How to Defrost Chicken Fast

We all sometimes forget to take the chicken out of the fridge. And, then it is frozen solid. How do you defrost your chicken fast, so that you can cook it in no time? And to be able to do it safely?

Remember that with chicken, you need to be careful when you are defrosting chicken to avoid decontamination.

The more you know about how you can defrost your chicken fast, the easier it will be to do it safely as well. These are some great ways on how you can defrost chicken fast, safely and some other defrosting tips.

1. Defrosting Chicken, Using Cold Water

how to defrost chicken fast and safe

Yes, you can defrost your chicken fast, by just using cold water. This will take about 20 to 30 minutes, depending on the size of the chicken. Many will think that with cold water, your chicken will not defrost really fast. However, this isn’t the truth.

It might take a bit longer than with hot water, but this is the safest method if you want to keep the chicken under a certain temperature. Remember that chicken can get contaminated really easily, and cold water is preventing this from happening.

You just need to submerge the chicken in cold water. Making sure that the water is getting inside the chicken as well. You should consider changing the water every 10 minutes to keep the water clean and cold.

It will take about 20 to 30 minutes to defrost the chicken. Remember that the larger the chicken, the longer it is going to take.

2. Defrosting Chicken, Using Hot Water

This is the method that most of us are using. Submerging the chicken in hot water to get it defrosted in no time. Even, if this is an effective method, this isn’t always the best idea.

This is because of the temperature that the chicken is laying in. It is the perfect temperature for germs and decontamination. And, this can be dangerous for your family.

However, this is how you are doing it so that you can stay as safe as possible with defrosting the chicken.

This method is taking only 10 to 15 minutes, depending on the size of the chicken. After your chicken is defrosted, you should cook it immediately. Don’t leave it there for the whole day.

This is where it can become dangerous. You should make sure that your sink where you are defrosting the chicken in, is clean as well. To ensure that you don’t get germs on your chicken.

3. Using the Microwave Oven for Defrosting Chicken

how to defrost chicken fast without microwave

Using the microwave oven for defrosting your chicken can be a great idea if you are doing it correctly. If you don’t do it correctly, you are going to end with cooked, dry chicken. It is essential to know how to defrost your chicken in the microwave correctly.

You only need 5 to 10 minutes to defrost the chicken in the microwave. One thing that you should remember, is that this isn’t for defrosting large pieces or for a whole chicken.

This is more for the boneless chicken that you want to defrost quickly. The larger the pieces of chicken, the higher the risks of cooking some parts of the chicken, while other parts are still frozen.

The Best Method for Defrosting Chicken

This is the best method for defrosting the chicken. However, this is the method that is taking the most time. You should make sure that you are doing this the day before you are planning to prepare the chicken.

We are talking about defrosting the chicken in the fridge. By making sure that the chicken is staying cold, while it is defrosting, you are making sure that you reduce the risk of getting germs on the chicken. You should just make sure that you place the chicken in a container to catch up all the blood that is defrosting.

You don’t want to have a fridge full of chicken blood. This might be the most recommended method for defrosting chicken, but this is the one method that the least amount of people is using. Because of the amount of time, it takes to defrost the chicken.

Other Chicken Defrosting Tips to Remember

how to defrost chicken fast hot water

Fast defrosting methods work best for small pieces of chicken. Full chickens do need a lot more time to defrost. This is something to consider when you are defrosting your chicken. The danger temperature that you don’t want to defrost your chicken at, is between 40°F and 140°F (5°C and 60°C).

This is because this is the best temperature for germs to grow. Room temperature is in the middle of this high-risk temperature. And, this is why you should not defrost any meat at room temperature.

Defrosting chicken fast and safely can be tricky. Especially, if you know the risks of defrosting chicken incorrectly.

With this guide, you will have a much better understanding about how to defrost your chicken fast, without getting germs on it or without decontamination.

How to Trim a Brisket

Many are trying to smoke or grill a brisket. But they aren’t as successful as what they hoped to be. This is mostly because they don’t trim the brisket, or they don’t trim the brisket correctly.

There are many delicious recipes that you can enjoy when it comes to a brisket. But, with all of these recipes, they are saying that you should trip it first. The recipe doesn’t always say how to trip the brisket, just that you should trim the brisket to get the best results.

With this guide, you will get to know everything there is to know about how to trim a brisket correctly, to get the best flavors out of your piece of meat.

What is Brisket?

how to trim a brisket before smoking

First of all, what is a brisket? Brisket is a large piece of meat that is cut from beef or a cow. This is a tough piece of meat that needs some preparation in order for you to make it tender and juicy.

