Welcome to I Love to Cook

Cooking is something I have always enjoyed. I learned to cook at the apron strings of my mother and grandmother. The experience of cooking brings me both pleasure and peace of mind.







Tuesday, October 4, 2011

AWAY  FROM THE KITCHEN

I have been out of the kitchen these past few weeks.   Between my daytime job, spending some quality time with my parents and a couple of accidents at home (the worst being an eye injury); I have not photographed or blogged for nearly three weeks.  Please bear with me as I try to put my life back into order and at least get back into the kitchen.

Good news I will be heading to Northern California the middle of this month to take two cooking classes with my sisters.  It should be a lot of fun and my plan is to come home and share my fun on the blog.

Saturday, September 17, 2011



Last weekend was my youngest Grand-Daughter's first birthday.  I was pleasantly surprised when my son and his wife asked me to make the birthday cake.  The plan was to have something chocolate and easily 'destoryed' by hand.  Of course the first thought was cupcakes and then a small 6 inch round became the perfect base.  The cake was a basic chocolate cake but I wanted the icing to be simple, chocolaty, and sweet.  My son said it tasted like ice cream.  So here is the simple creation, however, it should be noted that this frosting was delicate and had to be kept cool but it was tasty.  Also I kind of winged it in the kitchen and the measurements are basic estimates since I wasn't really measuring as much as I was tasting as I went along.  Part of the fun of cooking is letting loose and allowing something to be made based upon taste rather than the written word.  Good luck and feel free to experiment.


I'm not sure I like chocolate

Monday, September 5, 2011

Strawberry Sour Cream Cake


Every weekend I try to sit down and scan my favorite blogs.  I often find recipes that I mark with the intent to try soon.  Well yesterday I was looking at the Personal Food Journal (http://personalfoodjournal.blogspot.com ) and found this wonderful recipe.  I had everything except the strawberries and the sour cream.  I hope the Personal Food Journal doesn't mind a too recent reprint but this was soooo good and easy.  I have taken her original recipe and made a few conversion notes since she is from Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.  Thanks again to my fellow foodie and enjoy!

Friday, August 19, 2011

Chocolate Cupcake/Lava Cake???

I believe that everyone knows how important it is to measure accurately and 'follow' the recipe when baking.  This has always been a challenge for me.  So when I started tinkering with a very reliable cake recipe I was not surprised when my cupcakes after cooling were so fragile I almost couldn't frost them.  They tasted great but crumbled at my touch and were near impossible to remove the paper cupcake mold.  Then an inspiration that turned 2 dozen potentially crumbling cupcakes into a wonderful dessert.  By the way I took them to work to get an independent read on the final product and 'they were a hit'.  The inspiration was to turn them into Lava Cakes.  The tinkering consisted of adding a lot more chocolate so that the cake whenit formed did not have enough structure to support itself.  So with a sunken middle I popped the cupcake into the microwave for 20 to 30 seconds and presto chango I had a deliciously warm Lava Cake.  The original cupcake recipe came from Cupcakerecipe.com but I would like to think my changes make it a bit more uniquely mine.  Please enjoy.

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Summer Chicken Salad




With summer here we wanted something light and tasty without alot of cooking.  We went to the market picked up a roasted chicken, a few vegetables, and presto chango, dinner for two.  BTW my wife came up with a great suggestion/idea to give the salad a fresh taste.  We added lime infused olive oil to the dressing.  Since I tried this recipe a couple of times I also increased the lime flavor with a little lime zest.  For a non cook she really hit a homerun on this one!



Monday, July 25, 2011

Fundraiser Cupcakes for Doberman Pincher SOS

It has been for ever since I have had time to work/play on my blog.  I apologize to my followers for not staying true to the site and updating regularly.  Between the Fourth of July weekend and other organizational requirements I have been swamped.  Fourth of July was a picnic/party at the house featuring coconut chicken kabobs, rubbed/BBQ’ed pork and devilled eggs.  Those recipes will have to follow someday soon.  BTW the party culminated with me catching a three foot rattlesnake, which was not harmed and released later farther from civilization, but I digress.  One of the things keeping me away from the blog has been our work with a dog rescue, Doberman Pincher SOS.  Dawn and I are board members and the official fund raisers for the rescue.  Therefore we ended up helping to cater and organize the fundraiser at a local winery, Souza Family Vineyard, in Tehachapi, California.  So today’s post is dedicated to that event.  I made about four dozen cupcakes with an alcohol theme: Margarita, Coconut Rum, and Chocolate Port Cupcakes.  Hopefully I can find a picture or two to post but I need to get something out there soon, people are clamoring for these recipes.  The cupcakes were sold as part of the fundraiser and were a hit.  BTW checkout the Souza family Winery link embedded in my blog.

