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Old 05-01-2007, 11:43 AM   #11
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I'm a student of the game, i know it's against convention

I realize what both of you are saying, for real. I don't go around braising tender meat, i know it's not the rule. The thing is, i can't figure out how else this guy cooked these breasts, because this was years before i learned how to cook.

I remember something about 250 degrees for a couple of hours, and white wine. That is it. They were boneless skinless.

I would just call up the dude and ask, but it was my best friend's mom's boyfriend, and she kicked him to the curb already.

Jenny - I think you may be right. I don't particularly remember it being too moist, but very tender, and the flavor was great. It was served with liquid from the pan so that may have masked the dryness. It was an interesting dish is all, unlike any chicken i've had since.

I think i'll just try to replicate it to the best of my ability and see what happens.
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Old 05-01-2007, 11:49 AM   #12
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Big,

I think you're right about the liquid masking the dryness of the meat.

I suggest an experiment. Try to recreate his recipe, then sometime and compare it to a breast that you have poached in a seasoned liquid. Bring the liquid just to a boil, turn heat down so it is very gently simmering for 10 min. Then cover and take off heat for 15 more.
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Old 05-01-2007, 11:53 AM   #13
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poaching chicken breasts works well. I prefer to work with chicken on the bone...gives way more flavor. Yes one could braise/fricassee a tough old bird, but today's chicken is raised to be tender and lean. So if you want a juicy melt in your mouth hunk of bird I would poach or sear then roast.
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Old 05-01-2007, 03:50 PM   #14
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Quote:
I remember something about 250 degrees for a couple of hours, and white wine. That is it. They were boneless skinless.
could it have been sous vide?
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Old 05-01-2007, 05:22 PM   #15
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I would assume you are trying to infuse the chicken breast with the flavors of salsa and beer. To that end, try soaking the chicken for a couple hours in a solution of baking soda and water. This step aloone will insure melt-in-your-mouth-tender chicken. Make sure that you thouroughly rinse all of the chicken to remove as much of baking soda as possible. Then, quickly sear the chicken in a heavy pan, just until lightly browned. You might even want to dip it in egg-wash and flour before searing it. Finally, place the chicken into a convered casserole dish along with your mixture of beer and salsa and place in a 375 degree oven for 20 minutes.

This technique will maintain the juiciness of the chicken while the coating absorbs the other flavors and creates a rich sauce. The end result would be exceptional with rice and saute'd mushrooms (of course I would omit the beer as I detest that particular flavor).

I know from experience that braised chicken comes out very dry and tough. Unlike a chuck roast, chicken breast meat has very little connecting tissue to break down. The meat fibers are more akin to very lean pork and will dry out and toughen up if they are heated much beyond 165' F.

Another tack you might want to take with this is to dice the chicken into half-inch cubes, coat with a beer batter, deep or pan fry until golden brown, then drop into the salsa and serve. I would use the following for the batter.

1/2 cup AP flour, 1/2 cup cornstarch, 1/2 tsp. salt, 2 tsp. active-dry yeast, or 2 tsp. baking powder. Mix with 1 lare egg, 1/2 cup beer and 1/2 cup water.

In this variation, you will get the flavor of the beer or yeast, coupled with the salsa. The salsa can be used as a dipping sauce, or poured over the tempura chicken balls. Garnish wiht fresh cilantro leaves and enjoy.

Seeeeeeya; Goodweed of the North
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Old 05-01-2007, 06:12 PM   #16
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Chef June, not familiar with it...

Goodweed, you are always so full of ideas!

Thank you!

Ive never heard of baking soda to tenderize chicken?????? sounds interesting...
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Old 05-01-2007, 06:15 PM   #17
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Okay - no, it was not sous vide...now that i look back, i remember the dish was cooked in a 13x9 pyrex casserole dish. not sure if it was covered or not.
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