Cooking Meat

It’s important when cooking meat to ensure that it is done both properly and hygienically. Always clean your chopping board after cutting meat before doing anything else on it, or even better have a separate board for meat and a separate board for everything else, also ensure that you clean your knife and hands. Contamination from raw or not properly cooked meat can cause you or someone else you live with to get food poisoning.

Frying Chicken and Turkey: To cook chicken you have a few options, firstly frying chicken for a stir fry. In this case cut your chicken fillet or breast into small chunks, place them in a frying pan with some oil or butter and using a wooden spoon stir them around until they are not just white but slightly browned on top. This should take around 5-8 minutes to do depending on the size of your chunks. Always ensure your chicken is cooked through entirely before eating it. (No pink at all inside.)

Grilling Chicken: This is an easier option, you can grill an entire breast of chicken in a grill coated with your favourite marinade (honey and mustard, barbecue sauce etc!). Ensure that you turn it every 10 minutes so that it cooks evenly. In the grill a chicken breast will take around 35-40 minutes to cook through at 180 degrees. Slice open the chicken to check it’s cooked inside. You can cover the chicken in foil to prevent it drying out on the grill.

Grilling Tip: Cover the bottom of your grill pan with silver foil, this way when it comes to cleaning all you have to do is thow away some foil!

Roasting Chicken, Beef, Lamb, Pork, Duck: To roast a meat, cover it with a bit of oil and seasoning and place in the oven for the time specificed on the packet. This will vary depending on the size of the chicken.

Warning: In all cases, cook your chicken only when it is fully defrosted. While it is possible from frozen I would not recommend it unless you chop it into very thin slices (a couple of millimeters across) and fry it. Ensure that it is 100% cooked through.

Frying Mince, Sausages or Beef: If you are frying mince or beef, fry it until it is completely browned and there is no sign of the original pink colour meat left. In the case of beef burgers follow the recommended time on the back of the packet.

Grilling Steak and Burgers, Pork, Sausages and Lamb: Grilling a steak time will vary depending on the size of the steak, read the back of the packet for both burgers and steaks to see how long they should be grilled for. Ensure you turn them regularly. In the case of burgers ensure any juices from it are clear and not red.

Often meat packets will tell you exactly how to cook them and for how long, it is a good idea to follow this advice!

Cooking Vegetables

Cooking vegetables takes usually no more than 15 minutes maximum in boiling water or steaming in a steamer. Here are some rough guidelines as to how long vegetables should be cooked for. Take them out earlier if you like them slightly crunchy still or later if you like them soft and over cooked! Always have at least a couple vegetables per meal ensuring at least one is also green. Put your vegetables into the water when it boils rather than leaving them in the pot while the water is heating up.

  • Broccoli, around 5-7 minutes.
  • Carrots, Parsnips, Potatoes, around 10 minutes.
  • Swede and Turnip, around 20 minutes.
  • Runner Beans, Kenya Beans, around 7-10 minutes.
  • Spinach, about a minute.
  • Leek and Cabbage, around 7-10 minutes.
  • Mange Tout, around a minute.

To roast vegetables instead of boil them they will need about 25-30 minutes. Not everything can be roasted either, peppers, potoatoes, tomatoe and onions can though.

 

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