"Discover Cooking, Discuss Life."

Go Back   Discuss Cooking - Cooking Forums > Recipes & Ingredients > Chicken, Turkey & other Fowl
Click Here to Login
Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
 
Old 10-22-2021, 05:09 PM   #1
Assistant Cook
 
Join Date: Oct 2021
Location: earth
Posts: 3
ISO help cooking chicken breasts

I'm sure this has been asked many times before but how do you cook chicken breasts without them becoming tough?

I have a couple of theories which didn't work out.

1. Leave chicken breasts out of the fridge to get to room temperature before cooking. = I don't think this works?

2. Freezing chicken breasts causes the water in them to freeze and when you thaw them the water is released so water is absorbed during cooking.

As I say neither of these things seem to make chicken soft!

So how do you do it?

ingenieur is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-22-2021, 05:43 PM   #2
Chef Extraordinaire
 
GotGarlic's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2007
Location: Southeastern Virginia
Posts: 26,120
Hi and welcome to Discuss Cooking

You're right - neither of those will work. The trick is easy - don't overcook it. Chicken breast is done at 160F. Use an instant-read thermometer to check the temperature.
__________________
Anyplace where people argue about food is a good place.
~ Anthony Bourdain, Parts Unknown, 2018
GotGarlic is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 10-22-2021, 05:47 PM   #3
Assistant Cook
 
Join Date: Oct 2021
Location: earth
Posts: 3
Could you estimate the right amount of cooking without a thermometer?

I know when I cook steak that there is a general rule of thumb for getting it right. Similarly for fish.

I have recipes I like for chicken which involve either frying or grilling the chicken breast and it's difficult to point a thermometer and get an accurate reading in those cases?
ingenieur is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-22-2021, 08:01 PM   #4
Chef Extraordinaire
 
GotGarlic's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2007
Location: Southeastern Virginia
Posts: 26,120
It depends on the cooking method you're using and how thick the chicken is. Fifteen to 20 usually is enough. You'll get a feel for it with practice.
__________________
Anyplace where people argue about food is a good place.
~ Anthony Bourdain, Parts Unknown, 2018
GotGarlic is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 10-22-2021, 08:13 PM   #5
Chef Extraordinaire
 
Sir_Loin_of_Beef's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2011
Location: Sandy Eggo
Posts: 11,285
Poach it. No, I don't mean steal some chickens from the King's hen house. You're not Robin of Loxley!

Select a pan that will hold your chicken breasts in a single layer. Fill the pan with water. aAd garlic cloves, sliced lemon and bay leaves (all optional) and bring to a boil. Add the chicken breasts, cover the pan and remove from heat. In 20 minutes you will have perfectly poached chicken breasts, tender and moist.
__________________
The older I get, the harder it is to tolerate STUPID!
Sir_Loin_of_Beef is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-23-2021, 03:23 AM   #6
Assistant Cook
 
Join Date: Oct 2021
Location: earth
Posts: 3
I like the poaching idea. Not thought of that before. Would it be nice to brown them a bit on a hot pan before poaching?
ingenieur is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-23-2021, 05:31 AM   #7
Chef Extraordinaire
 
Sir_Loin_of_Beef's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2011
Location: Sandy Eggo
Posts: 11,285
Aw, why do you want to go and ruin it?
__________________
The older I get, the harder it is to tolerate STUPID!
Sir_Loin_of_Beef is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-23-2021, 07:23 AM   #8
Master Chef
 
dragnlaw's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2013
Location: Waterdown, Ontario
Posts: 5,735
Hi ingenieur, Welcome to DC!

To take the temp of the meat, while roasting/baking, remove the pan from the oven, steady the meat with tongs and insert your thermometer. Return to oven. In a frying pan, just steady with the tongs and insert thermometer.

Without a thermometer, you will have to pierce and make a tiny slice with a knife to see if the meat is done!

Use your recipe as a basic guide line for time. Maybe start 5 or 10 minutes before they say it is done to give you a visual on the difference for when it is still not finished as to when it is.
Thermometers are really not that expensive and well worth the investment.

I poach mine a little different, well actually, almost every time I poach it IS a different routine.
I've poached from frozen, halved or whole. I generally use chicken broth or as Sir LOB has suggested, your own flavourings. I've also put the meat in directly and brought to a boil, or boil first then add meat.
BUT - once it has come to a boil - REDUCE to a simmer. Simmer for about 10 minutes and then take off heat and let sit for another 10 minutes. Keep in mind that the size of the pieces will be different in timing. This is all assuming that the chicken is boneless and skinless. (I've never done it with them, only without)
Take out a piece and check it!

