. icanburnanythin

    icanburnanythin

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    sorry may be a tad bit long

    My nemesis in the cooking world is bone in chicken. Got sick from undercooked chicken when i was younger and i really never recovered mentally. It was so bad that i banned bone in chicken from my home kitchen for over 15+ years for the most part. The bone in chicken i do bring in my house is generally boiled to some degree for stock, butchered or are just thin wings.

    Besides wings, making fillets/pieces and stock, ive avoided bone in chicken forever, its pretty sad really. I avoid roasting and frying anything thicker than a wing in my house. I dont even roast turkey on bird day. i generally overcook my chicken at home, even though i know its overcooked.. mental fears... but thats how i do it..

    At work we only deal with boneless skinless chicken breasts. any boneless fillet is easy to cook spot on for me..but i wouldnt eat it, if i were at home id take it a few minutes further... i generally butterfly or pound it to an even thickness... ez enough. ive never had to roast bone in or fry a bird at any job.. so im a bit inexperienced in cooking bone in chicken.

    to be honest, i rarely eat chicken out.. my wife finds it funny, i get it, but i cant help it.. i even bleach down our house kitchen after dealing with any chicken.. even just a wing..

    however, recently ive been feeling the need to learn how to cook a good fried chicken.. i think im finally ready to get past days of sickness i experienced as a youth... plus i need to grow in this area as a cook imo...

    so i soaked some legs in a milk/vinegar solution for 2 hours.. i didnt have buttermilk.. doubled dipped in a floury/starchy spiced mixture and fried some off. i fried them for about 15 minutes as 375.. coating was a nice golden brown.. internal temp was 165-175 depending on thickness of the piece.. but.. when biting into it.. it seemed too tender?? it that possible..

    im so use to eating overcooked chicken i really dont know what tender chicken is.. even though the temp was 165-170 some pieces still seem to have blood in them. though it also had clear juice. so im a bit confused. i threw them in an oven for a few minutes to get them to that overcooked borderline pushing rubbery texture im use to eating.. to be honest though.. if the chicken was fine to eat.. it was the softest chicken ive ever had.. but the fear still persists.

    so what is it... clear juices or temp??? should fried chicken be so soft it nearly melts in your mouth?

    thanks for your advice if you made it through all that..
     
  2. chefwriter

    chefwriter

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    First, good for you for working to overcome your fears. No reason to miss out because of one incident. This will take some practice.
    Yes, chicken should be tender. If it reached the right temp and the juices ran clear, it's done. When you take the meat off the bone, there is often a spot of red near the bones but this is a coloration of a solid part of the chicken, not the juices.
    Properly cooked chicken isn't dry.
    The next time you cook a boneless breast at work and you know it's correctly cooked, eat it. Don't overcook it on purpose when you know there is no reason to do so.
    I'll also suggest you spend a few more dollars and get a local chicken raised on a local farm. There will be subtle differences from typical supermarket chicken with quite a bit more flavor.
    To help alleviate some fear, you can brine the chicken in the refrigerator. Make a five percent solution of salt and water, add some spices or herbs, (optional) and soak the chicken in it. The salty environment helps kill bacteria, the chicken absorbs a bit more water and helps keep it juicy while cooking.
    When cooking a whole chicken, you can also cut off the legs and thighs, roast the breasts separately and braise the legs and thighs. A bit of butter under the chicken skin helps the breast stay juicy while roasting. Put the breast (on the bone) on a bed of mirepoix, and a bit of water or wine, baste the chicken every ten minutes or so. Along with the liquid you braise the thighs and legs in you'll have some nice juices to make gravy with.
    Anyway, keep working at it.
    PS, I've gotten sick several times in my life from poultry and seafood. It wasn't pleasant. But I decided to consider them unique incidents for whatever the circumstances were and unlikely to happen again. Now that you're an adult and more in control of the food you eat, you should begin to feel more confidence in what you're eating. Also as an adult, your immune system is stronger and what made you sick as a youngster may not affect you now. So have confidence in your experimentation and learning.
    Good luck.
     
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  3. flipflopgirl

    flipflopgirl

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    My chicken poisoning tale started at a family reunion and ended two days later when someone got worried and came to rescue me from a secluded beach house that had no cell coverage nor a house phone (no clocks either...heaven).
    I was able to get right back in the saddle tho.
    Somewhere along the line the cooks in my family dropped the traditional buttermilk from the secret family recipe and started just salting the wet cut up bird for a good 6 hours (dry brine).
    The crust texture ends up more KFC than most recipes...silky and almost crisp but not really (confused yet?).
    I do on occasion do a three hand ;) dredge with buttermilk and egg when the dish cries out for that experience...chix and waffles for example.

    Onward thru the fog....
    mimi
     
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  4. cheflayne

    cheflayne

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    This is because of the fact that " i soaked some legs in a milk/vinegar solution for 2 hours.." which breaks down the proteins making for a more tender result.
     
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  5. scott livesey

    scott livesey

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    don't know why chicken has such a love/hate thing with a lot of folks. I never had roast chicken till I was an adult, the sight and smell was enough to cause my dad, a retired combat medic, nightmares. On board ship, you would get chicken once or twice a week but usually deep fried patties.
    I probably overcook my chicken, but it is a taste issue.
     
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  6. icanburnanythin

    icanburnanythin

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    never soaked chicken for more than 30 minutes.. i generally cut it thin.. overcook and hit it with a powerful sauce at home.. i didnt realize it got that soft. i have a lot to learn and relearn with chicken.
     
  7. icanburnanythin

    icanburnanythin

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    i wont eat it at work, ill think about it though. thanks for the roast chix recipe. thats how we made them in school. i remember cooking them but i also remember not eating them.

    ill just add more chix to our grocery list at home. normally we eat a lot of beef, lamb and fish on my days off.. when im working late i like to come home and make some sort of quick veg pasta..

    thanks
     
  8. icanburnanythin

    icanburnanythin

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    a week and a bit of severe cramps.. peeing out me rear and vomiting... dehydration.. having to get ivs... thats my hate of chicken..
     
  9. chefross

    chefross

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    Having cooked literally hundreds if not thousands of birds, I can tell you that when I get the internal temperature spot on and the breast meat is tender and juicy I get returned plates saying that the meat is still uncooked. Re-learning and un-learning are very difficult to do.
     
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