Sunday, June 5, 2011

Chocolate Brownies

Here is a tasty  choclate brownie recipe I tried.  It came from Jean-Pierre Wybauw's cookbook entitled, chocolate.  What I really enjoy is the splash of dark rum.  It really gives the brownies an added flavors.










Saturday, May 7, 2011

Venison Bourguignon


Laura Calder's Beef Bourguignon
Kahuna Steve's Venison Bourguignon

I have been fascinated with French cooking and have gravitated towards Laura Calder's, "French Food at Home".  Much less innovation and a lot of attempted dedication to following a recipe.  Of course, I never really succeed in fllowing exactly but the bottomline is to eat well.  My sister (Anita) and niece (Danielle) came to visit me last weekend for an upcoming bridal shower/bachelorette party for yet another niece (Laura).  All of our love to you and Jake for the upcoming wedding.  My weekend responsibility was to provide lodging for Anita & Danielle, cook for them, and to accompany them to the shower/bachelorette party. We had a great time but back to the cooking.  I had been raving about a beef bourguinon recipe I had seen Laura Calder prepare.  Anita asked if I could modify it and use venison - of course I was up for the challenge.

Sunday, May 1, 2011

Fennel & Mushroom Salad Atop a Celery Root Puree


I had my sister and niece visit this last weekend so I tried to make them a few special dishes.  As you can see I am wearing my 'Pop Pop' apron, provided by my grand-daughter, Audrey.

Another relatively simple dish with some very nice flavors.

Seafood Medley in a Cream Sauce, served with Herbed Polenta



I made this set of dishes for Easter and then again for my sister and niece this last weekend.  Really simple but definitely tasty. 

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Chocolate Cream Cake for Easter Saturday Dinner with the Family


This year a small group of us gathered at my brother's house for an earlier Easter dinner.  The meal was fantastic and I was only a guest but really wanted to bring something to share.  The recipe I chose was from Chocolate by Jean-Pierre Wybrauw.  I picked this book up off of the discount rack at our local Barnes & Noble.  I drool when I look at the pictures.  My mother usually makes pies so I decided a nice chocolatey dessert might be a nice addition.

Friday, April 22, 2011

Good Friday Dinner

Lobster on celery root puree and roasted carrot with a mango rum glaze.  The inspiration was a roasted carrots posted by Alanna Kellogg at http://kitchen-parade-veggieventure.blogspot.com/2011/04/bourbon-glazed-roasted-carrots.html#comment-form.  The lobster and celery root purre was my concoction for the evening.

Good Friday Lunch - Perch, Zucchini, Beurre Blanc Sauce, & Trebbiano


Nothing especially great but just wanted to share. 

Summertime Tote Giveaway

A fellow blogger, The Ungourmet, is having a tote giveaway from Veeshee.com.  Go to http://www.theungourmet.com/2011/04/gear-up-for-summer-giveaway.html and enter.  Also check out the great recipes.  I have posted a sample check it out

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Aubergine and Cumin Charlottes




I have been intriqued with Laura Calder's French Food at Home.  I tried her aubergine (eggplant) and cumin charlottes.  Aside from a few Oops and a personal tweek or two of the recipe the charlottes turned out very nice.  This recipe makes two servings.



Saturday, April 16, 2011

Craggy Chocolate Cake from "French Food at Home" - Laura Calder



I was watching French Food at Home, Laura Calder onteh food network and decided that I needed to try this recipe.  I wanted to make this since it is flourless and my sister has to eat gluten free.

Vegetable Stuffed Pork Loin

I am home alone for a few weeks and wanted to try something fresh.  I raided the refrigerator and combined fresh vegetables with a pork tenerloin.  I topped the meal off with a tomato and basil salad, and a homemade sparkling rum drink.  Really yummy - let me know if you try this and what you think




Monday, April 4, 2011

Banana & Strawberry Tart

I made a banana/strawberry tart this past weekend but wanted to pass it around for tasting before I posted the recipe.  The comments were positive.


