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Old 04-17-2009, 08:04 PM   #1
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Help - dry chicken breasts

My husband prefers chicken breasts to thighs. No matter what recipe I have tried, the meat is always too dry for my taste. Is there a trick to keeping the breast meat moist and juicy?

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Old 04-17-2009, 09:01 PM   #2
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Hi, Mum. Dry chicken is caused by overcooking. Chicken breasts are very lean so they dry out easily. Chicken must be cooked to at least 161 F. Shoot for an internal temperature of 161-170 F. Any more and you should expect dry breasts.

One solution is to brine the breasts before cooking them. This adds flavor and locks in some moisture.

To make a basic brine, add salt to water so it's about as salty as seawater. Soak boneless skinless breasts for a couple of hours in the fridge before cooking. Rinse under cold water to wash off excess salt.

Some take the opportunity to add other flavors when brining by adding sugar, and other flavorings to the brine.
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Old 04-17-2009, 09:19 PM   #3
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I second the brining. And if you can get air chilled chicken, it's FABulous. It can be found at places like Whole Foods, New Leaf markets, and other natural food marketers. It's night and day to regular chicken.
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Old 04-17-2009, 09:19 PM   #4
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It also helps if you buy bone-in chicken breasts and leave the skins on for cooking. You can remove the skins before serving, and even easily pull the bones out, but both of the afore-mentioned will help keep the meat moist, along with not overcooking, as Andy M. said.

I really like cook them in a skillet...season chicken, brown quickly in a little olive oil (or butter if you dare), turn heat down, add soup or sauce and vegetable of your choice. Add more liquid (water, broth or wine), cover and simmer on medium until vegies are cooked and chicken is tender.

I often use Cambell's condensed Golden Mushroom, a can of mushrooms, sliced carrots, potato wedges, pimentos or julienned sweet pepper,
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Old 04-17-2009, 10:05 PM   #5
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dry chicken breasts

Thanks for the replies. With the heart disease that runs in both our families, I hesitate to use any more salt than is absolutely necessary. I also cook for my dad, who is on a heart diet -- definitely sans the salt. Would using a Mrs. Dash product in the soak have the same result?
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Old 04-17-2009, 10:19 PM   #6
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I love to bread my Chix breast with egg and corn flake crumbs lightly saute and finish in the oven, they are always moist and tender.
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Old 04-17-2009, 10:19 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by S.TX.Mum View Post
...Would using a Mrs. Dash product in the soak have the same result?

Sorry, you need the salt for a brine to work.

Your next best bet is to be very careful about not overcooking.
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Old 04-18-2009, 10:24 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HMGgal View Post
I second the brining. And if you can get air chilled chicken, it's FABulous. It can be found at places like Whole Foods, New Leaf markets, and other natural food marketers. It's night and day to regular chicken.
Whenever and I mean always, my group always, always tells me that I got the chicken from Whole Foods. To be honest, I am just grateful to have it done that I don't notice the difference. It is certainly a shock to have them tell me this. HMGgal, I am thankful you told me this about Whole Foods. I just know the difference in price. That to me weighs a big part in where I buy the chicken. If not Whole Foods, then I do get brand Purdue. But as for the breast being dry, has to be prepared to be safe it is right. I just feel it seems like it is always eaten within few minutes and took more time to prepare. Just feel it is worth it.
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Old 04-18-2009, 05:47 PM   #9
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i buy chicken breasts in large bags, are brined already, same for thighs. both are yummy using panko crumbs, dredge in beaten egg and then in panko. crispy on outside, tender and juicy on the inside. just don't over cook it. have done in oven as well as skillet.
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Old 04-19-2009, 12:12 PM   #10
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Rub the chicken breasts all over with dry herbs - this adds a lot of flavor so you can skip the salt - and make a foil pocket with a little oil, white wine or champagne vinegar and lemon slices. Seal the foil pocket all over to no liquid escapes and bake at 350 for about 30 minutes. Make sure to let it sit for a few minutes before cutting to all the juices don't run out - that will definitely contribute to making it dry. I use a meat thermometer because I never think they look done when they are - that might help, too.
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