When cooking meat, take it out of the refrigerator one hour ahead of time so it an come to room temperature before cooking.
Blot the skin/flesh dry with a paper towel then season the skin well with salt for the best crispy fish/chicken skin.
When you’re browning meat, or want to sear scallops or crisp up fish skin, blot the meat/fish dry with a paper towel so the meat doesn’t release moisture when it hits the hot oil. Too much moisture makes the meat/fish steam instead of sear, and you will lose that rich brown crust.
For any kind of roast – meat or poultry, let it rest for at least 15 to 20 minutes once you’ve taken it out of the oven. Two reasons. First, it will help the meat retain its juices. (During cooking, bundles of muscle cells in the meat contract, forcing out liquid from the spaces between them. As the meat cools, those cell bundles relax, reabsorbing the liquid.) Second, resting evens out the temperature and the doneness. The outside meat is much hotter than the inside. By letting the meat stand, you allow the outside and inside to come to equilibrium. If you’re cooking smaller portions like steaks, let them rest for five minutes before serving/eating.
If you need to cut very thin slices of raw meat, partially freeze it first to make it much easier to slice finely.
When you’re cooking a steak with a fatty rim (ribeye or sirloin), start by cooking it on its side, where there is a rim of fat on its narrow edge. Render it down so there’s good, flavourful fat in the pan for the rest of the cooking.
Instead of placing a chicken on a roasting rack, cut thick slices of onion, then place the chicken on top. The onion will absorb the chicken juices. After roasting, let the chicken rest while you make a sauce with the onions by adding a little stock or water and cooking it for about 3 minutes on high heat.
If you’re doing a simple roast chicken, save the oil/fat in a jar and use it next time you roast veges.
Take a little time to choose your fish, don’t be afraid to ask the fishmonger to see the products up close and to smell for freshness. Fresh fish should smell salty – not fishy. If you’re buying whole fish, the freshest fish will have clear bulgy eyes (older fish have sunken eyes).