Author Topic: The "This Might Be A Stupid Question, But...." Thread  (Read 1013034 times)

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Outdoor Girl

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Re: The "This Might Be A Stupid Question, But...." Thread
« Reply #7965 on: July 13, 2013, 04:47:42 PM »
If the normal recipe is ground beef, you could probably use ground chicken and just pan fry it the way you would the ground beef.
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jpcher

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Re: The "This Might Be A Stupid Question, But...." Thread
« Reply #7966 on: July 13, 2013, 04:53:05 PM »
Okay, here's a question - when you're looking at one of those packets of seasoning for chicken fajitas or tacos, and it says "add to chicken," what kind of chicken should I use? Canned chicken? The extra chicken off of a roaster? Should I just quick fry pieces of chicken? I've always wanted to make them, but I've avoided it (and stuck myself with the regular ground beef version) because I'm not sure what would work best.

I usually buy a couple-4 boneless/skinless chicken breasts and bake them in the oven (at 325 for about 25-30 minutes) seasoned with a bit of garlic and lemon.

Then I cube the breasts and use them in recipes like the above*. Since the chicken is already done, there is a very short cooking time (for the chicken) when adding seasoned packets.

If you're making fajita's with peppers and onions, saute your peppers/onions with the spice mix add some water (amount recommended on the packet) let the veggies simmer about 1/2 the time then throw in your pre-baked chicken, stir well, until the chicken is thoroughly warmed.

If you choose to use raw chicken, thinly slice it into strips (or cube it, whatever your preference) start sauteing your veggies, when the veggies are about 1/2 way done, add your raw chicken into your pan along with the seasoned packet and (recommended) water . . . let it all simmer 'til done.

Hope this helps!



*The pre-cooked chicken breasts can be used for many recipes and is soooo easy to add. One of my favorites is a penne pasta with pesto, spinach, tomato, red onion, and mozzarella.


daen

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Re: The "This Might Be A Stupid Question, But...." Thread
« Reply #7967 on: July 14, 2013, 09:05:28 PM »
Okay, here's a question - when you're looking at one of those packets of seasoning for chicken fajitas or tacos, and it says "add to chicken," what kind of chicken should I use? Canned chicken? The extra chicken off of a roaster? Should I just quick fry pieces of chicken? I've always wanted to make them, but I've avoided it (and stuck myself with the regular ground beef version) because I'm not sure what would work best.

<snipped>

If you choose to use raw chicken, thinly slice it into strips (or cube it, whatever your preference) start sauteing your veggies, when the veggies are about 1/2 way done, add your raw chicken into your pan along with the seasoned packet and (recommended) water . . . let it all simmer 'til done.

<snipped>
My preferred method is to saute the veggies first,  and remove them from the pan. Then I saute the cubed/sliced (raw) chicken breasts until done, season them, add back the veggies and throw in a little liquid (usually lemon juice) to create a little sauce.

It's an extra step or two, but this way I don't worry about the timing of adding the chicken  to the veggies - I can get both meat and veggies to the level of doneness that I want without worrying about over- or under-cooking anything.

Hmmmmm

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Re: The "This Might Be A Stupid Question, But...." Thread
« Reply #7968 on: July 14, 2013, 09:37:49 PM »
Can you give a description of the type of fajita seasoning you are referring too? I've never seen one that wasn't intended to seasoning raw chicken before it is to be grilled, baked, or sautéed.

Girlie

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Re: The "This Might Be A Stupid Question, But...." Thread
« Reply #7969 on: July 14, 2013, 09:54:33 PM »
Thanks for the replies, everyone! That really helps! :)

Hmmmmm, Old El Paso makes seasoning packets for chicken fajitas and steak fajitas as well as taco seasoning for ground beef. :)

Hmmmmm

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Re: The "This Might Be A Stupid Question, But...." Thread
« Reply #7970 on: July 14, 2013, 11:19:20 PM »
Thanks for the replies, everyone! That really helps! :)

Hmmmmm, Old El Paso makes seasoning packets for chicken fajitas and steak fajitas as well as taco seasoning for ground beef. :)

I think those are meant to be used with raw chicken or beef. So I'd take boneless, skinless chicken breasts and cut into thin strips. Toss with the seasoning and some oil. Then pan sauté till done.
Here's a link to a recipe on their site that is pretty basic.
http://www.oldelpaso.com.au/mexican-recipes/fajitas/chicken-fajita/19.aspx

Harriet Jones

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Re: The "This Might Be A Stupid Question, But...." Thread
« Reply #7971 on: July 14, 2013, 11:36:49 PM »
I actually use the fajita seasoning packets to marinate chicken breasts before I cook them.  I cut the chicken into strips afterwards.   

Dindrane

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Re: The "This Might Be A Stupid Question, But...." Thread
« Reply #7972 on: July 15, 2013, 12:56:14 PM »
At least for the ground beef taco seasoning, the meat is supposed to be fully (or at least mostly) cooked before adding the seasoning. You brown it first, drain off excess fat, then add the seasoning with water, and let it simmer for like 5 minutes or something. Since most ground beef has excess fat, you wouldn't want to drain off the spices when you drain the fat. The flavor packet + water ends up turning into a sort of sauce that flavors the meat.

Given that, I don't know that it matters whether your chicken is raw or cooked when you add the flavoring. Adding it to raw chicken is probably fewer steps, and works fine because chicken doesn't usually have a bunch of excess fat that needs to be drained. But since even cooking raw chicken in the spices isn't going to flavor anything but the outside of the chicken, adding the flavor packet to cooked chicken with a little liquid will turn it into a sort of sauce and probably accomplish more or less the same thing. However you cook your chicken, though, you probably want the pieces to be relatively small (since only the outside of them is going to get the benefit of the seasoning).