Chicken Meatloaf

No pictures and just a quick concoction.  Our market started carrying ground chicken.  Ms. I Love to Cook loves meartloaf but will not eat red meat.  I tried a variation of this recipe a few weeks ago but was not really satisfied with the final product.  This evenings meal was worthy of a post.  As always when working with raw meat (especially chicken) be careful not to cross contaminate and wash hands, utensils, and work surfaces often.

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Chicken Jaeger Schnitzel

While I was preparing dinner I had a couple of pounded chicken breast left over so I threw together a quick late afternoon lunch.  When I llived in Germany schnitzel came in all forms but Jaeger or hunter's schnitzel was one of my favorite.  It is basically a mushroom cream base with meat of your choice.  Since I do not do veal, chicken is my meat of choice.


Asparagus Wrapped in Chicken & Prosciutto

I saw a recipe for Liver and Asparagus Terrine in a new book I picked up, Chicken by Pamela Clark.  Since  Ms. I Love to Cook doesn't eat red meat I thought I would solicit some help.  Like always I don't exactly follow recipes but use them as spring boards to launch my own ideas/concoctions.  Other than the asparagus and the great photo of the terrine, I think this is really something different but I plan to try Pamela's recipe soon.





Herbed Baked Eggs from Cooking in College (http://thecollegiatecook.blogspot.com/)

I found this great recipe on a blog (http://thecollegiatecook.blogspot.com/)  this morning before I started breakfast.  I have to give full credit to Meghan Smith, who adapted the recipe from Ina Garten.  I had to try it.  Of course I took a few liberties with the recipe and since there was cheese I had to use alot more than was called for.  I hope everyone enjoys this and gives a visit to Meghan.

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Caribbean Rum Dinner

No photo's - we were too busy preparing and eating but hopefully the descriptions will be tempting.  A couple of years ago we went to the Caribbean with our friends, Susie and Bill, for their anniversary.  Tonight we had a dinner honoring our trip together.  The menu consisted of Coconut Shrimp; Asparagus Soup; a Spring Salad with gorgonzola cheese, toasted almonds, tangerines, and Girard's Peach Mimosa dressing; warm sour dough rolls; Basmati Rice with saffron; a Caribbean chicken stew; rum/cranberry compote; and banana flambe'.  I will try to describe each dish but I can provide details if anyone is interested in any of the dishes.  We started with a banana infused rum appertif followed by the Coconut Shrimp.

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Aviation Week Laureate Awards in Washinton DC - March 2011

My wife and I recently returned from Washington DC where we attended an awards ceremony.  We were only there for a couple of days but had some fantastic food and shopping.  We stayed at the Palomar Hotel in DuPont Circle.  The restuarant attached to the hotel is Urbana's.  A friend and I had a late evening snack of wine and appetizers.  I really enjoyed the "Merguez House Made Lamb Sauage with Chestnut & Salsa Verde".  They also had killer scallops.  Dawn & I grabbed a pizza at "Pizzeria Paradiso".  This place was packed but the food was great.  We also had lunch at "Old Ebbitt Grill" , an old Washingtom landmark since the 1800s.  I had  a half dozen oysters and crab cakes.  Lots of crab and the oysters were great.  At he awards dinner they served lambchop appetizers before we were seated.  What a great way to start a meal.  The dinner was good for a banquet but the lambchops were the standout  Then on our final lunch we went to "Bistro Francais".  Again a very pleasant meal in a quiet and authentically french setting.  All in all we had a wonderful trip and it seems like we ate and ate.  Oh BTW I forgot the chocolatier and the cupcake store.

Saturday, March 5, 2011

Pork Loin Stuffed with Peppers, Apple, and Mozzarella

I had to make a quick lunch while I was getting ready for work.  It turned out pretty good but I wish I could have sat down and had a proper lunch rather than having to box it up for work.  Oh well, at least my son and a co-worker got to taste the final product.



