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Cooking Delicious Meat -Help

I am looking for a cookbook --I mean a great cookbook --that can give me some insight and instruction in the area of cooking meat. Particularly chicken, but if I knew how to cook the others well, I might not fear them so much. Maybe even a chicken only cookbook to start. I am looking for something that reveals the secret to preparing succulent, tender chicken and fall-off-the-bone beef/pork that is FLAVORFUL! Not necessarily a low fat or dieter's book, but something with information on how to prepare and cook meat to restaurant perfection. For example --Brine --brining chicken greatly increases the tenderness and flavor. Those are the kinds of secrets I am looking for. All your recs are welcome!

Tue. May 1, 1:14pm

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james peterson has a terrific, informative book with recipes & techniques titled, "the essentials of cooking". a great way to learn the basics and more! you can get it from your library for free or buy it used from amazon...you can check out what other readers think about the book at amazon, also.

Tuesday, May 01, 2007, 1:32 PM

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For fall-off-the-bone tenderness, you need to cook for a long time, at a low temp, in liquid. To get a lot of flavor, you can season the outside, then cook uncovered for maybe 45 minutes, then cover and finish cooking.

For example, I make beef brisket by seasoning both sides of the brisket with garlic powder, onion powder, salt and pepper, and putting it in a roasting pan, and adding a mixture of water and ketchup (sounds weird, but it works; bbq sauce works too), to about 1/2" below the top of the meat, and putting some cut-up onions around the pan as well. I then cook it uncovered for 45 minutes at 350*; then I cover it with foil and I cook it for 2.5 to 3 more hours. When it's done, it's really tender! And the outside has a great seasoning to it! You can do the same thing with a turkey breast (though maybe a liquid flavored by something other than ketchup). You can do a whole chicken too; I don't know how long you'd need to cook it, but definitely cooking for a long time, in liquid, is the easiest way to get the falling-off-the-bone tenderness!

Tuesday, May 01, 2007, 3:27 PM

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Ah ---that is one of the few ways I know about! Especially in the slow cooker! I love it...and it is easy. But I was wondering about pan and oven or even grilling ways to get tender meat without all that time. Any suggestions?

Tuesday, May 01, 2007, 4:54 PM

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I do the above in the oven. TimeBake is my best friend!

For tender meats cooked other ways, you need to look for much higher quality meat. There are other secrets too, but basically, if you start out with a cheap/tough piece of meat, the only way to make it tender is to roast it forever!

Tuesday, May 01, 2007, 5:35 PM

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Grilling--correct cuts, don't overcook. A one-inch steak shouldn't take longer than seven minutes--five on the first side, two on the second.

Pan and oven--correct cuts, slow cook time, and for very tough cuts some liquid is necessary.

As for "restaurant quality flavor," the answer isn't so good. Restaurants tend to rely heavily on salt and flavor enhancers.

However, if you search "beef rubs" and "chicken rub" you will find some seasoning mixes that you can use.

Tuesday, May 01, 2007, 5:35 PM

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