Just try not to overcook. It will get tough and possibly dry once out of the poaching liquid.

I also strain and save the flavoured poaching liquid.

Hope this helps. Let us know how you get on.
__________________
Meddle not in the affairs of dragons for you are crunchy and taste good with ketchup.
dragnlaw is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-23-2021, 04:30 PM   #9
Certified/Certifiable
 
Chief Longwind Of The North's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2004
Location: USA,Michigan
Posts: 11,671
Boiling water will eventually overheat, and overcook the chicken, making it dry, and tough. Poaching is much more gentle, cooking in barely simmering water. This makes it harder to overcook the chicken.

My three methods for juicy, tender chicken are as follows:

Chicken fingers:
Cut chicken breasts into 1/4 inch thick strips. Combine 1 cup flor with 1 tsp. salt, 1 tbs. coarse grind black pepper, and 1 tbs. granulated garlic. Mage egg wash from 1 egg, beaten with 2 tbs. milk. Dredge chicken strip in flour, the egg wash, and again in flour. Heat 2 inches of oil in frying pan until is shimmers 9360' F.) Shake excess flour from the chicken; and place into the hot oil. taking care not to overcrowd the pan. Fry until lightly brow. Flip and repeat. Drain on cooling rack above paper towels.

Oven fried chicken.
Make seasoned flor as in above recipe. Lightly dust onto chicken breasts. Fry in hot oil until lightly browned on all sides. Transfer to foil-lined baking sheet. Roast for 40 minutes in 375' F. oven. This chicken will squirt you when you bite into it. Have napkins ready.

Pan-Fried Boneless/Skinless Chicken Breast
Place breast onto parchment paper. Cover with a second sheet. Pound to an even thickness of a half inch. Dredge in seasoned flour, egg wash, the panko bread crumbs. Fry in 350' F. oil until medium brown. Flip and repeat.

Velveted Chicken:
Combine 2 tbs. lite soy sauce (I like Kikkoman), 3 tbs. rice wine vinegar, and 1 tsp. cornstarch into a slurry. Cut chicken into small strips, about 2 inches long. Place in the slurry. Let marinate for 20 minutes. Heat oil to 320' F., or water to 200' F. Place chicken strips into the oil, or water, and cook until the coating turns opaque. Remove and drain on paper towels. Add to stir fries, or other Asian dishes.

Seeeeya; Chief Longwind of the North
__________________
“No amount of success outside the home can compensate for failure within the home…"

Check out my blog for the friendliest cooking instruction on the net. Go ahead. You know you want to.- https://gwnorthsfamilycookin.wordpress.com/
Chief Longwind Of The North is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-25-2021, 09:35 AM   #10
Chef Extraordinaire
 
jennyema's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2002
Location: Boston and Cape Cod
Posts: 10,283
You really do need to use a meat thermometer. You cant time a chicken breast because they vary so much in size and thickness.

You can buy a cheap one in the grocery store. Test it first with boiling water.

Cook to 160 and let rest for 5 minutes, covered
__________________
Less is not more. More is more and more is fabulous.
jennyema is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-25-2021, 02:52 PM   #11
Sous Chef
 
Join Date: Apr 2011
Posts: 728
not sure how chicken breasts run in UK - but in USA producers have gone hen wild for bigger thicker massive chicken breasts. a single breast can easily approach one pound / 450g and thickness approaching 5 cm

I have found the thickness to be a major issue. by the time the inner bits are done, the outer bits are overdone.

I use a pair of round sticks to "nicely" slice the breasts in half - here's one pix, dowels not shown, but you can see how the breast has been split thickness wise. I have found 'cooking to perfection' much easier with the thinner pieces.
Attached Thumbnails
Click image for larger version

Name:	IMG_0637.jpg
Views:	19
Size:	85.0 KB
ID:	49501  
dcSaute is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-25-2021, 08:25 PM   #12
Chef Extraordinaire
 
taxlady's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2010
Location: near Montreal, Quebec
Posts: 26,745
Send a message via Skype™ to taxlady
Quote:
Originally Posted by dcSaute View Post
not sure how chicken breasts run in UK - but in USA producers have gone hen wild for bigger thicker massive chicken breasts. a single breast can easily approach one pound / 450g and thickness approaching 5 cm

I have found the thickness to be a major issue. by the time the inner bits are done, the outer bits are overdone.

