I've been a vegetarian most of my life, only started to eat chicken a couple years ago and actually started to make it at home in the last few years because buying it ready-made was getting too expensive, concerns about quality and food safety prep, and since I love to cook in general, I wanted to master the only animal protein I do eat at home. Apologies in advance for the novice questions below but thank you in advance!
1. When buying at Whole Foods, etc. what should I look for when buying raw chicken? I veer towards boneless breast and no-bone thighs (bones freak me out). Always pick one thats Light pink in colour?
2. How can you tell when the raw meat is not fresh/good? I know it gets a slimy texture and takes on a weird smell... anything else I should be aware of when purchasing and cooking?
3. Those strings of white fat - I usually trim because I hate when it oozes while cooking and then burns quickly.... do I keep it on, does it enhance the flavor?
4. I've read a few different methods online in terms of marinating dry vs wet. When I've used a dry rub, do you add oil to the chicken also for coating purposes? I noticed when I don't use oil, the rub sticks to the pan, burns quickly, and then only 1 side is seasoned. Always use olive oil than?
5. In wet marinades, what can you do with the extra marination liquid? I hate to waste the ingredients and flavour! I understand it depends on what the marinade is made of, but can you make it into a pan sauce?
6. I recently got a steal on a huge All-Clad Stainless Steel Heavy Duty D5 sauté pan at TjMaxx ($150 pan for $20) I've made a few chicken dishes in there already but I feel I'm still learning how to use it. Any tips/tricks/things I should be aware when cooking with meat in stainless steel pans? I've a nonstick Calphalon grill pan - love the grill marks but hate the cleanup with nonstick!
7. Why is skin-on, boneless chicken breasts so hard to find! Crispy skin is amazing!
8. Thoughts on prepping boneless thighs? All the cartilage and extra blood, etc grosses me out during prep so I try to avoid touching unless necessary.