Pink chicken breast

Discussion in 'Food & Cooking' started by mezzaluna, Nov 28, 2010.

  1. mezzaluna

    mezzaluna

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    My husband and I went to a local bistro for dinner this evening. He ordered the short rib (very tasty; I've had it before) and I orderd a dish I hadn't had there, Boursin Chicken breast with apricot glaze. The wing drummy was left on, and when I cut it off, the meat was pink inside. I sent it back, and when it was returned to me (drummy still there, but browned), the thick part of the breast was still pink. I ate some from the thin portion of the breast; it tasted too salty and was rubbery. I didn't taste any apricot, either. After a few bites, I gave up. At least the green beans were tasty.

    Was this breast brined somehow? What, besides some kind of chemical injection, would make the meat like that? I've bought frozen chicken breast in the past, the ones that were injected with a salty solution, and had the same result. Is there anything else that could have caused that result? I would have expected fresh, un"pumped" chicken in that restaurant.

    To the credit of the establishment, they took the $16.95 off the bill. Yes, I tipped as if it were still on the tab. /img/vbsmilies/smilies/smile.gif
     
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  2. petemccracken

    petemccracken

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    From my personal experience, I do NOT think "brining" had anything to do with the "pink meat".

    More than likely, "pink meat" results from the age of the current commercial chickens. They, apparently, now reach market weight around 7-8 weeks, far short of what used to be 12-15 weeks

    As such, the "bones" have not fully matured.

    According to the USDA Food Safety and Inspection Service, http://www.fsis.usda.gov/factsheets/chicken_food_safety_focus/index.asp
    I have cooked chicken myself to 165°F and found "pink meat", especially in thighs and legs, but also in the breast near the wing joints.
     
  3. mezzaluna

    mezzaluna

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    Thanks for the reply, Pete. I assumed it was brined because the flesh was so salty and had a rubbery texture.
     
  4. petemccracken

    petemccracken

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    I commonly brine poultry and have NEVER experienced salty or rubbery results, but then again???
     
     
  5. jrock645

    jrock645

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    I agree. I'm a big believer in brines, myself. Done properly, brining results in very evenly seasoned meat that is very tender and juicy.
     
  6. cheflayne

    cheflayne

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    Was it possibly smoked, which can sometimes have a pink hue. In addition incorrectly smoked chicken can have a rubbery texture.
     
  7. gobblygook

    gobblygook

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    How long do you normally brine for?  I read/heard somewhere (probably cooks country) that after 10 hours or so, the texture can turn pretty rubbery. 
     
     
  8. gobblygook

    gobblygook

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    Why?  Was there something special about this restaurant?  The pumped chicken can be more tolerant of poor cooking technique (doesn't dry out as badly), which is ideal in a restaurant.  The more idiot-proof you can make something, the less waste you'll have.
     
     
  9. jrock645

    jrock645

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    If they're brining chicken for over 10 hours, then I don't know what to say. Typically, when you brine a chicken, an hour or two is all it will need. And if you're brining a breast/steak/fish filet, 20 minutes or so is all thats necessary. Theres a difference between simply brining something and trying to cure it with a brine. Easy does it.
     
     
  10. dc sunshine

    dc sunshine

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    Sounds as if they bunged it in the microwave - that would account for the rubberiness, ans perhaps bunged it onto the grill or into a pan to brown it up.  Just some thoughts.  I know one of our cooks used to chuck a rare steak which was supposed to be medium into the microwave - I was a lowly kitchen hand so couldn't say anything - but there was  no way I would eat that. That may be your answer, plus the pinkness is more than likely as what others have said, the young age of the bird.
     
  11. chefedb

    chefedb

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    Could well be from a undeveloped young bird which no matter how cooked will show red at joints and pink even in dark meat. This subject was written on a few weeks ago in this site.
     
  12. chrislehrer

    chrislehrer

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    My bet is that you're all right, in effect.

    1. The bird was a modern, underage bird, and thus pink despite being done.

    2. The meat was brined too long, and thus overly permeated with salt.

    3. You sent it back, so they nuked it, making it rubbery.

    Next time, order something braised, like the short ribs, or purely fired a la minute, like steak.

    Incidentally, isn't it illegal to refire a dish sent back? I thought I'd read you pros talking about this a lot, and that the law is you have to make the dish new. Or is that a regional thing?
     
  13. jrock645

    jrock645

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    Not anywhere I've ever been. With some things it wouldn't be as big of an issue, but if a steak was a bit under or the mashed potatoes were too salty or the carrots were overcooked, the last thing you'd want is somebody sitting there without food for 15 minutes while everyone else eats.
     
    Last edited: Nov 29, 2010
  14. chefedb

    chefedb

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    In cold cut type meat( that is processed) one may see a rainbow like hue in the meat, Corned beef, Tongue, Pastrami this is in many cases caused by the saltpeters effect on the meat and slight under processing, but it wont harm you, just looks strange.
     
  15. chefedb

    chefedb

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    Yes Chris it appears regional In New York  redone but Florida, cook a new plate. Who knows why?
     
  16. gtpeach

    gtpeach

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    Agreed wholeheartedly on the brining. I frequently brine my birds in a buttermilk and herb blend for the opposite result. The buttermilk breaks it down and, in fact, results in a more tender bird than otherwise. Also, a bit of pink isn't an indication of proper cook time. A lot of slowly cooked birds are still pink. The true indicator of a completed bird is internal temperature. If it makes you skiddish, give it an extra 10 degrees for safety. I have a feeling that, unfortunately, this place just specialized in different dishes and you ended up ordering the "Hey, we better have poultry on the menu just in case..." dish, which they weren't very good at preparing. 
     
  17. gtpeach

    gtpeach

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    True; we never restart if a steak is returned for being underdone. We just cook it up a bit longer. (Incidentally, people, it is a huge pet peeve of mine when you come into my restaurant, order a medium steak, and then send it back because it's red or pink. If you want your steak burned, order it well done.)
     
  18. chefedb

    chefedb

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    Pete is 100% correct . Chickens today are slaughtered so young that even if you cook them internally to 170 they will still be pink. The bone structure never gets a chance to mature. Keep in mind if cooked till 165 most harmful things are killed . to cook mere simply does nothing except dry it out. After you take it out of oven to sit  the temp will go up slightly. Such is te nature of cooking.