The brisket is normally cut from the breast part of the cow. This is why this is such a tough piece of meat, and why you should consider trimming it.

The main reason why not many people are purchasing the brisket is that they don’t know how to spice it correctly, and they might not even know that it should be trimmed.

Why Should You Trim a Brisket Before Smoking or Grilling?

The question now is why should you trim a brisket before you can smoke or grill it? Should you cut the piece of meat into pieces so that it can cook faster?

You should trim the brisket, because of the top layer. The top layer prevents your rub from flavoring the rest of the meat. The top layer is a hard, fat layer, that is making the meat tougher and harder to tenderize and to flavor.

This is why you should make sure that you are trimming your brisket before you are smoking and grilling your meat. It’s the reason why many are struggling to prepare the meat correctly.

What Will You Need to Trim a Brisket?

how to trim a brisket for the smoker

There are a couple of things that you need to have in order for you to trim your brisket correctly. You might be able to get away without having all these things, but it will make trimming your brisket just so much harder.

These are the things that you will need in order for you to trim your brisket correctly.

  • High-quality grade brisket
  • A large cutting board
  • Large sharp knives. The sharper the knives, the better.

The one thing that is really essential is the knives. You should make sure that the knives are as sharp as possible. A knife that is designed for cutting meat is recommended.

There are different types of knives available. But, purchasing the right one is essential for trimming brisket.

Step by Step Guide in Trimming a Brisket

With this step by step guide, you will not make a mistake in trimming your brisket.

Remember that you don’t want to cut too much off your meat, but only want to cut off the fat and muscle layer off the brisket.

how to trim and smoke a brisket
  1. Always cut away from you, and never towards you.
  2. Start by cutting away the fat from the meat. Doing it piece by piece.
  3. After the fat is cut away, then you should start cutting the grey areas in the meat. This is the muscles and the tough part of the meat. Don’t cut too much into the meat, during the process. Taking it slowly is essential.
  4. You should also make sure that you cut the fat between the flat and the pointed end that runs deep. Make sure you go deep to remove the fat as well.
  5. It’s fine if you don’t remove all the fat. Leaving small amounts of fat is fine, but you should remove most of the fat.
  6. Now, your brisket is ready for your spice wrap and for smoking or grilling.

Last Tips When You Are Buying and Trimming a Brisket

If you are buying better grade brisket, you are going to get better quality meat that will not be as tough as the lower grade meat. The more fat layers you are going to cut away, the better the brisket is going to taste.

People think that you should not cut the fat away because then you are going to have dry meat. This isn’t the case at all.

With this guide, you will know exactly why and how you should trim your brisket before you are smoking or grilling the meat.

This is the best way to get the most out of your brisket and to get the best possible taste. You can enjoy your brisket if you are trimming it correctly.

Bite-Size Spaghetti Fritattas

Don’t you just love when a familiar food is presented in a unique way? I do. I’ve been making these crowd-pleasing bite-size frittatas for parties for many years — in fact, I started making these when I was catering parties in NY under “The Pleasure of Your Company”.

Followers of FOODalogue know that I generally don’t follow recipes, even my own. However, there are a few that I’ve relied on and have carried with me every time I moved. Drunken Turkey is one. This is another.

The inspiration for this recipe comes from “The Joy of Pasta” by Joe Famularo + Louise Imperiale, copyright 1983. As you can see, it was presented as a skillet fritatta to serve 4-6 people. I use a similar flavor profile but switched up the execution.  In fact, you can see my post-it notes increasing eggs from 4 to 12 and then back again to 10 and subsequently 8. 

My adaptation produces about 8-dozen frittatas if baked in mini muffin tins. The end result is the circumference of a thumb-forefinger circle, a perfect bite-size appetizer which I serve with 2 sauces: green + red (pesto and marinara or vodka sauce which I used in this preparation). 

Ingredients/Recipe

3 cloves garlic minced
1/3c crumbled bacon
1/2c peas
1 1/2 lbs. mozzarella shredded
8 eggs beaten
1/2c Parmigiano Reggiano (or Locatelli, whatever you use)
1/2c provolone (first time I added this cheese)
s+p
1 lb. thin spaghetti

Saute garlic, bacon, and peas. Reserve to side.
Crack spaghetti in thirds, boil to al dente and drain.
Mix beat eggs with cheeses, s+p, and fold in garlic/bacon/pea mixture.
Add drained spaghetti and mix.
Fill greased mini muffin tins.
Bake in 350-375 oven.

