why should you never wash Chicken before cookingLeave a comment / By: chriscrown / 31 July, 2020 17:44:17PM
For most of my life, until the past 5 years or so, one washed a chicken, inside and out, then patted it dry with paper towels (you want to roast it, not steam it, and moisture is the enemy of a fine roast). Julia Child and other chefs insisted on this.
But a few years back the FDA released new guidelines, based on scientific experiments that showed the splashing of water through the chicken would spread bacteria to you hands, your shirt, your sink, your countertops, your cutting board….just itta-bitty droplets you’d hardly notice, but you were actually spreading bacteria, and risking the contamination of other foods.
So now the advice is not to wash it, and just assume that by 160 degrees on the inside and higher on the outside, you’ll kill all the bacteria you need to.
I will of course recommend smaller chickens, for better cooking and flavor (and less spatter if you choose to wash them). Those 10 pound Perdue monsters are impossible to cook well, there’s tons of gristle and fat, less flavor and tenderness, and they’re hormone-stuffed freaks. Go for a 3-pounder, perfect for a family of four, delicious, and no basting required, plus the carrots, potatoes, celery, rutabagas, sweet potatoes, onions, that you layer around it in the roasting pan will all take the same 45 minutes as the chicken, easy peasy pie.
But in the larger scheme of things, people washed chickens ever since the advent of indoor plumbing, and we didn’t all die before 2012, or whenever the advice was changed. So don’t get too worked up — just wash your hands thoroughly after handling any raw meat, and never bring it back from the grille or out of the oven onto the plate it thawed on. You’ll be fine.
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