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Old 11-14-2006, 06:24 PM   #1
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Question Chicken breasts

I don't know what's happening to my chicken breast dinners.

I am making the same recipes I've always made, but they are not coming out good. We could always cut them with a fork, but not now.

My husband said it's probably the chicken breasts and all the things they are injecting the chickens with. Lately, I have been buying the ones without the antibotics and hormones. It seems to be better, but sometimes they are tasteless.

Has anyone else experienced this? If so, what have you done? Any cooking hints or recipes to share?

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Old 11-14-2006, 07:03 PM   #2
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OH, just read something as I scanned the chickecn section of the threads. Someone posted that chicken breasts are almost always frozen and thawed in the supermarket for sale. It's supposed to be labeled previously thawed. I looked at my packages and it's not marked. But I suspect that is was previously frozen because when I bought it, it looked stiff...like it was frozen and not thawed out all the way. So, maybe this is the problem.
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Old 11-15-2006, 11:02 AM   #3
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Peppe, are you using the boneless skinnless kind? I've noticed a difference, too. The ones I used to get were cut by the butcher at our local market, and they were tender and delicious.
But when the Super Walmart moved in, our local market went out of business, and now all I get are the mass produced pieces of cardboard that have been frozen goodness knows how long.
Do like dark meat as well? If you do, it isn't that hard to cut up your own chicken and de-bone the breasts yourself.
Or, if you can still find a butcher somewhere, have some cut to order.
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Old 11-15-2006, 11:12 AM   #4
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How are you cooking them?
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Old 11-15-2006, 11:14 AM   #5
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I was just complaining to Alix the other day that the ones I cooked were extremely tough! Unless I pound them out and cook that way they just don't turn out anymore!

Jenny - the last ones I cooked I did not pound out - I browned and into the browning on the second side I added the marinating liquid that I had already boiled down. Did I overcook them? I covered and let cook for about 10 or so minutes - they were extremely tough. I then decided to slice them and served already sliced, they were still tough.
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Old 11-15-2006, 11:26 AM   #6
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Have you considered brining?
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Old 11-15-2006, 06:33 PM   #7
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I have many recipes. Sometimes I fry with breadcrumb topping; sometimes it's saute in a francese sauce. They seem to come out the best when when I make chicken parm. and that takes the longest too cook compared to the other 2 ways.

I am using the boneless skinless kind.

No, I haven't considered brining? I never even heard of that until this site. What does it do...marinate and make it tender?
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Old 11-15-2006, 06:48 PM   #8
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It is a way of getting more moisture (and flavor) into the meat. Basically you soak the meat in a salt water solution. The brine can have other things in to other than salt and water, but it has to have at least those two things.

It will changes the texture of the meat as well depending on how long you brine.

What I do is mix up some water and salt (I don't measure) so that it tastes pleasantly salty. Maybe about as salty as the ocean tastes or maybe just short of that. The water should be cold. I then put my boneless skinless breasts in for about 2 hours. I would not go more than 3 hours as I find the texture suffers after that long. Once it is brined then cook as you normally would.

Do a search on this site and you will find a lot more information on this technique.
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Old 11-15-2006, 06:55 PM   #9
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I have no issues with my chicken breasts (boneless, skinless) provided I buy them at Costco. I have found with any other brand that I have bought the texture has been weird and the flavour odd. So, my thought is just to find a brand with good quality and you will be laughing. Also, most of the time chicken breasts need to be done in some kind of sauce or just a very short cooking time or they go from yum to yuck very quickly. They are not a forgiving sort of meat. Just what I have found though.
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Old 11-15-2006, 07:10 PM   #10
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I've given up on the boneless/skinless ones. I think you are paying x.99/lb for the ice coating.

Now I only buy either whole chickens or skin on breast halves. Probably 3 or 4 packages at a time, when they are on sale. Maybe a dozen half breasts. I usually break them down to boneless breasts (they seem to be on the large side), and take off the inside muscle, pulling off the tendon, and wrap separately for anything that takes smaller pieces.

The skin and bones go into the stock bag in the freezer, for when I make stock.

The flavor is reasonably acceptable. For company, I run up to the local organic farm that has frozen free range chickens. Expensive, but they taste like my Grandmas!!!
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