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Old 10-14-2021, 11:49 AM   #1
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Tough Grocery Store chicken

The chicken breasts I buy at the local grocery stores (Food Lion, Harris Teeter, Lowes Foods) are usually pre-packaged and very large. I struggle with being able to cook these to where they are not tough.

Not sure whether to blame the meat quality or the cook :)

I've tried cutting them in half and pounding them so they are of even thickness. Tried marinating in mild marinades. Nothing seems to work. They are never as tender or juicy as that you buy at the restaurant. I suspect their chicken is loaded with a solution to make them that way but not sure.

Open to any tips.

Rut

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Old 10-14-2021, 12:27 PM   #2
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Might you expand on your cooking process? Method, temperature, time? That might make it easier for others to offer suggestions.

Are you trying to fry, bake, roast, boil?
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Old 10-14-2021, 12:31 PM   #3
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I´m by no means an expert on chicken, but sounds like they´re OLD chickens!
Over here in Venezuela there´s a Christmas speciality called "Ensalada de Gallina" ( literally, hen salad). It has to be made with "hen", and the bird is cooked for ages until it´s soft. I can only imagine it´s because of the age; a bit like the difference between lamb and mutton.
There are two obvious ways of tenderising a chicken. One is to marinate it - Indian cuisine uses yoghurt, and the chicken becomes very soft and juicy. The other way is to brine it, which I understand is a popular method in the US.
I´ve used the first method many times, but have never brined a chicken, but I´m sure there are folks here on the board who know about that and who can give you a helping hand.
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Old 10-14-2021, 01:28 PM   #4
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As Ginny has asked, just how are you cooking them. I would be surprised that those chains that you mention would not differentiate between types of chicken breast. Broilers, fryers, etc.

Yes, older ones have a tendency to be big, but not necessarily so nowadays. Young ones can be huge as well.

You could try brining them. That should take care of the tough part. I've brined pork chops and chicken breasts and pan fried them til completely cooked thru. And they were not tough.
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Old 10-14-2021, 01:42 PM   #5
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Perhaps it is the cook! I have tried pan frying and grilling. Both ways are usually tough unless pounded really thin. Usually use a thermometer to verify doneness.
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Old 10-14-2021, 01:44 PM   #6
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Chicken breasts are cooked through when they're 160°F on the inside. They get tough and dry when they're overcooked.

As others have said, it would help us troubleshoot the problem if you describe in more detail how you're cooking them and for how long.
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Old 10-14-2021, 01:54 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GotGarlic View Post
Chicken breasts are cooked through when they're 160°F on the inside. They get tough and dry when they're overcooked.

As others have said, it would help us troubleshoot the problem if you describe in more detail how you're cooking them and for how long.
And, to what temperature are you cooking them?
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Old 10-14-2021, 02:04 PM   #8
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Usually to 160-165.
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Old 10-14-2021, 04:12 PM   #9
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Based on your answers...I'm betting on older chickens or you are using too much heat and cooking it quick. Maybe check out some YouTube videos? Or Alton Brown's website. he usually explains things from a more scientific approach and that might lend insight?

In any event, good luck!
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Old 10-14-2021, 04:16 PM   #10
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Pound to an even thickness of about a quarter inch. Soak in a brine of 2 cups water to 1 tbs saly for 30minutes, or even overnight. You can add other flavors, such as garlic, onion, ginger, etc. to the brin. Remove the chicken from the brine and let come to room temp. Make seasoned flour of your choice, alomg with Panko bread crumbs in a seperate bowl. M?ake eggwash of egg and a splash of milk. redge dry chicken into flour, coating completely, the into eggwash, then into panko. Fry until golden if 360' F. oil until golden on all sides.

Version 2, and my favorite:
Preheat oven to 375' F. Dredge bone in chicken parts in egg wash. Remove to parchment paper covered with seasoned flour. Flip the flour onto chicken parts. Pan fry in two inches of hot oil, turning just as the chicken starts to brown, until all sides are very lightly browned. eason with S & P.

Place chicken onto foil lined baking sheet and put into the oven for 45 minutes. This chicken comes out very tender, cooked through, and so juicy it will squirt you as you bite into it.

Fried Boneless Chicken Breast with Herb Butter, or, Chicken Kiev
There are several versions of Chicken Kiev, each with its own herbed butter variant. All use the same basic technique for creating this classic recipe. What is important in this dish is to balance the herbs and/or spices, and to seal the butter in the chicken roll.

We will use the fry and bake cooking methods to produce tender and juicy chicken in this recipe.
Ingredients:
6 Boneless Chicken Breasts
12 tbs. Butter
Salt
2 cups fresh Bread Crumbs
1 large egg
¼ cup Milk
1 cup Flour
2 cups Sunflower oil
½ tsp. Sage
¼ tsp. Minced Garlic
1 tsp. Chopped Parsley
½ tsp. Finely ground Black Pepper

Combine the egg and milk until a smooth egg-wash is formed. Pound the chicken breasts with a flat mallet until about ¼ inch thick. Dry the meat with paper towels. Sprinkle them lightly with salt.

Combine the butter and herbs. Place 2 tsp. of the butter mixture onto each breast and roll the meat into a tube. Take care to seal the ends by pinching together. Secure with toothpicks.

Dip in the egg-wash, and then in the flour. Dip again in the egg-wash and then in the breadcrumbs. Let dry on a cooling rack for about five minutes.

Preheat the oil in a hot frying pan until fragrant. At the same time, preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Gently place the breaded chicken rolls into the hot oil and cook on each side until lightly browned. Transfer to a rectangular cake pan and bake for an additional twenty minutes. Serve with brown or wild rice, or with whole grain pasta, and a green veggie.

Smoldering Chicken

If you love Hot Wings*

If you love hot wings, then I have an outstanding barbecue chicken recipe for you. I call it Smoldering Chicken. It doesn’t burn your mouth, but leaves a warm glow. And the flavor is amazing. Trust me, when you read the ingredients, you will probably think that this chicken is beyond the taste buds of ordinary mortals. It looks like it will be blistering hot. But it isn’t. It will surprise you. (By the way, this is my eldest daughter’s, and husband’s favorite chicken. She made sure that I wrote it down after creating it.)

The technique given is for use with a kettle-style charcoal grill, but can easily be adapted to any covered grill or barbecue, gas, wood, or charcoal. You can even bake them in the oven if you so desire. Enjoy.

Sauce:
1/3 cup Sriracha brand Hot Sauce
2 tbs. Tabasco Pepper Sauce
1 tbs. good soy sauce
½ cup wateer

8 to 10 chicken thighs, or breasts), with the skin removed

Mix the sauce ingredients together. Pour into a 1 gallon freezer bag & add the chicken pieces. Move everything around inside the bag until the chicken is well coated with the sauce. Press the air from the bag and place it in the refrigerator for two hours. Make your side dishes during this marinating time.

Fire up the grill with a solid bed of charcoal and let it go until the coals are glowing. Place the chicken on the grill, leaving space between the pieces. Cover and close all vents half way. Cook for 7 minutes. Remove the lid and turn over. Cover and cook for 7 additional minutes. Test with an instant read meat thermometer. Remove the chicken when the temperature reads 160 degrees.

I hope you try some of these recipes. I think you will be very leased with the results.

Seeeeya; Chief Longwind of the North
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