Q: Dear Chef, I eat a lot of fish, but I’d like to stop eating fatty fish like salmon and tuna. What kinds of fish can I eat that are more lean?
A: A couple of lean choices would be flounder and scallops. Most types of shellfish are also low in fat, but be careful. Squid, shrimp and lobster contain high levels of cholesterol.
Q: Dear Chef, every time I cook broccoli in water, it turns brown, but it’s not really overcooked. What am I doing wrong?
A: Since brown vegetables that are supposed to be green can scare away guests, let me tell you how to cook your broccoli.
Always use about four times the amount of water than broccoli. Bring the water to a complete boil before cooking, and add just enough salt to the water so you can barely taste the saltiness. The salt helps keep the broccoli green. Too much broccoli cooking in too little water means the temperature of the water is too low, in which case the broccoli sits in the water cooking for too long. The end result is colorless broccoli that has had all of its nutrients sucked out of it.
Q: Dear Chef, do you suggest any helpful techniques for roasting a whole chicken in the oven, keeping it crispy on the outside and tender and juicy on the inside?
Chef: There are three important techniques that should be used while roasting a whole chicken. First, instead of tying up the whole chicken (trussing), just tie the wings to the breast leaving the legs out kickin’. Since white meat cooks faster than dark meat, the heat will be able to penetrate the area on the bird that takes the longest to cook (that being the area between the legs, thighs and ribcage).
Meanwhile, the wings that are tied down to the breast meat will prevent the heat from easily penetrating the area on the bird that cooks fastest. This technique reduces the chance of uneven cooking. Second, start roasting the chicken on a higher temperature (around 450 degrees F) for about 15 minutes to give the skin some nice color, then reducing the heat to 350 degrees for the rest of the way (preventing the bird from drying out at too high of a temperature).
Third, start roasting the chicken breast side up for the first 15 minutes on a roasting rack, and then turning it upside down for the remaining time. This will act as a self-basting technique with the breasts being moistened by the drippings on the way down from the bird to the pan.