Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Kitchen Tip: Cleaning Grill Pans

Grill pans are a great kitchen tool but a hassle to clean, as greasy and/or charred stuff often gets stuck in the ridges. Here's the best way I've found to clean one:

Rinse off the pan under hot water. Sprinkle it liberally with baking soda and place it on a stove burner.

Pour water onto the pan and turn the burner on high.

Let the water boil. As it boils off, you may want to (carefully) pour on more water, depending on how caked the pan is.

Turn off the burner and CAREFULLY carry the pan to the sink. Pour out the water and run hot water onto the pan. Let it cool a bit, then use a scrubber brush with a handle to scrape off the remaining goo.

Rinse the de-gunked pan and return it to the burner. Turn it on high again and let it go just till the water burns off. Let the pan cool and put it away.

Friday, January 8, 2010

Cooking Tip: Chicken Skin Compromise

Here's a little trick I came up with recently to find a happy medium between skin-on (= fattier) and skinless (= flavorless) chicken.

When roasting leg/thigh pieces or bone-in breasts, I remove the skin from the raw chicken (kitchen shears help with this, or you can just slide your fingers under the skin, peel it back, and pull).

But! Then I throw the skin into the roasting pan and let it render (i.e. melt) while the oven is preheating. I then season the chicken parts and once they are ready to go in the hot oven, there is a nice little layer of grease to toss them in. That way, they don't stick to the pan, and they have some schmaltzalicious flavor, but you're not just straight-up eating the skin. There! Now everyone is happy!

N.B. When roasting an entire chicken, I leave the skin on. I'm not a psycho.

Shown above: Seasoned chicken legs (Detail view of this meal)