I also personally prefer shredded chicken over cubed when I need to have it in small pieces. It provides a maximum of surface area (so the meat gets very well-flavored by sauce) and it's often easier to eat thank even small chunks of chicken. If you cook the chicken and shred it while it's still hot, you can do it pretty easily with two forks (you just run them in opposing directions until all the meat is shredded). I've done it with bone-in and bone-out chicken, although it's easier with bone-out (for obvious reasons). It doesn't work very well on chicken that's cold, but you can refrigerate the shredded chicken for use later if you've made your chicken in advance.


LadyJaneinMD

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Re: The "This Might Be A Stupid Question, But...." Thread
« Reply #7973 on: July 16, 2013, 10:00:39 AM »
It doesn't work very well on chicken that's cold, but you can refrigerate the shredded chicken for use later if you've made your chicken in advance.

But use it up FAST.  It's been my experience that cooked chicken, even in the fridge, starts to smell 'off' within a day, and really bad after 2 days.   I've lost far too much chicken that way.

Slartibartfast

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Re: The "This Might Be A Stupid Question, But...." Thread
« Reply #7974 on: July 16, 2013, 11:29:13 AM »
It doesn't work very well on chicken that's cold, but you can refrigerate the shredded chicken for use later if you've made your chicken in advance.

But use it up FAST.  It's been my experience that cooked chicken, even in the fridge, starts to smell 'off' within a day, and really bad after 2 days.   I've lost far too much chicken that way.

You can also freeze cooked chicken and keep it for quite a while - it doesn't have quite the same texture as fresh, but that doesn't really matter if you're doing it in soup/barbecue/casserole/etc.

Girlie

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Re: The "This Might Be A Stupid Question, But...." Thread
« Reply #7975 on: July 16, 2013, 04:02:24 PM »
Thanks for all the replies, everyone! I really appreciate the help on the chicken/seasoning mix issue. :)

I do have another, completely unrelated, question, however.  Where I'm from, central heating and air in a house is a given. In fact, it's FAR more uncommon to come across a home with a window unit than central air, and in my experience, it's usually because the central air unit in the home has quit working and the family cannot afford to replace it. I have never seen a radiator in real life, and I have never known anyone to not have central heat built into their home.
When I watch shows about buying houses in states outside of the south (I live near Atlanta, GA), I often see "central heat" on wish lists, or they don't take any notice of radiators, which would be a huge turn-off for me in buying a home. So... How common are central heating and air systems in other parts of the country?

Outdoor Girl

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Re: The "This Might Be A Stupid Question, But...." Thread
« Reply #7976 on: July 16, 2013, 04:07:28 PM »
I'm north of the border.  For me, it depends on where you live and how old your house is.

If you live in the country, your house may have an oil furnace or electric heat and hence, no central air (I don't think AC works with oil furnaces but I could be wrong).  If you have a propane furnace, I think you can get AC.  In the rural areas, there is no natural gas piping so it limits your options.

My suburban neighbourhood was built in the late 80's.  All the homes were originally built with electric baseboard heaters.  Only those of us whose homes have been converted to gas heat and had all the ducts installed will have central air, too.

My understanding is that the mass majority of homes now are built with a central heating system, where natural gas is available.
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Liliane

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Re: The "This Might Be A Stupid Question, But...." Thread
« Reply #7977 on: July 16, 2013, 04:39:56 PM »
On the central air topic...

I live in a mother-in-law apartment above my parents' house - basically the whole upstairs was converted into an apartment all its own. The whole house does have central air/heating (I think? That's when the air/heat all comes from just one source instead of having AC units/heaters all over, right?) but there seems to be a rather large problem with heating or cooling this apartment. I do get airflow through the vents, that's not the problem, but it doesn't reach PAST the vents - I have to put my hand right in front of them to feel anything. As you might imagine, this makes it very uncomfortable up here when there's any sort of temperature extreme!

My question: any ideas on why this may be happening? I thought the air wasn't rising properly, but in that case, the heat would work better than it does, as heat rises...
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cwm

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Re: The "This Might Be A Stupid Question, But...." Thread
« Reply #7978 on: July 16, 2013, 04:46:25 PM »
As far as the central heating, that's all I've ever known. I've lived in the midwest, and the house I grew up in was built in the 50s. Most houses I've been to have been either about the same age or a bit newer, but even the few really old houses I went to in college had central heating.

As to Liliane's question, have you tried taking apart the ducts and having them cleaned? Or look at the ducts themselves. The one going to my bedroom as a kid had about four or five kinks in it and the heat never got there, but the kitchen (which was further away than my bedroom) was a straight shot, so it was always warmer in there. Also, is it the same size ducts to your apartment than to the rest of the house? Smaller ducts = less air going through. It could make a huge difference just to get it changed to larger ducts.

Liliane

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Re: The "This Might Be A Stupid Question, But...." Thread
« Reply #7979 on: July 16, 2013, 04:50:10 PM »
I'd like to have them cleaned, but I can't afford it. You may be right about the straight shot though - my bathroom and kitchen are almost right over the part of the basement with the furnace (the air also runs through there) and they're usually a bit warmer (in the winter) or colder (in the summer) than anything else. As for the size, they're actually slightly larger than the other vents - downstairs has the long, skinny ones, whereas I have the tall and fat ones, so if anything they should let a little more air through.

At least I'm getting a room AC unit soon, so that'll be one less worry. :)
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