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Chicken Breasts

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fergusmccool Jun 19, 2007 10:40 PM

Why do people love them so much, when they taste like corrugated cardboard? Would they still eat it, if it was as bad for you as bacon? Also, I recently read the labels for bacon and chicken breasts (at the market), and noticed that per pound, there was more cholesterol in skinless breasts, than for bacon. And mind you, that would be before the bacon was cooked, in which case, much of the elements of bacon would be rendered out. I am assuming that you readers know that cholesterol and fat are two separate things. What's up with that?

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  1. Vikzen RE: fergusmccool Jun 20, 2007 02:13 PM

    Since no one's replied yet, I can at least partially answer your question with some certainty. If the chicken breasts you're eating when out taste like cardboard, this is due to the poor quality mass production of chickens. It's also probably due to their being overcooked, given people's fear of salmonella, or being cooked and then reheated, doubly drying them out. If you want to try chicken breasts that aren't shriveled like jerky, and you are willing to cook, the best brand on the market today is Rosie's (organic, free range). These cost more than the hyper-industrially produced chickens from Arkansas but you get what you pay for. I know your plight and for the same reason rarely order chicken when out. It just doesn't have that juicy plump goodness that a yummy Rosie's breast has.

    As for bacon, you're probably less likely to eat the same volume/quantity/weight of bacon that you might chicken.

    Chicken and bacon are a great combo, by the way - creamed chicken with bacon and corn over polenta comes to mind, and just last night I whipped up some pounded pan fried buttermilk/cornmeal coated (Rosie's) chicken breasts with a bacon/scallion/thyme gravy (from a recent issue of Gourmet). Oops - home cooking!

    1 Reply
    1. re: Vikzen
      Ruth Lafler RE: Vikzen Jun 20, 2007 03:46 PM

      While I agree with your overall point, I have to disagree about Rosie's. At least here in the SF Bay Area there are far superior chickens. In particular, air-chilled chickens are better than chickens that are water cooled: the water bath allows juices to leach out and water to soak in, producing chicken that is flabby and waterlogged compared to air-chilled chicken. If they're available, try SmartChicken or Mary's Organic air-chilled chicken. My sister dry brines her chicken, and says when she moved and had to switch from SmartChicken to Rosie's, she was shocked at how much more water the Rosie's exuded during brining. And of course, you're paying by the pound for chicken that's plumped up with water!

    2. ArikaDawn RE: fergusmccool Jun 20, 2007 04:24 PM

      Perhaps you aren't eating chicken breasts that are well prepared.
      None of the chicken breasts I prepare ever taste like corrugated cardboard, and moreover, tend to be quite enjoyable. I also find chicken breasts to be very versatile and therefore a great staple to have in the house. This is not to mention the fact that they are a good source of protein and easy to prepare on a regular basis and at short notice. To sum it up, I like 'em and unashamedly so.

      1 Reply
      1. re: ArikaDawn
        MMRuth RE: ArikaDawn Jun 21, 2007 03:56 AM

        I agree - my husband prefers dark meat, I love white meat, so a roast chicken is perfect for us. That said, there are a number of dishes I prepare with chicken breasts that leave the meat nice and moist. A new favorite is "marinating" pieces of chicken breasts in yogurt with garlic, etc. and broiling them. Another is panko crusted chicken breasts with pesto. I think the key is not to over cook them - you really have to be careful. I usually Bell & Evans or organic chickens - I really like the ones at Whole Foods, and they also sell boneless chicken thighs, which let you cook them pretty quickly - a good alternative to the breasts. All this aside though, some people just prefer the taste of dark meat.

      2. ccbweb RE: fergusmccool Jun 20, 2007 06:01 PM

        Don't know what labels you were looking at. Boneless skinless chicken breasts, raw, have 58mg of cholesterol per 100 grams while raw bacon has 68mg per 100 grams. The differences become far more dramatic once they're cooked as bacon retains far more of its cholesterol than chicken.

        So, if you don't like chicken breasts (and I'm not a fan, personally, I like thighs) that's fine. But lets keep to actual facts.

        2 Replies
        1. re: ccbweb
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          nyfoodjoe RE: ccbweb Jun 20, 2007 06:05 PM

          I did not understand why the comparison in the first place.....an 8 ounce portion of chicken served for a meal could never be compared gram per gram...who would ever comsume more than a couple ounces of bacon with eggs at breakfast, or on a club sando????

          1. re: nyfoodjoe
            ccbweb RE: nyfoodjoe Jun 20, 2007 06:20 PM

            I agree with you...but it irks me when people try to find "facts" to substantiate their personal preferences or tastes. Its enough to have the preference without throwing out inaccurate comparisons, regardless of whether those comparisons would be relevant in the first place.

        2. jfood RE: fergusmccool Jun 20, 2007 06:52 PM

          F

          As others have stated if your chicken breasts taste like cardboard, the quality is inferior, they are overcooked, or both. Most people cook breasts to 190-200 and that is just too much in jfood's experience. If they touch 180, that's plenty of heat. In CT Bell and Evans is the brand of choice in casa jfood.

          Likewise the facts do not support the cholesterol statement.

          8 Replies
          1. re: jfood
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            fergusmccool RE: jfood Jun 20, 2007 08:59 PM

            Hmm. I know what I saw in the market, but I don't have that with me.

