7 Basic Cooking Skills Every Home Chef Should Know

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Cooking is a necessary skill that everyone needs to have. And while you certainly don’t have to be a master chef, there are a few techniques and skills out there that can make even a novice seem like a pro.

7 Basic Cooking Skills Every Home Chef Should Know: 

1. How to Roast a Chicken

There is nothing easier than roasting a chicken. A little salt and pepper and you are good to go.

Ingredients: 

1 tablespoon salt

1 tablespoon pepper

1 whole 4-pound chicken

1/4 cup (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, melted

Directions: 

Rub salt and pepper all over chicken.

Roast chicken in 500-degree oven, brushing with butter after 15 minutes. When skin is light golden brown and taut, about 30 minutes, reduce oven temperature to 350°. Remove chicken from oven and brush with more butter. Let rest for 15–20 minutes.

Return chicken to oven; roast, basting with butter every 10 minutes until the skin is golden brown and a thermometer inserted into the thickest part of the thigh registers 165°, about 40–45 minutes.

2. How to Sear a Steak in a Cast Iron Skillet

Again, this is an easy skill that everyone should master. An iron skillet will last forever (with proper care!) and is the perfect tool for very high heat.

Ingredients: 

1 2”-thick steak, trimmed (about 2 lb.)

1 tablespoon vegetable oil

Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

3 tablespoons unsalted butter, room temperature

Directions: 

Let steak sit at room temperature 30 minutes before cooking, which will help it cook quickly and more evenly.

Heat broiler. Heat a large skillet, preferably cast iron, over medium-high heat, then heat oil in a pan until smoking. Season steak very generously with salt and pepper and cook until a deep brown crust forms on its underside (do not turn), about 4 minutes.

Flip steak and repeat the process for the other side.

While still in the skillet, top steak with butter. Place steak and skillet in oven to broil until butter is melted and steak is medium-rare, 4–6 minutes. Serve steak with buttery pan juices spooned over it.

3. How to Fry an Egg

Hopefully, you already know how to boil an egg, but you also need to know how to fry one. Preferably in bacon grease and in a cast iron skillet.

4. How to Blanch Vegetables

Cook the veggies for a minute or two the plunge them into an ice bath to stop the cooking process. This will help them stay bright, colorful and crisp.

5. How to Make a Marinade

The longer you marinate meat, the better it is going to be! This means planning ahead for the most success.

6. How to Make Homemade Whipped Cream

Heavy cream and an electric mixer are all you need to make this culinary delight. Pour the heavy cream in a glass bowl and mix on high until stiff peaks form. That’s all you have to do.

7. How to Make Homemade Chicken Stock

Store-bought works in a pinch, but homemade is so much better! And you can freeze it, so make a lot.

Ingredients: 

4 pounds chicken wings

1 medium onion, unpeeled, cut into 1-inch pieces

2 large carrots, peeled, cut into 1-inch pieces

2 celery stalks, cut into 1-inch pieces

6 sprigs parsley

1 teaspoon black pepper

Directions: 

Combine all ingredients and 3 quarts cold water in a large stockpot. Bring to a boil; reduce heat and simmer gently, skimming the surface occasionally, until stock is reduced by one-third, 2 1/2-3 hours.

Strain the stock through a fine-mesh sieve into a large bowl; discard solids. DO AHEAD: Stock can be made 3 days ahead. Let cool completely, then cover and chill, or freeze for up to 3 months.

Image Source: Big Stock

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