Saturday, July 3, 2010

Today Show Offers 4th of July Food Poisoning Recipe

Guest Annie Copps' recipe for butterflied grilled chicken is half-baked

What is it with these chefs?

Annie Copps – the Food Editor for Yankee Magazine and assistant to the late, great Julia Child on the PBC series Julia Child's Kitchen – appeared on NBC's Today Show this morning to share two of her July 4th barbecue recipes with the program's viewers.

Featured on the program segment was Copps' recipe for Grilled Chicken with an Asian Spice Rub. The Asian spice blend, which consists of peppercorns, anise pods, cloves, fennel, cinnamon, sugar, oil and salt, sounds delicious. And I love the flavor that grilling adds to any food.

So what's the beef? Simply, the grilling instructions are inadequate and potentially dangerous.

According to Copps, the butterflied and seasoned chicken should be cooked as follows:
  • Heat grill to medium high. Lightly oil the grates of the grill.
  • Thoroughly rub chicken with oil and spice mixture. Place chicken on grill skin side down. Season with salt.
  • Put on grill, then cover the grill lid and let cook for 15 minutes. turn, season with salt; cover grill lid and cook 15 minutes or until fully cooked.

Someone, please define "fully cooked."

Oh! I'm sorry! Someone – USDA, to be specific – has already done so. In the case of chicken, whether fried, baked or grilled, "fully cooked" means that the chicken is cooked to an internal temperature of 165ºF.

Why is it so difficult for some "chefs" to add this simple instruction to their recipes? It can make the difference between a dish that is both tasty and safe to eat, and one that comes back to haunt the preparer and his or her guests for several days.

I am getting fed up with so-called experts who foist half-baked recipes and ill-informed instructions on an unsuspecting public.

Last week, I wrote about Purdue University Professor Ivan Petkov's inaccurate and ill-conceived instructions for recooking food that has been left out for more than two hours. I invited Petkov to respond to my posting. I have not heard from him.

I challenge Annie Copps to issue a corrected recipe with complete and accurate instructions for determining that the chicken has been "fully cooked." And I challenge the Today Show to ensure that all of their future food segments are "safe for human consumption."

Happy 4th of July to all my US readers!

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  1. How about the raw egg yolks included in her recipe for Grilled Caesar salad with black olive croutons?

  2. @Anonymous: You are absolutely correct. I didn't read the Caesar recipe. Fortunately, it's possible to buy eggs that have been pasteurized in the shell. Thank you for pointing out this additional hazard.

    BTW, I emailed both Annie Copps (at her magazine) and the Today Show, with a link to this post. I never heard from either of them.



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