Help chicken breasts

Discussion in 'Food & Cooking' started by sidediva, Jul 28, 2018.

  1. sidediva

    sidediva

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    Hi All, I noticed more recently when cooking chicken breasts they always seem tough and I am careful not to over cook. Is there something going on with the industry in general? Any suggestions, tips or ideas?
     
  2. brianshaw

    brianshaw

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    I’ve noticed that too. Sure, both overcooking or undercooking will was to toughness but in some cases I think it’s something else going on. Maybe old hens? Maybe old roosters? Maybe steroids? Not sure. But your noticing something others have noticed too. Especially for chicken coming from ethnic markets or discount stores that started selling cheap groceries.

    Don’t know what to suggest other than careful cooking and use of a thermometer. I poach chicken more now than I ever did because of that.
     
  3. BakerBax

    BakerBax

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    Try Marinating them overnight in the fridge then drain the marinade. Sear the chicken for 2 minutes then bake it in the oven.
    Hope that helps :)
    -Bakerbax
     
  4. halb

    halb

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  5. someday

    someday

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    The best answer is to buy better chickens...there must be a local farmers market or farm that raises birds. Once you eat one of those it’s hard to go back.
     
  6. Pat Pat

    Pat Pat

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    I find that naturally raised chicken are tougher. It seems the longer it takes the chickens to get to proper size, the tougher they are.
     
  7. meezenplaz

    meezenplaz

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    Well chicken breasts as a rule are a lower moisture, drier
    meat that the dark meat. If you want them moist you have to
    help them with marinade, wine mustard slurry, something.
    But dont expect even that to enable you to dump it in a pan
    for 3 minutes per side and get a delicious tender chicken breast.
    Only way I found is to sear em first if desired ( to get the color
    you want) then you have to baste them, covered, or bake them, covered,
    with some liquid in the baking dish.
    Its essentially steaming them to a certain degree, so if you don't want
    to do that, try buying the best chickens you can and stick with those.
     
  8. halb

    halb

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    Well, there is really no way to use "rubber chicken" except grind it or boil it then pull it for chicken soup. I've had better luck with certain suppliers. I suppose they have better inspection procedures but it's not foolproof because I believe they manually feel each chicken piece. Also we suggested staying away from those one pound breasts. Often buying smaller whole birds and using the 8 oz breasts is the way to go.
     
  9. ivanthetrble

    ivanthetrble

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    Hopefully this won't stir up a hornets nest but one solution is sous vide. Can't overcook then, moisture is not lost, and flavor to the bag (I use salt, pepper and a few sprigs of fresh thyme) and you are good to go. Leave the skin on and a quick visit to a hot pan to crisp the skin.
     
  10. halb

    halb

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    And you know that how? Have you actually TRIED sous vide on "rubber" chicken breast to see the results? Cut the breast in half, sous vide one half and prepare the other half in the conventional manner? I have to say that most people only notice rubber chicken when they bite into it. I can tell when I pound it or cut it across the grain when raw. Usually the piece goes into the garbage without further ado. So unless you too can identify a rubber chicken breast before cooking I have a hard time believing your opinion.
     
  11. ivanthetrble

    ivanthetrble

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    Then don't believe my post. That said, I have done several A/B comparisons cooking the same cut of protein two different ways so yes, I believe I can speak from experience.
     
  12. brianshaw

    brianshaw

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    ...
     
  13. halb

    halb

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    We are not talking about a normal cut of protein and which method results in a more tender and juicy meat. We are talking about abnormal chicken breast muscle tissue that is fibrous and tough that makes the chicken unusable for customary use. I am unaware of any preparation or cooking method that would make such chicken appetizing.

    Read the entire article here: http://atlasofscience.org/the-woody...s-of-both-raw-and-cooked-chicken-breast-meat/
     
  14. someday

    someday

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    I am 100% a fan of sous vide but the problem is inherent in the meat/chicken itself and is not a result of the cooking method.
    I disagree...the best chickens I've ever had (flavor, texture) have been from local smaller production farms. ABV, free range, etc is important as well. For the restaurant I buy chickens from a medium level local producer and a small local farm (both all natural) Both chickens are amazing and by far the best chickens I've eaten.

    Better sourcing is 100% the solution to avoiding woody chicken. Woody chicken is a product of how the chickens are raised and if the producers take care of their birds it eliminates the problem.
     
  15. halb

    halb

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    I agree. Producers trying to get as high a yield as possible is the reason.
     
  16. koukouvagia

    koukouvagia

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    My chicken breasts are much moister now that I've switched to chicken thighs haha!

    Seriously though, when I cook chicken breasts there is always a sauce. Always.
     
    drirene likes this.
  17. meezenplaz

    meezenplaz

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    Well I actually agree: unless its cordon bleu or some other
    breast specific dish, I steer more clear of breasts than i ever have.
    So in all my sauteed dishes including stir fry i now use dark
    meat chicken- moister, cheaper and more flavorful.
     
  18. brianshaw

    brianshaw

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    Ditto
     
  19. redbeerd cantu

    redbeerd cantu

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    Back in '13, I worked in a spot wherein I would process about 300lbs of chicken breast per week. I encountered this phenomenon for the first time. Random hard, tough spots in the center of the breast. HARD. To the touch or to the knife, these knots were difficult to deal with. I asked my manager if he knew anything about it and he responded that he knew what I was talking about, but that he had no clue what was going on. I started to do some research. I'm not a scientist, so my research bared little fruit, however, I came to a couple of unofficial hypotheses: the knots occur in the spot where the hormonal injection occurs OR the knots are stress knots, a result of the strains of growing up on an environment wherein nothing natural is available: food, movement, solace, etc. You ever get a stress headache? I think these tough spots might be like that, but the caged pectoral version.
     
  20. someday

    someday

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    Chickens aren't injected with growth hormones my man that's a myth.