Thursday, March 3, 2011

A visit to Villa Blanca & Teuscher's Swiss Chocolate, Beverly Hills, Ca

I haven't been able to cook much with so much going on at home and work.  We are re-decorating the kitchen.  Functionally it is great (my area), however my wife, Dawn, and I painted, installed crown molding, and had to get a new refrigerator (decorating is her area of expertise).  Anyway lot's of dining out.  We had to run into Beverly Hills for my wife to pick-up a formal for an upcoming black tie event.  Therefore, lunch at Villa Blanca and dessert at Teushers.  First let me point out that I did not know until after lunch that Villa Blanca is a 'hang out' for "The Housewives of Beverly Hills".  In fact I was reading that one of the actresses is the owner of the resturant.  If we had known that this was connected with the show we probably wouldn't have gone to lunchthere.  Anyway no star sighings just a quick review.

Villa Blanca -   9601 Brighton Way, Beverly Hills, Ca 90210
The interior is all white and quite impressive.  We showed up around 2:00 p.m. with no reservation. The place was still bustling with a large lunch crowd.  We were seated right away at a table for two but it was a bit crowded and noisy until some of the patrons moved on.  The most impressive part of the entire experience was the wait staff.  From the moment we entered the resturant until we left there was nothing but friendly faces, helpful inquries, and pleasant dialog.  As Dawn noted everyone was very good looking.  I think my wife really wanted to order our waiter on a cracker.

Dawn and I had Chicken Milanese and Chicken Paillard, respectively.  They were both reasonably priced and the portions for lunch were very substantial.  The Chicken Milanese was served as thinly sliced free range chicken breast encrusted with panko and cornflakes served with lemon, roasted potatoes and vegetables.  The Chicken Paillard consisted of  a flattened free range chicken breast pan roasted served with lemon, roasted potatoes and arugula salad.  Both dishes were very good but no real WOW factor.  I would defintiely return.  The one item on the plate that kept calling my fork back for more were the roasted potatoes.  Little whole potaotes lightly roasted and salted were the equivalent of gourmet fries.  Although we did see a plate of fries go by that also looked delicious.  There were also luncheon pizzas that I may have to go back and try.

teuscher chocolates of Beverly Hills - 9548 Brighton Way, Beverly Hills, CA 90210
This is a little Swiss Chocolatier catty corner to Villa Blanca.  We opted for a few chocolates and coffee for dessert and it was a great choice (Thanks Dawn). The selection was fantastic and my wife and I walked, talked, and savored our chocolate selections as we enjoyed the sunny day

If you ever visit Beverly Hills these two locations are a definite stop for lunch and dessert.

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Mini Chocolate Cupcakes with Chocolate Cream Cheese Frosting

I made these for Valentine's Day since my wife bought me a new mixer.  It was great having variable speed.  NOTE:  be sure to follow the mixing times and speeds since over mixing is not recommended.  They did not look as pretty as I had planned but the taste was chocolatey fantastic.  The basic recipe for the cupcakes came from http://www.cupcakerecipes.com/chocolaterecipe.htm and the frosting came from http://allrecipes.com//Recipe/chocolate-cream-cheese-frosting-2/Detail.aspx but of course I had to make a few minor tweaks to both.  I have left the original recipe and struck through where I have made changes.  As for the appearance I did not have a smooth and silky chocolate but rather a very finely speckled


Cupcake Ingredients
• 2 cups all purpose flour
• 2 cups sugar
• 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
• 1 teaspoon salt
• 1 teaspoon baking soda
• 1/2 cup shortening
• 3/4 cup water
• 2 large eggs
• 3/4 cup milk
• 1 teaspoon vanilla
4 ounces melted unsweetened  baking chocolate I used 3 oz of unsweetened and 1 1/2 oz of semi-sweet chocolate melted


Preparation & Coking Instructions
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Line cupcake pans with paper liners.
Combine all ingredients into large mixing bowl.  Mix at low speed for 30 seconds, and scrape bowl.  Mix at high speed for 3 minutes.
Fill liners 1/2 to 2/3 full of batter.  Bake 20 to 25 minutes the mini cupcakes only required about 12 minutes but by inserting a toothpick into the center and verifying that it comes out clean is a sure fire method.

Cool 10 minutes in pans then remove from pan, and place on wire racks to cool completely.

Frost when chocolate cupcakes are completely cool.
 

