Tough Chicken

Joined Oct 23, 2002
I keep buying chicken breasts from the store and searing them on high heat to get a good crisp skin, then finishing in oven and they seem so tough to me. Twice in a row now, any ideas why?

I just salt pepper and sear on high heat to brown on stove top then pop in 375 until I get to prop internal temp and then deglaze for sauce, but the chicken is ending up tough. Not dryed out, but tough.


Joined Jul 23, 2002
Have you tried a different brand of chicken?
Also perhaps you are cooking to long on the high heat.
Are they skinless?
I find some brands are more tender than others...
Don't ask me which because I don't remember. I get a particular brand from the same purveyor because they are consistently tender and juice. I also only buy fresh chicken.
never frozen,
Joined Feb 4, 2001
I had this a couple of times too. I put it down to me allowing the breasts ( boneless ) to boil whist sauteeing. Later I thought that maybe these chickens were ex-laying hens culled because of age. Havn't had it happen lately.

Joined Jan 21, 2002
What temp are you cooking the chicken to? you may also want to let the breast sit for a minute after you take it out of the oven to let the juices redistribute and the meat relax a bit.
Joined Oct 29, 2002
Let the chicken rest, i have never had a problem with tough chicken, is it fresh and of a good quality? All i do is sear the breast put it in a hot oven 180-200c for about 20mins +- let it rest under the hot lamps for about 10mins and hey presto a lovely moist tender chicken breast.
Joined Feb 6, 2002
Point what??

BTW I agree with Spratts on this one. Although I marinate my chicken breasts sometimes but I think that's just helping the flavor not making it tender and juicy.


Staff member
Joined Mar 29, 2002
Jonny Utah was the Keanu Reeves character in the FBI/surf movie, "Point Break". That is the only reference I know of for that name.

Joined Jan 21, 2002
Marinating will add some moisture, but unless you're leaving it in a marinade overnight, it wont really get to the center of the meat. Marinades are usually just for flavor and exterior appearance.
Chicken is cooked through when there is still just the palest pink color at the center. that should be around 160 F. Also keep in mind that when you pull it off the heat or out of the oven at 160 F, it will still continue to cook a little. In addition, if you're cutting it open to see the color inside and then continue cooking it, it will almost always be dry.
Joined Nov 7, 2002
For a nine once chicken breast, heat your pan, trim all fat and sinue from the breast. season very gererously( You must remember alot of the seasoning will come of in the pan!)with salt and grond white pepper. Add athin film of grondnut or sunflower oil to the hot pan and sear the chicken skin side down until well coloured and crisp. Tun over and sear for 35-40 seconds then lift the breast and open out the inner fillet and sear again for 35-40 seconds. now transfer to a 175c oven for 8 minutes, take out to rest for another 8 minutes, the residual heat will cook out the meat and there you have it!
Joined Jul 18, 2000
a method that i have seen that works quite well,

is to mark the chicken breast on a grill, heat up a frying pan with water (up to 2/3rds of the chicken breast) - when the water begins to simmer, put the breast in, a couple of peppercorns and some bay leaves and put in oven at about 360-400 degs and cook until firm.

When i first saw this method, i thought it would toughen up the chicken, but it works really well.
Joined Dec 30, 1999
Chicken breast meat always seems tough and dry to me relative to any other meat of the chicken.

Try brining the meat first. Look here for instructions: brining.

Another option is to "velvet" the chicken. This is by far the best way in my opinion to get that meat as tender as possible, look here for methods.

Joined Nov 16, 2002

Have you tried marinating them in milk or "yoghourt".

Is the Chicken that you are buying already' been injected with a saline solution?

Wish I could help more ...

Latest posts

Top Bottom