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Handy Hints and useful tips for Cooking using a Microwave

Microwaved Chicken
Microwaved chicken
  Roasting chicken in the oven is fine when it's a whole bird; but for smaller portions such as breast fillets or pieces it can take a long time and be costly with respect to power. Cooking it in the microwave is much quicker, and it is easy. The chicken breast fillet in the photo was only small - about 200g - and took just 8 minutes. Larger would require a little extra time.
  Trim the meat of fat, then place in a suitable microwave-safe dish or boat with about a tablespoon of water. Cover and microwave on 400 watts for 4 minutes. Turn the breast over, replace the lid and nuke on the same setting for a further 4 minutes. Prick with a fork to ensure it is cooked. If not, turn over again and give it another 2 minutes.
  More than a single breast, or multiple pieces can be microwaved at the same time, but they are likely to take longer.

Scrambled Eggs
  Eggs are cheap, versatile; and using a microwave oven to make scrambled eggs is a breeze. Any microwave-safe container is okay, and you won't need a lid. We do it in a 2 litre plastic ice cream container which is easily cleaned, more so than a frypan on the stove top.
  Depending on size, 4 eggs are usually enough for two, but more can be cooked in the same dish taking a little extra time. Put these in a bowl with 1/4 cup of milk, a nob of butter, and salt and pepper if desired. Whisk well with a fork, then place in the microwave on 400 watts for just one minute. Remove, stir with the fork and replace for a further minute on the same heat setting. Continue repeating this, making sure to break up the egg as it solidifies and mixing it in with the remaining liquid. Unless you are ready to serve immediately, halt the cooking process when the eggs are scrambled but still quite moist, and leave till required. When the time comes, simply whizz around for one more minute on 400w, then dish up. Easy peasy.

Quick Baked Potatoes
  Baking potatoes in their skins can be done in the oven, but it takes time and a lot of power. Instead, try them in the microwave. Pierce the skin of each potato a number of times with a fork, wrap in a piece of paper kitchen towel, then nuke on 800 for about 5 minutes,depending on size. They can be served as is, topped with butter, or can be stuffed - see Recipe R27.

Rice from the Microwave
  Some like it steamed, others prefer to boil their rice. Anyone who has a microwave might like to try this:
  In a deep microwave-safe container with an aerated lid put one cup of uncooked rice plus 2 cups of cold water and stir briefly with a fork. With the lid on, microwave for 4 minutes on number 5 (probably 50% for those with that type of temperature setting). When it pings off, remove the lid, stir with the fork, then replace the cover and return to the microwave for a further 4 minutes on the same setting. Repeat this procedure for another 2 minutes, then check if the rice is nearly ready. You may need to whiz it round for another 2 minutes if the grains are still hard; but don't overdo the cooking or it will end up soggy.
  Depending on your make and model, you may need to adjust the temperature setting, the time, or both. It took me a few goes to prevent it from boiling over on the second or third spin around. Now, it works well without making a mess of the nuke, and the separate stages give me time to get on with the rest of the meal.
  Once it is cooked, I prefer to flush the rice with fresh water: very hot if it is to go straight on the plate; cold if I intend to re-heat it when required, or if I'm using it for fried rice. I usually make a double batch, one for the meal and the other half for the freezer. When I need to use the frozen rice, I simply defrost it and reheat in a suitable container for 2-3 minutes on number 4 (40%), adding cooked mixed vegetables on occasions for something different. For fried rice, it just goes straight in the wok with the spices etc.
  Flushing reduces the starch, which is not only good for those on a reduced-carb diet, but also keeps the grains separate and fluffy.

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