Help With Chicken Breasts! (And General/Advanced Cooking Techinuqes)



I have been having an issue with chicken breasts and marinade as of late using a standard Lowry's teriyaki marinade.

My goal is to infuse the entire piece of chicken with the flavor of the sauce.

Their instruction is to let it sit for 30 min before you cook, which has never given me great results. I let it sit for 2 hours tonight. My next step is to let it sit for 24.

I sautee the chicken directly in the sauce after it soaks. When it is done, it has a flavorful outside and a basically bland inside that tastes like it looks when it comes out of the package.

I did not do anything to try and enhance the absorption, just time and application.

What are the techniques for getting the most flavor into the chicken while keeping it moist and tender?

I have noticed that when I use general season salts, pepper and oil, the flavor seems to either absorb and penetrate or is bold enough to mask the blandness.

I would also like to hear any recommendations on cooking science books that explain techniques on administering flavor and perfecting flavor control via the "science of cooking".

Thanks for your time!
Joined Sep 18, 2008
Number one, it is impossible to "sauté" ANYTHING in a liquid other than a trace of fat.

Number two, have you considered "brining" your chicken breasts? Brine = 5% saline solution with, or without, flavorings, submerge chicken for 2-4 hours under refrigeration.

Number three, IMHO, there is NOT much you can do to create a flavorful chicken breast unless you are roasting a chicken /img/vbsmilies/smilies/crazy.gif or you "scallop" or "pound" the breasts to insure quick and even cooking and either bread or not, but serve it with a flavorful sauce, i.e. Chicken Piccata, Chicken Marsala, etal.

justin abare hoyt

You could try injecting the breast with marinade if you want more flavor. I would also recommend searing then roasting with the skin on.
Joined Apr 3, 2008
Chicken breast is bland.  You're better off putting your time in making a sauce to accompany it, which is the tried and true method.  Aside from cutting it into thinner pieces a chicken breast can't withstand much abuse.  I don't demand too much out of my chicken breasts.  As long as they're seasoned well, take on a nice color from cooking, and stay moist inside I'm happy. 

If you're looking for more flavor try a duck breast.
Joined Oct 2, 2010
The trick for frying chickenbreast and keeping it moist is;

- sear on a high heat in a pan with a little oil, around 2-3 minutes per side. Salt when just turned. 

- turn the heat to quite low and COVER the pan with a lid or a sheet of aluminuimfoil. Takes about 10 minutes. Turn the breasts halfway.

I also have to refer to the thread about marinating steaks. You can marinate in oil all kinds of meat. Pour some oil over the meat(about a tablespoon is enough for 2 breasts); use herbs as discribed below or your very own mix, dig in with your hands to make sure they are nicely surrounded by oil. Do not use salt, salt just after frying one side and turning it!!!

I use sunflower oil. I wouldn't recommend olive oil for frying at all, but it's your choise.

My choise of best matches with herbs for oil-marinating different meats;

- chickenbreast;  I cover them in sunflower oil and use tarragon and/or lemonzeste, and/or fennelseeds, always black pepper

- pork tenderloin; oil + fennelseeds + fresh roughly chopped garlic + and/or chopped fresh or dried sageleaves + pepper

- beef; oil + garlic + thyme + pepper

- lamb; oil + garlic + rosemary + pepper

Note; always remove the garlic before frying. It will burn. That's why I chop it coursely when marinating.
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Joined Feb 8, 2009
Most of the time you see the Teriyaki Chicken Skewers they are made with Thigh meat. I would marinate over night, I agree that the one or two hour recommendation is a bunch of bull. If your using Boneless chicken thighs or Bone in chicken thighs cook on very high heat in the oven or cook on a high heat BBQ grill. If I were using a boneless skinless chicken breast at heme and not all that worried about presentation I may even score the breast and cook the same way, I never cook the teriyaki on a flat grill or saute pan, I want to see grill marks and toasted edges on the chicken. If you do marinade over night and your worried about sodium look into a low sodium Teriyaki sauce..................ChefBillyB

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