Can you refreeze a chicken after breaking it down and other kitchen queries answered

Roasted Broccoli Rabe With Miso Bagna Cauda.
Roasted Broccoli Rabe With Miso Bagna Cauda. PHOTO: THE WASHINGTON POST

(WASHINGTON POST) - Former Washington Post staff member Marie Elizabeth Oliver, L’Academie de Cuisine chef-instructor Brian Patterson and Daniel Salatin of Polyface Farms answer kitchen queries. 

I generally buy chickens directly from a local farm and they typically come frozen. Can I refreeze the pieces after cutting?  

You can refreeze birds after cutting them up. Just make sure the bags you use are tight. The less air, the better. The other idea is to use the whole bird for different meals over a week. The parts will last a full week in the refrigerator.  

I have been making a lot of ice cream lately. I made the Washington Post recipe for Baklava Ice Cream and the cinnamon stick gave it a different, almost “liquored up” flavour. Does the flavour of cinnamon sticks vary from brand to brand? I used Swad brand sticks from an Indian grocery.

Cassia cinnamon (the one that rolls up like a scroll) is milder than true Indian cinnamon (which is more quill-like).

I made the veggie bagna cauda (Roasted Broccoli Rabe With Miso Bagna Cauda) and loved it. However, it seemed very oily. Is it supposed to be this oily? Would I be able to use the extra olive oil to cook with as I would for any recipe that calls for olive oil?

It is an oily sauce, but that is how it is supposed to be. The layer of oil on top also helps preserve it for up to two months.

Yes, you can cook with the oil, but maybe its flavours would shine more in salad dressings or drizzled as a finishing oil at the end of cooking, just before serving.

I have never made crepes. Do you need to sift the flour first to make it lump-free? Also, what kind of things would work well as a substitute for mushrooms if you wanted to offer a second filling option for dinner?  

You do not need to sift at all. A whisk and 15 minutes’ rest does the trick. As for other fillings, sauteed vegetables, leftover ratatouille and leftover roasted chicken are some examples you can try.

My husband bought me a fancy ice-cream maker for my birthday, which I have been putting to good use. This has left me with lots of leftover egg whites. Do you have any tips for freezing these?

You can freeze them in ice cube trays, then transfer to a zip-top bag for longer storage. Alternatively, measure (either by volume or by weight) the amount you are freezing and store directly in a zip-top bag. Either way, label with the contents/amount and date the bag - they are good for a year in the freezer.

When you are ready to use them, defrost overnight in the refrigerator. Avoid defrosting in the microwave, where you will almost always end up cooking them slightly.