REALLY Tender Chicken Francaise

Joined Aug 25, 2001
In northeast NJ, many buffets by-the-pound take out or fast lunch places, often run by Asians, include a tary of chicken francaise. None of the food on thebuffets is thrilling but it sure beats your kiddie burger place and i just as fast.
In any event the picatta sauce is very reproducible - think classic francaise and ramp up the beurre (oil) roux.

However, the chicken breasts (not cubed, I don't think) are very very tender, almost mushy.

Any idea how the tenderness is accomplished. It's much tenderer than properly sauteed breasts and a different mouth feel. ANd there's no way they are using just chicken royale pieces.
Joined Dec 30, 1999

The secret to tender meat, which most Americans have not had unless from a good Asian restaurant, is via an Asian technique (Chinese in origin, I believe) called velveting.

For more information, look here:Velveted Chicken

Velveted Meat

If it's been velveted properly, it quite literally melts in your mouth. Delicious!
Joined Jul 18, 2000
velveting meat is quite easy.

the method (as described and shown to me) consists of approximately 7 steps and these are:

1) cut your meat in stir fry sizes.
2) soak in water with garlic or ginger peels (both if need be)
3) drain meat and dredge in cornflour
4) heat oil in wok and fry meat until the cornflour browns slightly
5) drain the meat of oil on absorbent paper and change the oil in the wok
6) fry the vegetables in the wok (using less oil of course)
7) add your sauce to the vegetables, return the meat and thicken sauce with a cornflour slurry.
Joined Aug 29, 2000
The dish you mention, chicken francaise, wouldn't use those Asian flavors- but I'll bet the chicken is "marinated" anyway- in some type of brine. If it's a buffet place they are probably using pumped chicken (soaked in salty brine plus chemicals). Check the label of those big bags of individually frozen chicken breasts; they contain good old salt, but also tenderizing chemicals. They do the same with pork these days too. Pumping ups the weight of the meat with water; producers can charge for meat when a good percentage (up to 12% maybe) is salty water.

:mad: Needless to say, I don't like this practice.
Joined Jul 27, 2004
I agree with Mezza, I would guess the chicken is pumped up a bit.

A few months back we had a grocery strike here in my area and for MONTHS we were having to buy pork products we hadn't tried before because they were the only ones getting through.

They were SO good! We hadn't had such tender, succulent pork in a long time. Long story short, we found out they pump them up with a solution containing various things such as water, salt, and possibly sugar.

I was a bit irritated when I found out because I try to stay clear of sugar most the time but I must say, it was good!

I believe the brand was Tyson.

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