Cooking Notes

  1. Be careful with the number of eggs or it could be too omelet-y. That’s why I’ve reduced # of eggs over the years. You can always add more to the mixture.
  2. You can substitute bacon for ham or any other pork product (about 1/4 lb.).
  3. You can make these in advance and either refrigerate or freeze them in a baggie.
  4. Bring to room temperature and then reheat in the oven before saucing.
  5. It’s a good buffet item because they can be served at room temperature.
  6. If you use a larger muffin mold, it makes a lovely first dish or lunch with a salad.

Let me know if you use the recipe and how you like it.

Clams, Fava Beans + Yellow Tomatoes with Spinach Fettuccine Nests

This is what happens when you shop ‘fresh’ for dinner. No plan. No list. Just totally market-driven.

Yellow grape tomatoes were the first thing that caught my eye. Then I saw the fava beans. I’ve only worked with favas a few times but they’re easy enough and really tasty so into the basket they went. I walked over to the fish counter, looked at the usual suspects (salmon, snapper, tuna) and then spotted the littleneck clams. The rest just sort of fell into place. A few more pick-ups, like spinach fettuccine nests,  and some pantry staples. Voila!

A Digital Mise en Place

Serves: 2-4

Ingredients

  • 2 dozen littleneck clams washed
  • 1-pint yellow grape tomatoes halved
  • 6 fava beans (shelled)
  • 2 cloves garlic minced
  • 1/2 large leek sliced thinly
  • 1/2 fennel sliced thinly
  • 1-1/2 cups white wine
  • 1 lemon juiced
  • 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 4 spinach fettuccine nests
  • salt, red chili pepper, fresh basil to taste

Instructions

  1. Shell fava beans and boil for 6 minutes in salted water.
  2. Remove beans with a slotted spoon and set aside; reserve water to cook pasta for extra flavor.
  3. Saute leek, garlic, and fennel in olive oil on medium heat (don’t brown).
  4. Add dry seasonings.
  5. Add wine and some lemon juice, bring to a boil.
  6. Add clams, cover and lower heat till clams open.
  7. Adjust seasoning and add a fresh squeeze of lemon juice.
  8. Cook pasta at a low boil (helps preserve nest shape).
  9. Remove nests and place in dish.
  10. Spoon clams, fava beans, and sauce over it.


Blogging Note

Automatic spellcheck challenged my typing of fettucine so I checked google and other sources and learned it’s spelled with either a single or double ‘c’. However you spell it, it sure tastes good!

Fried Leek+ Zucchini Matchsticks Pasta

Mamma mia…fried leeks con la pasta é molto bene. Who knew?

I thought I’d cooked pasta with every vegetable grown on the planet, but I must admit to having never cooked pasta with leeks; in fact, I don’t use leeks all that much. But the stars were aligned. I bought a bunch of leek for another recipe, I had a zucchini in the vegetable drawer and a brand new pasta from Italy that I was anxious to try. Not to mention, an always present yen for a pasta dinner.

A word about pasta. I haven’t attempted to make my own. I somehow just can’t see myself throwing flour all over the counter, making a well for eggs, somehow mixing it all up, passing it through some cockamamie machine, and hanging it out to dry…etc. I’m not ashamed to admit that I usually get mine in a box or a bag…and it’s usually Barilla or some other Italian brand that is available in my local supermarket.

Occasionally, when I have the opportunity and am at a specialty Italian market, I splurge and pick up a new shape just imported from Italy, like this “I Fusilli Napolitano” ($5.99).

To mimic the shape and length of the pasta, I cut the zucchini and leek into matchsticks. That’s when the light-bulb went off and I decided to fry them.

I tossed them in heavily seasoned flour and then fried them in vegetable oil.

The pasta sauce was already made. What pasta lover doesn’t have little containers of pre-made sauce in the freezer?

Finishing Touch: A couple of pieces of proscuitto roughly torn, freshly grated parmigiano reggiano and ground black pepper.

Va tutto bene!

NOTE: Some recipes found on FOODalogue are offered without ingredient quantities. They’re meant as a guide to food pairings and techniques to be experimented with … in your own kitchen … to your own spice and taste levels … to your preferred portion sizes … and to however many people you’re cooking for. A perfect meal has multiple levels of flavor and textures, bright colors and tastes, and healthy(ish) choices. It’s all about enjoyment. Enjoy the process, the presentation and the just rewards…eating!