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    14 Practical Cooking Tips From Famous Restaurant Chefs

    How to avoid bland chicken, save wilted herbs, and prep an all-purpose sauce that'll make your week ahead way easier.

    Hannah Wong/BuzzFeed

    If there's anyone who knows how to cook a great meal, it's the chefs working day in and day out in restaurants.


    They have the tips and tricks to nail any recipe and make it extraordinary.

    Here are 14 of their tips, tricks, and techniques that you can use in your own kitchen:

    1. Brine your chicken to keep it moist and infuse it with flavor.

    Bryan Bedder, Haha21 / Getty Images

    Marcus Samuelsson, chef and owner of Red Rooster, swears by brining his chicken before cooking it. This extra step of soaking chicken in cold, salted water adds extra flavor and keeps the meat perfectly juicy.

    2. And fry it twice to make it super crispy.

    Gumpanat / Getty Images

    After your fry your chicken once, let it rest for 10 minutes, then fry it again for three minutes to make it extra crispy.

    More: Get Marcus Samuelsson's fried chicken recipe.

    3. And if you want to try something different, try marinating the chicken in koji to give it a ultra-savory flavor and help caramelize the outside.

    Noam Galai / Getty Images, Ma-no / Getty Images

    Basically, koji is the thing that makes miso, soy sauce, and sake possible. It's not used very much in the U.S., but can be easily purchased online. Chef Angela Dimayuga, creative director of food & culture at Standard International, uses a sweet and savory koji paste to marinate her chicken. Not only does it infuse it with an intense savoriness, but it helps make the crust nice and golden.

    More: Get Angela Dimayuga's koji fried chicken recipe.

    4. If you want to add miso to a dish but are afraid of making it too salty, cut it with butter.

    Pierre-philippe Marcou / AFP / Getty Images, Picturepartners / Getty Images

    David Chang, chef and owner of Momofuku, cuts the intense saltiness of miso by mixing it with softened butter. The mixture allows him to add the deep savory flavor without adding too much salt.

    More: Get David Chang's recipe for corn with miso butter.

    5. Use a cast-iron pan to give meats and veggies the best sear ― and clean it out with salt and oil, not soap.

    Daniel Zuchnik, Tatiana Volgutova / Getty Images

    In an interview with Bon Appétit, Justin Smillie, chef of Il Buco Alimentari & Vineria, said, "Cooking with a cast-iron pan gives you an incomparable crust, for both vegetables and meat. To clean ours, we just douse it in oil and salt, burn it out, then wipe it clean."

    6. To makes flavors shine, finish your dishes with a touch of acid...

    Zoltan Leclerc, Gorodenkoff / Getty Images

    Chef Daniel Boulud has said that his number one cooking tip is "finishing with a splash of acid." Acid helps flavors shine, and it cuts through rich sauces and fatty dishes. Try using a splash of lemon juice, wine, or vinegar in your next recipe to kick it up a notch.

    7. And use a splash of clam sauce to amp up the flavor of any seafood dish, too.

    Instagram: @fabioviviani, Joseph_fotografie / Getty Images

    In an interview with Uproxx, chef Fabio Viviani said, “For any seafood dish, add a little bit of clam sauce." Although you might not be able to pick the flavor out, the little pop of brininess will take your seafood dishes to a whole new level.

    More: Five clever ways to use clam juice.

    8. Taste your food during every step of the cooking process.

    Noam Galai, Geotrac / Getty Images

    This one may seem obvious. But as Leah Cohen, chef and co-owner of Pig & Khao, told Today: "As a chef, it is important to taste everything all the time at every stage of the cooking process." Tasting during every step of the process makes sure nothing has gone wrong, and it gives you time to fix any mistakes.

    9. Save your nonstick pans for things like eggs, but not much else...

    Cindy Ord / Getty Images, Niklas Emmoth / Getty Images

    Amanda Cohen, chef and owner of Dirt Candy, says nonstick pans shouldn't be your go-to for everything. “It’s a different kind of heat with nonstick pans," says Cohen. "It’s not quite as hot, it doesn’t get things as crispy, since it’s really protecting things from the heat underneath.”

    10. Make a flavorful stir-fry sauce and freeze it into cubes to make weeknight cooking easier.

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    Cooking during the week is hard, but chef Amanda Cohen has a secret weapon that makes it less of a chore. During the weekend, prepare a flavorful stir-fry sauce using fresh herbs and freeze it into cubes. That way, all you have to do is throw some rice and veggies into a pan and add a cube to give it a pop of fresh flavor.

    More: Get Cohen's stir-fry sauce recipe.

    11. Soften dried tortillas by heating them on a skillet with a squirt of equal parts water and oil.

    Mireya Acierto / Getty Images, Rudisill / Getty Images

    Aarón Sánchez, owner of Johnny Sánchez, uses this clever trick to warm them up and make sure they're the perfect consistency.

    More: Check out six more of Sánchez's expert taco tips.

    12. Steep fresh herbs in honey before they're about to go bad.

    Neilson Barnard, Rvbox / Getty Images

    If you find yourself with fresh herbs that are about to go bad, do as chef Alex Guarnaschelli does and simply heat honey until it's melted and bubbling, then add whatever herb is about to go bad. Let it steep for a few days and it'll be ready to drizzle over cheese, fruit, or anywhere you could use a pop of fresh favor.

    More: Get Guarnaschelli's herbed honey recipe.

    13. If you accidentally get some egg yolk in your whites when making a meringue, add a bit of cream of tartar.

    Ari Perilstein, Shersor / Getty Images

    When whipping egg whites, fat is the enemy. So, if you accidentally get a little bit of yolk in your whites, do as Dominique Ansel does and add some cream of tartar. It'll help the whites whip up and you won't even taste it.

    More: Check out 19 more of Ansel's pastry secrets.

    14. Easily make kimchi at home — and don't be afraid to use untraditional ingredients in place of cabbage.

    Instagram: @choibites

    Kimchi may seem impossible to make at home, but Esther Choi, chef and owner of Mokbar, told Food & Wine that the only things you need are a mason jar, and time. For ingredients, spices, salt, and some fish sauce is it — and don't feel like you have to stick to cabbage. Ramps, cucumber, and other veggies make delicious versions of the classic.

    More: See all of Choi's tips for making kimchi at home.

    Let's get cooking!