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Old 09-11-2013, 12:19 PM   #11
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I almost gave up on cooking chicken breasts UNTIL I discovered a much better way to cook them so they don't come out tough. If you cook them or bake them in a covered dish in the oven with their skin and bones (split breasts). They always come out tender. Then just remove them and simply through them in your pan with spices and veggies just before serving to roll them in with the spice. Now I go even one step further. I just bake a whole chicken and turn the leftovers into fajitas. Where I live you can get whole chickens much cheaper than breasts when they go on sale.
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Old 09-11-2013, 12:35 PM   #12
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An important generality about the difference between cooking modern meat line chickens and cooking historic breed chickens is that for the latter there is a bigger distinction in time needed to cook the light and dark meat. Modern meat line chickens, being all butchered within a very young age range, all have leg meat nearly as tender as the breast meat, which will cook about as fast. The historic breed chicken has had more exercise over a longer time before it is butchered, which greatly increases flavor but also increases cooking time for those muscles. This becomes noticeable in the fryer age range: the breast meat of a fryer will reach optimal doneness noticeably before the legs. The difference increases as the butchering age increases, and seems pronounced in birds over one year. The cook has to plan how to prevent the breast meat from getting overcooked, and dry, by the time the leg meat is done. Good cooks will find many ways to achieve this end, and the results are well worthwhile.

I usually cook mixed pieces instead of a whole chicken. I like dark mean and DH likes white meat. I put the dark me on to cook 15-20 minutes before adding the white meat to have it all done at the same time. I like my dark meat done really, really well. I don't like to see the red next to the bone that happens sometimes when the meat isn't cooked long enough.

I don't usually have a problem when roasting a turkey. It is usually all done and not dry. But then, I don't eat the white meat, so I don't care if it's dry. LOL Bad, Bad wife!
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Old 09-11-2013, 12:40 PM   #13
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The red color next to the bone is not necessarily a sign that the meat is not done. Often, especially in the case of young chicken, the marrow will leach through the bone and the result is a red "stain", if you will, on the meat. Your meat thermometer is your friend.
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Old 09-11-2013, 01:10 PM   #14
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The red color next to the bone is not necessarily a sign that the meat is not done. Often, especially in the case of young chicken, the marrow will leach through the bone and the result is a red "stain", if you will, on the meat. Your meat thermometer is your friend.

I do use an instant read thermometer, but I still don't like the red. I haven't actually seen it for a while.
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Old 09-11-2013, 01:14 PM   #15
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Originally Posted by CarolPa View Post
I do use an instant read thermometer, but I still don't like the red. I haven't actually seen it for a while.
If your thermometer tells you it's cooked but there is still red at the bone, what do you do?
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Old 09-11-2013, 09:00 PM   #16
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If your thermometer tells you it's cooked but there is still red at the bone, what do you do?

I let my dark meat cook so long that there is no longer any red. There is a restaurant where I order a half roasted chicken for my meal. I eat the white meat and bring the dark meat home and cook it some more for the next day for my lunch.

Remember our discussion about cleaning my new self cleaning oven? Well that was because I left the chicken in way too long and it splashed grease all over the oven. There was no red in that chicken.
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