I use a pair of round sticks to "nicely" slice the breasts in half - here's one pix, dowels not shown, but you can see how the breast has been split thickness wise. I have found 'cooking to perfection' much easier with the thinner pieces.
I have a really hard time cutting chicken breasts in half to make them thinner. What do you do with the dowels to make it easier?
__________________
May you live as long as you wish and love as long as you live.
Robert A. Heinlein
taxlady is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 10-25-2021, 08:34 PM   #13
Certified Pretend Chef
 
Andy M.'s Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2004
Location: Massachusetts
Posts: 48,420
You can use wood chopsticks. Lay the breast between two chopsticks and use them as a guide for your knife as to slice horizontally to halve the breast.
__________________
"If you want to make an apple pie from scratch, you must first create the universe." -Carl Sagan
Andy M. is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-25-2021, 09:06 PM   #14
Chef Extraordinaire
 
taxlady's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2010
Location: near Montreal, Quebec
Posts: 26,745
Send a message via Skype™ to taxlady
Quote:
Originally Posted by Andy M. View Post
You can use wood chopsticks. Lay the breast between two chopsticks and use them as a guide for your knife as to slice horizontally to halve the breast.
I don't understand at all.
__________________
May you live as long as you wish and love as long as you live.
Robert A. Heinlein
taxlady is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 10-26-2021, 01:53 AM   #15
Master Chef
 
caseydog's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2017
Location: Dallas
Posts: 5,712
Butterfly your chicken breasts, or use a meat mallet to pound them to an equal thickness.

The problem with whole boneless breasts is that but the time the middle is done, the much thinner ends are way overcooked, dry and tough. Butterflying them, or pounding them to a uniform thickness gets the whole breast done at the same time. The thinner meat also cooks faster, and cooking fast is important with white meat chicken.

Butterflying is really not hard. You'll need a long enough knife -- longer than the Brest by an inch or two. Then lay the breast flat, and slice horizontally with the palm of your had on top of the breast. Use slow stokes.




CD
__________________
“People say nothing is impossible, but I do nothing every day.” Winnie-the-Pooh
caseydog is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-26-2021, 06:45 AM   #16
Master Chef
 
dragnlaw's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2013
Location: Waterdown, Ontario
Posts: 5,735
Depending on how thin you want to slice them.

For really thin slices, Chopsticks would work if you pounded them first, yes.

But I would think that chopsticks are a little small for a regular slice in half. I would find/get thicker dowels. You have multiple choices of wood dowel sizes at a hardware store (Rona, Reno, etc), Michaels or maybe even Ted's Hobby shop (down by the lake in the Pte Claire shopping centre)
__________________
Meddle not in the affairs of dragons for you are crunchy and taste good with ketchup.
dragnlaw is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-26-2021, 09:14 AM   #17
Sous Chef
 
Join Date: Apr 2011
Posts: 728
this is 1/2 inch dowels for chicken:
Attached Thumbnails
Click image for larger version

Name:	IMG_1710.jpg
Views:	9
Size:	56.5 KB
ID:	49524  
dcSaute is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-26-2021, 09:16 AM   #18
Chef Extraordinaire
 
taxlady's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2010
Location: near Montreal, Quebec
Posts: 26,745
Send a message via Skype™ to taxlady
I have no problem butterflying pork. My issue trying to cut chicken breast into to thin slices is that the side that was attached to the bone has uneven loose bits. I may have to take a picture next time I cook chicken breast. I don't have a problem cooking them whole without them drying out.
__________________
May you live as long as you wish and love as long as you live.
Robert A. Heinlein
taxlady is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 10-26-2021, 09:16 AM   #19
Sous Chef
 
Join Date: Apr 2011
Posts: 728
these are thinner for rouladen:
Attached Thumbnails
Click image for larger version

Name:	IMG_0973.jpg
Views:	9
Size:	75.2 KB
ID:	49525  
dcSaute is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-26-2021, 09:18 AM   #20
Chef Extraordinaire
 
taxlady's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2010
Location: near Montreal, Quebec
Posts: 26,745
Send a message via Skype™ to taxlady
Quote:
Originally Posted by dcSaute View Post
these are thinner for rouladen:
Thank you for the picture. Now I understand.
__________________
May you live as long as you wish and love as long as you live.
Robert A. Heinlein
taxlady is online now   Reply With Quote
Reply

Tags
chicken, cooking

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off




All times are GMT -5. The time now is 03:41 PM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 4
Copyright ©2000 - 2021, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.