Frosting Ingredients


  • 4 (1 ounce) squares unsweetened chocolate 1 (1oz square of unsweetened chocolate) & 1 1/2 oz of semi-sweet chocolate ( I used a Trader Joe's Truffle Bitter sweet chocolate)







  • 1 (8 ounce) package cream cheese







  • 4 cups confectioners' sugar







  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract







  • 1/8 teaspoon salt







  • 2 tablespoons evaporated milk 1/4 cup of heavy cream






  • Preparation
    1. Have all ingredients at room temperature. Melt the chocolate in a double boiler or microwave oven.
    2. In a large bowl, beat cream cheese until fluffy. Pour melted chocolate into cream cheese and mix on medium speed until well blended. Add vanilla and pinch of salt. Slowly mix in the confectioners sugar.
    3. Scrape the sides of the bowl and increase mixer speed to medium-high. Slowly add evaporated milk until the frosting is spreading consistency.

    Sunday, January 30, 2011

    Truffle crab sauce

    In an attempt to spice up a salmon fillet I tried this little sauce.

    Ingredients
    1 tablesppon Black truffle, umbrian sauce
    1 - 2 tablespoons Lump Crab
    1 Shallot
    1/2 cup Heavy Cream
    Pepper
    Olive Oil

    Preparation
    Heat oil and shallots in a skillet, add the truffle sauce and crab.  Lightly saute' then add cream to the hot mixture.  Allow to thicken and serve over fish

    Serving Suggestions
    This sauce was very flavorful and could easily compliment other meats.  The finished sauce is white with the black speckles of truffle interlaced.

    Roasted Potato and Fennel Gratin

    I have been battling the flu lately but had a chance to make the recipe shown to me in the Sur La Table cooking class, "Winter Bistro Classics with Le Creuset".  Thanks to Chef Martin Gilligan for a great class.  I re-created the recipe sadly without the fennel, since there was none to be found in our local area but the outcome was still great.



    Ingredients
    4 tablespoons unsalted butter
    2 large leeks, white and light green parts (wash and clean thoroughly)
    2 coups heavy cream
    1 dup whole milk
    1 tablespoon kosher salt
    1/2 teaspoon freshly ground white pepper
    2-1/2 pounds yukon golden potatoes

    1/2 cup grated Gruyere cheese
    1/4 cup grated parmeasan cheese
     3 medium fennel bulbs, fronds trimmed, bulbs cored and thinly sliced

    3 tablespoons of fresh thyme

    Preparation - Cleaning & Slicing
    Cleaning the leeks  we trimmed te leeks to the length we wanted, setting aside the darker green portins of the stock.  hen we sliced the leeks lengthwise.  This allowed for thorough cleaning of the leek, especially down in the lower folds/crevices of the plant.

    Slicing of the potatoes and the fennel were accomplished on a mandolin with a safety glove.  This was truly a fun device but since I don't have one I did all my slicing by hand.  When I do buy a mandolin I will definitely get the kevlar safety glove which preclude the accidently slicing and unwanted addition of finger slices to the dish.  Slice the leeks, potatoes, and fennel into evenly thin slices, about the thickness of a medium knife (1/8") blade.  Being careful and patient we were able to make the majority of our slices very consistent.  In fact my wife volunteered to slice the potatoes and she did an excellent job.  It is common to rinse the potatoes and hold them in cold water until ready to use.  However in this recipe we rely on the starch from the potatoes to help form the thickening in the mixture.  So slice the potatoes just prior to adding them to the cream sauce.




    Preparation - Putting the dish together
    Place 2 tablespoons of butter into a large saucepan and heat over medium heat.  Add the leeks and saute until softened but not browned, about 4 - 5 minutes.

    Add the milk and cream to the saucepan and heat until the mixture simmers.  Add salt and pepper, stirring well to combine.  At this point I added some of the thyme to the mixture for added flavor.  This is a slight departure from the recipe provided but I love thyme.  Cook undisturbed until potatoes are partially cooked and the mixture begins to thicken, about 10 to 12 minutes.

    Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.  Generously grease a 13X9X2 inch baking dish with butter.  Combine the cheeses in a small bowl.  Using a slotted spoon or spider, carefully transfer a portion of the sliced potatoes into the dish. 

    NOTE:  You can either artistically arrange or do a rustic spread of the potatoes.  The results are seen in the final dish when it is sliced and served.  The artistic layer may show a better cross-sectional view when presented but the taste  is the same.

