All of a sudden a bad Reputation!
Over the last week or so, I've notice a lot of threads slamming the boneless, skinless breast of chicken! Remember when this food item was so hot, it's all people would order OR cook with. In fact, we're now charged extra for "white meat chicken".
Well I protest! If cooked properly, a boneless, skinless chicken breast is not inedible! It is a delicious entree at any time.
Some of my favorites:
Chicken Parmesan - homemade marinara, lightly breaded and fried cutlets, some good cheese all baked up to yummy, gooey goodness. hmmmm
Chicken Cordon Bleu - I pound the breast to thin it, roll tightly with ham and swiss (secure with a toothpick if necessary), roll in breadcrumbs, place in a baking dish and drizzle with melted butter, bake.
My Loco Chicken - I take olive oil, lemon/lime/iorange juice, cayenne pepper, garlic, cumin, mix it up and marinate my chicken breasts for about 1/2. A quick turn on the grill and they are delicious.
Or for a really quick fix, I'll pour some red taco sauce over chicken breast in a skillet, cover and simmer until the sauce reduces and the breasts are tender. Shred the meat, add back to the sauce and use for chicken tacos or quesadillas.
So, come on, let the boneless, skinless breasts get their good name back. How about some easy and delicious recipes.
i would say that those recipes sound great, but the ingredients - breaded crust and fried, cheese, marinara, taco sauce, etc., all mask how little flavor chicken breasts have... The one "lighter" flavored recipe, the loco chicken, sounds like it would be amazing on some thighs, drumsticks or wings :)
But, to each their own, so i'd never slam those who like chicken breast. just not my fav.
Agreed. Chicken breasts are what healthy-minded people eat, IMHO. They are a good source of protein, low in fat, and low in flavor. I'm a dark meat girl, myself and will typically buy thighs (w/ or w/o bones and skin) when I need chicken pieces. However, I do like to use chix breasts for chicken salad or quesadillas.
While I agree that a breast CAN be well cooked my family much prefers dark meat for its more chickeny flavor, juiciness and greater resistance to overcooking. Its both a flavor and texture issue. We also look out for the best quality poultry we can find (for example heritage or free range turkeys with more flavor in its breast meat. I think its understandable that food-obsessed people might diss white and prefer dark (like we do)
But all you have to do is look at the relative prices in the stores for these products and it becomes evident that the breasts are overwhelminly more popular in the general population and the dark-favorers are contrarians.
Well I made dinner for 4 last week, Rubbery chicken breasts (which I happen to love). I did marinate them, but in nothing more than a little lemon, olive oil, pepper and thyme. Just sauted in my cast iron and finished in the oven. I added 3 shallots thin sliced, finished cooking. Then removed the chicken and covered and then finished the sauce. 3 tablespoons butter, 1/8 cup white wine and a couple of lemon slices. Just drizzled over the rice and not the chicken. It just accented the flavor of the great moist chicken. No fancy elaborate sauce and definitely didn't mask the flavor of the chicken. It was simple and moist and definitely not dry.
I like dark now and then, but white can be just as good.
When calories don't count, try this one, from Bon Appetit:
Chicken Scallops with Wild Mushrooms, Mustard and Tarragon Sauce
Servings: Makes 6 servings.
1 1/2 pounds chicken scallops, about 1/8 inch thick
Flour for dredging
4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) butter
1/2 cup chopped shallots
1 lb. ounces assorted wild mushrooms (such as oyster and stemmed shiitake), sliced or quartered
1-2 ounces dried porcini mushrooms, soaked for 30-40 minutes in lukewarm water, then drained and chopped
2 tablespoons chopped fresh tarragon (dried is okay. Or use 1 tsp. dried thyme)
¾ cup dry white wine
¼ cup strained porcini liquid
1 cup heavy cream
1 tablespoon coarse-grained Dijon mustard
• Sprinkle veal/chicken on both sides with salt and pepper. Dredge in flour and shake off excess.
• Melt 1 tablespoon butter in large skillet over medium-high heat. Cook until golden, about 30 seconds per side. Transfer to plate.
• Melt 3 tablespoons butter in same skillet. Add shallots; sauté 30 seconds. Add mushrooms; sauté until brown, about 3-5 minutes. Stir in tarragon. Add wine; cook over high heat until almost all liquid evaporates, stirring to scrape up browned bits, about 2 minutes.
• Add strained porcini liquid.
• Add cream; boil until reduced by 1/4, about 1 minute. Stir in mustard.
• Using tongs, return veal/chicken to pan; simmer until heated through. Divide veal and sauce among 6 plates and serve.
Although I agree that they lack a certain strength and depth of flavor on their own, boneless chicken breasts are certainly a wonderful thing for those home-at-seven dinner-at-7:30 nights. They are a great source of low-fat protein, and take so readily to flavorful add-ons that I wouldn't be without them.
My supermarket carries packages of six individually wrapped organic chicken boneless skinless breast halves, each about 4 ounces, inside a larger package. I always have at least one package in my freezer.
In the morning, I take out four pieces of chicken and put them in the refrigerator. By the time I get home from work they are pliable enough to cook with. I use them dozens of ways, but my favorite may be to pound them flat, dredge in bread crumbs, and saute in butter or olive oil in a non-stick pan. Then add sauces - marinara, oriental sauce of some kind with sauteed veg, sauteed mushrooms, or just butter and lemon and some herbs. I make extra for lunch next day. Stir fries. Cutlets. Whatever. Lovely things.
I’m with you sheila.
I keep chicken breasts around for when I want a boneless vehicle for a great sauce. And, they are more readily available in my local market than boneless thighs.
The thigh has always been my favorite cut of chicken. It’s got both light and dark meet, and a little more fat that keeps it moist.
Exactly. They're sort of a blank canvas for a recipe. But like a blank canvas, not very interesting on their own. Although ... good quality, air-chilled chicken breasts are pretty tasty. I think water chilling (and the hideous "ice glazing") has more of a negative effect on the breast than other parts.
I hadn't noticed the "dissing" within the general population. In fact. I AM always surprised when someone mentions they like dark meat. I'll admit I've heard it more frequently lately. My husband does not like dark meat, so I only use it when he is not around, but I prefer it because white meat seems so unforgiving. A few minutes too much or too little, and I can't stand it! Plus, it tends to be one of those "serve immediately" things that I abhor. I need recipes that let people eat whenever they get around to it!