Chef Sara Moulton Answers Your Cooking Questions

Jo Jordan: CHICKEN SKIN! I hate it, loathe cooking with it. All recipies put all seasoning(s) and glazes on the skin. If you discard the skin especially for white meat the end product is very often dry. Last piece to this rant is the "scrape up all the bits...". As near as I can tell, that is again only the fat product from the cooked protein. Can that great flavor be insinuated into a skinless chicken dish? I sure do miss seeing you regularly. Jo

Sara's Answer:

Jo,

Let's start with the chicken skin issue. It is okay to remove the skin if you protect the delicate white meat chicken some other way. You can dip it in flour before sautéing it or cover it with a "glue" like mustard or mayonnaise and crumbs before baking it. Another trick is to soak it in buttermilk with a hefty pinch of salt before cooking it. Buttermilk is a tenderizer and the salt will help to make the juices stay in the muscle.

Actually dark meat chicken does not dry out easily so if you use skinless dark meat you will be safe. But make sure that you do not overcook whatever chicken you are cooking - that will make it dry out.

Those bits at the bottom of the pan are not just the fat, but also the juices from the protein you are cooking which caramelize at the bottom of the pan. It is a good idea to take advantage of them to make a sauce. You can just add a little chicken broth to the pan and simmer it scraping up those brown bits until they are dissolved. Then pour the sauce over your cooked chicken.

By the way I have a new show on Public TV which I hope you check it out. Here is where you will find more information:

http://saramoulton.com/shows/

Sandy Levy: Can almond milk be substituted for regular milk, or does it have a distinct flavor in a meat recipe?

Sara's Answer:

Sandy,

Almond milk is made with almonds and water. In its purest state it has a naturally sweet, light almond flavor and a milk-like texture. Many commercial varieties have added sugar or flavoring. You can use the plain unsweetened, unflavored version in most baking recipes that call for milk but it will not work as well in savory preparations except perhaps in Asian recipes where almonds might have been added anyway.

For more great recipes from Sara check out her website or follow her on Twitter: @saramoulton

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