    Once you have placed a layer over the bottom of the pan layer the sliced fennel and a generous portion of the cheese mixture.  Repeat this layering until all of the potatoes and fennel fill the pan.  Pour the remaining cream mixture into the pan to just cover the potatoes ad fennel, then top with a layer of the cheese mixture.  Generously dot the surface with the remaining butter around the surface of the dish.

    Bake in the pre-heated oven until the casserole bubbles around the edges, potatoes and fennel are tender and the top is golden brown, about 50 - 6 minutes.  If the top begins to brown too soon then cover with aluminum foil and continue to bake.

    Serving Suggestion
    Allow the gratin to set for at least 20 minutes before serving.  Sprinkle the gratin surface with thyme leaves.  Slice the gratin into serving portions and transfer to the serving plate with a metal spatula.  Serve immediately while hot.  With a little fineese you can present a nicely cut profile highlighting all of the layers of potatoe, cheese, and fennel

    Tuesday, January 11, 2011

    Cooking Class at Sur La Table

    This Friday, 1-7-11, I attended the Sur La Table Winter Bistro Classics with Le Creuset, instructed by Chef Martin Gilligin (Emma, Louise, & Joel).  What a fun experience.  A lot of fun loving cooks and a great menu.  We made Roasted Potato and Fennel Gratin, Gamay-Braised Lamb Shanks with Nicoise Olives, Thyme & Fresh Chevre Tart, and Dark Chocolate & Cherry Clafoutis (with flaky pie dough).  In addition we prepared a couple of additinal dishes - Cilantro/cucumber salad and Candied carrots. I have all of the recipes and have permission to post as long as we give apprpoiate credit to Sur La Table.  Please e-mail me for a quick copy and I will try to post the recipes here as time permits, since I would like to re-create the recipes myself before I actually post.  I would strongly recommend this course to anyone wanting to share a wonderful cooking experience.  There was not a lot of in depth training but the presentation of basic techniques that anyone could use and reproduce

    Sunday, January 9, 2011

    Chicken Mozzarella and Sun Dried Tomatoe Meatballs

    My wife is not fond of red meat, in fact the only meats she eats are chicken and a little fish.  We had been purchasing pre-made meatballs from Trader Joe's but for some reason they have been discontinued.  Of course that become a cooking challenge and the recipe follows.  A few comments - The chicken is dry and bland so seasoning the meat is important.  Also I did not add any oil but will probably use sun dried tomatoes in oil as part of the base.

    Ingredients
    • 1 1/2          Boneless, skinless chicken breast
    • 1/2 cup      Sun dried tomatoes (I used dried)
    • 1 cup         Buffalo mozzarella (approximately a ball)
    • 1/4 cup      Bread crumbs
    • 1                Egg
    • 1/2 - 1 tsp Salt and pepper

    Preparation

    Rinse and pat dry the chicken breast, then cut into 1 - 2 inch cubes.  Nothing artistic just working chunks that can easily be chopped in a food processor.  A meat grinder should also work.  Place the chicken cubes into the processor with the knife blade and pulse the chicken until it is roughly chopped.  Add the mozzarella, tomatoes, egg and bread crumbs.  I would also take a quick stab at some initial seasonings (salt & pepper as a minimum).  Pulse the processor a few more times to ensure it is thoroughly mixed.  An initial caution is to not over blend the mixture since you want a 'hamburger' consistency and not a soup.


    Pre heat the oven to 375 and oil or apply non stick spray to a cooking sheet.  Form the meat mixture into meatballs .  I tried to use a couple of spoons to get a consistent size then gently finalized the form into balls.  I made the balls about 2 - 2 1/2 inches but personal preference  should be your driver.  Place the meatballs on the sheet and then into the oven.  As always with chicken complete cooking all the way through is the key.  I ended up cooking the meatballs for about 40 minutes.  In the middle of the process I rolled the balls 180 degrees so that more than one side would be crisped.



    A second caution - working with raw chicken requiresgood housekeeping skills.  Be sure to not cross contaminate surfaces and/or utensils a wash your hands thoroughly after handling any raw meat.  I cut the chicken and then washed the knife, the cutting board, my hands and the general work area with soap/water and a little bleach.  I am not trying to scare anyone off or preach hygiene to the obsurd but contamination leads to salmonella which after you remover, you are typically not in the mood to eat  from that cook or that recipe again.