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Old 10-16-2006, 04:39 PM   #1
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Smile Washing Chicken

I'm a new cook and I love to eat chicken. A friend told me that I should pour lemon juice over my chicken before adding any spices. Does help killing bacteria or anything else? Or is this just for taste?


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Old 10-16-2006, 04:44 PM   #2
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It's just a precaution to remove any residual blood, bone fragments, etc. Lemon juice isn't necessary, just cool, clear water.

If you do this in the sink, don't forget to sanitize it before using the sink again for any other purpose.

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Old 10-16-2006, 04:51 PM   #3
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There really is no need to wash chicken unless it has visable debris on it. The USDA recommends against it, as the cross contamination Vera cautions about can be dangerous.

Bacteria is killed through proper cooking.

I can't imagine simply pouring lemon juice over chicken really improves its taste much.
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Old 10-16-2006, 06:30 PM   #4
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I wash chickens and chicken parts with water in the sink. I would not think of not doing it. If you have ever seen the bath that these come through in the processing plants you might want to do it also.
To the original poster, I think your friend was just trying to suggest a flavoring agent with the lemon juice. It might be quite good to help some herbs stick to the skin also. I haven't done it.
I prefer to just liberally salt a whole chicken and roast it at 400* for about an hour.
Chicken is such a versatile food.
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Old 10-16-2006, 06:33 PM   #5
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Also, it's best to wash chicken in water and then thoroughly pat dry with paper towels before you bread them for recipes, so the crumbs/buttermilk/egg wash/or whatever will stick to them.
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Old 10-17-2006, 12:11 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by jennyema
I can't imagine simply pouring lemon juice over chicken really improves its taste much.
But, I bet it sells a whole lot of lemons.
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Old 10-17-2006, 12:24 PM   #7
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I think a little lemon juice improves the flavor of most anything. You can't really detect the lemon, but it adds a fresh taste and enhances the flavor of whatever food you put it on.
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Old 10-17-2006, 12:32 PM   #8
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I think the issue of washing and chicken is more a cross-contamination thing, as VeraBlue mentioned. If you've seen any of Emeril Lagasse's programs, he routinely pokes fun at the "food" police. "Wash your hands, wash your utensils, wash your counter, wash your car..."

But, all craziness aside, the key really is simply keeping your tools and food preparation area clean.

I also agree with Gretchen. I purchase my chicken leg quarters in 10-pound bags and the bloody sludge that settles to the bottom of the bag is, in my opinion, nasty. Because of that goop, I always wash my chicken before preparing it to eat or for packaging it to freeze.

What it all really boils down to is basic cleanliness. IMO.
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Old 10-17-2006, 12:49 PM   #9
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I've always washed off all my meat before preparing for cooking. Rinse with cool running water, and dry thoroughly with paper towels, then season, etc.

With chicken, there's almost always either some blood or pink water in the package, and I want it out of there!
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Old 10-17-2006, 01:02 PM   #10
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I don't wash off cut up chicken anymore unless I see an exhorbitant amount of debris as anything will be killed when cooked - I will, however, wash out a whole chicken. Whatever I wash I thouroughly dry and then wash my sink handle/s, faucet, behind sink, around sink, and sink with a bleach solutuion or Tilex that I let sit for 10 minutes.

I wash my hands using a fingernail brush and I wash pretty much my arms up to my elbows while I sing "Happy Birthday To Me" twice. Somewhere in between I rinse and use fresh soap again.

Call me over-reacting but it's a small price to pay to keep that food I prepared IN my stomach.

Side note - DH and I had chicken wings at one of our favorite places one night - we were drinking, talking to friends, not paying attention, really - I said, LOOK, the chicken's not quite cooked. So what does he do? He takes some bites out of the other pieces and says YEP, it's not cooked thoroughly.

On the way HOME I started getting severe stomach pains and about an hour later I got sick and he got sick shortly thereafter. So........the time it takes me to clean everything thoroughly is well worth it.


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