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Frequently Asked Questions about Chicken

Every day, we receive lots of emails from people asking for answers to general questions. For a glimpse of this dynamic exchange of ideas and tips, and for answers to questions about food that you may have had yourself, please have a look at this FAQ! You can also browse other answers at other FAQs pages or look for answers in articles in the services page.

If you still have questions, post it in the recipe forum where other visitors may respond to your request.

Q.  What is the difference between broth and stock?

A.  Broth is a liquid resulting from cooking vegetables, meat, or fish in water. The term is sometimes used synonymously with bouillon, although the word "bouillon" often refers to dehydrated bouillon granules in many modern recipes. Stock, on the other hand, is made primarily with bones rather than meat, but still contains vegetables and aromatic ingredients like spices and herbs. Broth has richer, meatier flavor, whereas stock is intended as a flavorful but more neutral base for soups, to which other flavorings will be added. However, in most cases, you can use these two items interchangeably. More definitions for cooking terms can be found in the Oriental Foods And Recipes Glossary of terms.

Q.  How do I make homemade chicken stock?

A.  Your choices for flavor are limited only by the contents of your vegetable crisper, your leftovers and your imagination. Stock provides a background to soup, so the ingredients you choose should be supportive, not overwhelming.

Q.  What can I do to prevent the chicken in my chicken dishes from being dry?

A. Overcooking is the most common cause for chicken being dry and/or tough. Recipes often state cooking times, but these should only be looked upon as guidelines. Several factors can affect the accuracy of the cooking time. The thickness of the meat can significantly affect the cooking time; thin selections of meat will cook more quickly than thicker pieces. Heat settings can vary from stove to stove. Even the size and shape of the pan can affect the cooking time. So, the best way to avoid overcooking your chicken is to regularly check on the progress of the dish as it cooks.

Q. How long can I keep raw chicken? What are the best storage methods?

A.  Raw chicken should be stored in the coldest part of your refrigerator and used within 2 days. Freeze any chicken that won't be used within 2 days. Frozen chicken can be stored in the freezer for up to one year without sacrificing quality.

Q.  How long can I store cooked chicken?

A.  Cooked chicken should not be left at room temperature for more than 2 hours. A whole cooked chicken can be kept in the refrigerator for 3 days; cut-up cooked chicken can be stored in the refrigerator for 2 days.

Q. I often find myself adjusting recipes in order to make enough for my family, but it doesn't quite work for some recipes. Do you have any advice for me?

A.  Changing recipes in order to make more or less servings is called "recipe scaling." Whenever you alter the amounts of ingredients for a given recipe, you may also need to adjust the cooking temperature, cooking time, pan size and seasonings. But for food chemistry reasons, recipe scaling simply does not work well for some dishes: delicate foods such as soufflés, baked items requiring yeast such as breads, and recipes for a single large item that is meant to be later divided into smaller portions such as cakes, pies, breads and whole turkey.

Our Recipe Scaling Page will give you a reliable framework for successful recipe scaling: It offers detailed guidelines for recipe scaling and easy instructions for using the handy recipe scaling tool on our site. You can always find this tool and a link to our recipe scaling tips from any recipe at Oriental Foods And Recipes.



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