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Old 09-12-2009, 08:43 AM   #1
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Preparing Chicken Breast for Cold Eats

One of my major challenges is preparing chicken breast for cold eats. Especially with Salad, like ceasar or the like.

The major obstacle is the smell that chicken becomes after a day in the fridge. I hate it!

I've bought cold chicken salads that had no issues whatsoever but I haven't been able to replicate it at home. I've tried everything, like marinating in Lemon juice, vinegar, coriander... boiling with cardamom/cinnamon/bay, and it still has this awful smell!

Does anyone have a method or technique that they use? or even something you think might help?

Cheers.

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Old 09-12-2009, 08:53 AM   #2
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I've never tried it specifically with chicken, but I have with wild game - soaking it in milk over night seems to do a fair job of removing funky aromas and flavors.
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Old 09-12-2009, 09:02 AM   #3
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Awesome! Thank you... I'll definitely give it a try. Would that be after marinating? Or can I put my marinate with the milk?
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Old 09-12-2009, 09:15 AM   #4
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I think I would soak in milk over night - wipe dry and then marinade for a couple of hours just before cooking. I wouldn't mix your marinade with the milk.
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Old 09-12-2009, 07:41 PM   #5
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Thank you very much. I'll try it and let you know.
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Old 09-13-2009, 11:13 AM   #6
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Ok, I'm curious. I'd never noticed a smell coming off refrigerated chicken. I used some last night that had been in the fridge for a day or two, and didn't notice any particular smell. Usually I have a pretty good sniffer. So I'm wondering, how do you prepare the chicken that you're refrigerating? I have a theory.
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Old 09-13-2009, 11:48 PM   #7
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Doesn't Baking soda work?
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Old 09-14-2009, 04:18 AM   #8
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When I buy fresh chicken breast, I marinate it and either grill it or stir fry it.

After one day, I freeze it unless I am certain I'm going to use it.

I was told that the kind of chicken we have in Australia is smelly, but I seem to be the only person complaining

Cheers.

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Originally Posted by apple*tart View Post
Ok, I'm curious. I'd never noticed a smell coming off refrigerated chicken. I used some last night that had been in the fridge for a day or two, and didn't notice any particular smell. Usually I have a pretty good sniffer. So I'm wondering, how do you prepare the chicken that you're refrigerating? I have a theory.
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Old 09-14-2009, 08:03 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kalmen View Post
When I buy fresh chicken breast, I marinate it and either grill it or stir fry it...
Have you ried cooking it plain, without any marination or spices? Perhaps the smell is not coming from the chicken.
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Old 09-14-2009, 08:18 AM   #10
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As someone who has been buying & cooking chicken for well-nigh 30+ years now; from sources ranging from small local free-range producers to commercial organic to regular commercial supermarket fare - I've never EVER had any chicken "smell", unless it was "off". Which leads to the question - where are you buying your poultry from? Perhaps it's time to change brands or markets.
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Old 09-14-2009, 08:46 AM   #11
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With the chicken being raised in Australia, and chickens ARE what they EAT, there may be some feed or plant that imparts a particular flavor to them, in which case either you cover it up with a strong sauce, buy chicken from some other source (Malaysia for instance), or don't eat it.

I'm truly sorry about that!
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Old 09-14-2009, 08:57 AM   #12
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wy not, slowly poach the chicken and let it cool down in the juice, then put a lit on it and put it in the fridge

don't boil the chicken, make sure it stay's under cooking point..

don't forget to season the stock , with salt, pepper and anything else you like
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Old 09-14-2009, 10:14 AM   #13
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Well there goes my theory! Sorry, I'm not sure what to tell you. It's definitely possible that the smell is coming from the marinade...have you considered skipping the marinading step and either cooking as-is or brining then cooking?
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Old 09-14-2009, 10:19 AM   #14
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Well there goes my theory! Sorry, I'm not sure what to tell you. It's definitely possible that the smell is coming from the marinade...have you considered skipping the marinading step and either cooking as-is or brining then cooking?
Good point!

But whatever the cause, Kalmen, I'm sure that we would all be interested in the outcome of this problem! What did you finally decide to do? I know that I'd like to know!
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Old 09-15-2009, 07:30 AM   #15
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Hello All,

This post is definitely eye opening for me. Thank you all for your input.

I want to make it clear, though, that when I am getting the chicken fresh, it has no smell. I buy them in bulk 10kg chicken breasts from my poultry supplier and they are very good, but when cooked fresh or thawed and cooked and then eaten instantly.

My trouble begins when I cook it for tomorrow's lunch or dinner, and put it in pyrex container and keep it in the fridge (I'm preparing my meals for work), they have this annoying chicken smell that puts me off, I don't know how to describe it... The only time this hasn't shown is when I killed it with curry powder and spices, and I didn't get to taste any chicken.

I have the same problem when doing the same chicken in a ceaser salad, it is the same smell when tuna touches cucumber... and when I have it at a restaurant, it tastes fine.

I tried soaking in milk over night (which has substantially improved the flavor - Thank you!) but when I tried it the next day, it still had that taste...

I'm going to try the rest of the suggestions one by one. I'm going to poach it next time, I just have one concern about salmonella? No need to boil?

And, I'm not ruling out the supplier, as I will look for another source, but this is something I am determined to figure out.

I do realize that I am extremely picky, and have made my mother's job much tougher, especially with fish, but because I've had really good stuff, I'm sure I can do the same.

I just need to figure out what I am missing.

Kalmen.
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Old 09-15-2009, 08:15 AM   #16
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Keep it at a simmer, poach your chicken. Poaching it in a well-flavored liquid helps, like chicken broth with carrots, celery, onion, bay leave, touch of clove.
I know what you mean by the smell, although it's not something I've had trouble with. It's not a bad smell, just a chicken smell. Maybe your chickens are a bit more "gamey" than ours here. Poach the breasts, cool in the liquid as Bert suggested. I find the smell more pronounced when the chicken has dried out a bit, maybe keep it moist in the fridge.
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Old 09-15-2009, 09:33 AM   #17
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Kalmen - "poaching" the chicken doesn't mean you end up eating it undercooked. It just means you're cooking the chicken in liquid at a low to medium simmer until it's completely cooked through. You don't want to cook it at a full boil, as your chicken would either end up very tough &/or would disintegrate during cooking.

As far as the smell, since it's not due to the poultry being "off", you a) might just have to realize that this is your own personal quirk & learn to live with it, or b) give up eating cold home-cooked chicken.
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Old 09-20-2009, 11:11 AM   #18
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You may be overcooking it.
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Old 09-20-2009, 12:20 PM   #19
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I disagree. How would overcooking it affect the way it smells?
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Old 09-20-2009, 12:26 PM   #20
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I also have this problem with left over chicken, and with eggs that have sat a while. For instance if someone has left egg shells in the sink or the trash I can smell it.

It's a gamey, sort of dairy scent. Imagine if you left a glass of milk on the counter and it came to room temp. smell that and you'll understand. It can be really off putting.
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