            Bacon: 140 mg of cholesterol from one pound.
            http://www.calorie-count.com/calories...

            Chicken breast: 65 mg for 4 oz. (x 4 to equal bacon's one pound weight, above) = 260 mg.
            http://www.calorie-count.com/calories...

            1. re: fergusmccool
              b
              bibi rose RE: fergusmccool Jun 20, 2007 09:15 PM

              Some people don't watch cholesterol, for one thing. They may care about fat and calories, but not give a second thought to cholesterol. May not be logical; I'm not sure. I do know that when I'm doing Weight Watchers actively, I monitor my fat intake carefully, but I'm not going to be worried too much about cholesterol until and unless my numbers get high. I'm guessing that a lot of people are attracted to white meat chicken for the low fat content and don't care about cholesterol.

              I'm not a fan of supermarket chicken, any cut. However, get a good chicken, pound the breast and you can make any number of good dishes out of it. Not every food needs to be bursting with flavor to work in a recipe.

              1. re: fergusmccool
                jfood RE: fergusmccool Jun 21, 2007 05:08 AM

                Not sure why you are not using the "yield from 1lb" tab on your site. If you did you would see that bacon comes in at 140mg and chicken at 44mg.

                Here's another set of site:

                Bacon raw at 68mg of chol for 100 grams
                http://www.nutritiondata.com/facts-C0...

                Bacon Pan Fried at 113mg of chol for 100 grams
                http://www.nutritiondata.com/facts-C0...

                Bacon Baked at 107mg of chol for 100 grams
                http://www.nutritiondata.com/facts-C0...

                Chicken breast roasted 85 mg of chol for 100 grams
                http://www.nutritiondata.com/facts-C0...

                BTW - turkey bacon comes in at 90mg of chol for 100 grams.

                1. re: jfood
                  MMRuth RE: jfood Jun 21, 2007 05:12 AM

                  How can 100 grams of roasted chicken have 85mg if one pound has 44mg? Am I reading this wrong?

                  1. re: MMRuth
                    jfood RE: MMRuth Jun 21, 2007 07:07 AM

                    po-tay-toe versus po-tah-toe. Two different web sites, two different methodologies, two different answers. And Jfood agrees if 100 grams has 85mg then one pound has circa 385mg.

                    But directionally both tell us that bacon has more, not less, chol than chick.

                    1. re: MMRuth
                      Ruth Lafler RE: MMRuth Jun 21, 2007 09:50 AM

                      It may not explain the difference completely, but cooked meat loses water, so the other components become proportionately more per weight.

                      1. re: Ruth Lafler
                        ccbweb RE: Ruth Lafler Jun 21, 2007 10:03 AM

                        You're right on target, Ruth. In some of the above comparison, the bacon was cooked and the chicken was not. Gets confusing. But, jfood and common sense tell us what we need to know on this one. Boneless, skinless chicken breast cooked in a reasonable manner has far less cholesterol in it than does bacon.

                        Also, cholesterol aside, look closely at the saturated fat numbers.

                        1. re: ccbweb
                          jfood RE: ccbweb Jun 21, 2007 10:08 AM

                          CC

                          look at the product as well. Yes we all LOVE bacon more, but heck it's not that healthy.

                          But jfood thinks that in his four-URL post he had three cooked products:

                          Fried bacon -113
                          Baked bacon - 107
                          Roasted chicken - 85

                          Ah that these number were different and that bacon was healthier than chicken, what a great dinner for all

              2. j
                justagthing RE: fergusmccool Jun 20, 2007 10:50 PM

                In Chinese culture/cuisine of old, the dark meat was favored over the white meat. The white meat was for the dogs...I grew up eating the dark and agree with you in regards to the taste of most chicken breasts. I have had some good ones, but it is less than the majority of the time.

                1. bitsubeats RE: fergusmccool Jun 21, 2007 12:40 AM

                  blah = a good description flavour wise of chicken breasts. I find that when I prepare them, they can be very juicy. I brine them 30 mins - 1 hour before cooking time and I always make sure to not overcook and take the chicken off the grill or stove a few minutes before finished so they can finish cooking while resting. However they still don't have that much flavour.

                  I think the most flavourful poultry breast I have ever had was capon and that's kind of hard to find.

                  I will take dark meat ANY day over chicken breasts. However chicken breasts are fine to eat once in a while when you want to watch what you are eating.

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: bitsubeats
                    Emme RE: bitsubeats Jun 21, 2007 06:37 PM

                    Brining is a good option.

                    I also LOVE chicken breasts poached in chicken broth... For me simple and good, served with a little mayo to dip in... Childhoos favorite.

                  2. m
                    moymoy RE: fergusmccool Jun 21, 2007 07:16 AM

                    I prefer white meat because it tastes better to me, nothing to do with cholesterol or fat. And chicken breasts are simply better with certain dishes like chic marsala or chic stirfry. Personally, I find dark meat unappetizing in texture and taste.

                    1. m
                      mojoeater RE: fergusmccool Jun 21, 2007 10:05 AM

                      Actually, a chicken breast basted with olive oil, sea salt, coarse black pepper, garlic and rosemary straight off the grill is divine. Now, a boiled breast without seasoning is tasteless. I think the worst thing about chicken is handling it raw. Other than that, I like it as a versatile source of protein that works with pretty much any cuisine, any spice, any preparation.

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