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All of a sudden a bad Reputation!

janetms383 Apr 9, 2009 12:17 PM

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.

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  1. f
    FattyDumplin RE: janetms383 Apr 9, 2009 12:23 PM

    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.

    6 Replies
    1. re: FattyDumplin
      lynnlato RE: FattyDumplin Apr 9, 2009 12:44 PM

      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.

      1. re: lynnlato
        jen kalb RE: lynnlato Apr 13, 2009 12:51 PM

        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.

        1. re: jen kalb
          Ruth Lafler RE: jen kalb Apr 13, 2009 12:55 PM

          That's true. McDonald's is popular, too. Doesn't mean it's good.

      2. re: FattyDumplin
        janetms383 RE: FattyDumplin Apr 9, 2009 01:09 PM

        well you poach up a chicken thigh, it ain't got all that much flavor either. Of couse you need other ingredients to make a recipe!!! That's what it's all about.

        I just want to know why all of a sudden it so trendy to malign the chicken breast!??!

        1. re: janetms383
          f
          FattyDumplin RE: janetms383 Apr 9, 2009 01:35 PM

          disagree... the thigh has much more "chicken" flavor and the texture is better as well.

        2. re: FattyDumplin
          kchurchill5 RE: FattyDumplin Apr 9, 2009 02:20 PM

          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.

        3. CindyJ RE: janetms383 Apr 9, 2009 12:55 PM

          When calories don't count, try this one, from Bon Appetit:

          Chicken Scallops with Wild Mushrooms, Mustard and Tarragon Sauce

          Servings: Makes 6 servings.

          Ingredients
          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

          Preparation
          • 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.

          1. s
            sheiladeedee RE: janetms383 Apr 9, 2009 01:15 PM

            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.

            3 Replies
            1. re: sheiladeedee
              cuccubear RE: sheiladeedee Apr 9, 2009 01:25 PM

              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.

              1. re: cuccubear
                Ruth Lafler RE: cuccubear Apr 9, 2009 02:09 PM

                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.

                1. re: cuccubear
                  s
                  sheiladeedee RE: cuccubear Apr 10, 2009 03:35 AM

                  I love the thighs too, and they are my exclusive cut for frying. And I do love chicken thighs roasted on the bone with olive oil and herbs for a quick dinner.

              2. Shrinkrap RE: janetms383 Apr 9, 2009 01:36 PM

                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!

                1 Reply
                1. re: Shrinkrap
                  f
                  FattyDumplin RE: Shrinkrap Apr 9, 2009 05:51 PM

                  funny and to coroborate, at chinese restaurants, you often see menus hyping that the chicken used in the more "white" dishes use white meat only... seems like white meat is much more popular tome.

                2. monavano RE: janetms383 Apr 9, 2009 01:42 PM

                  To the OP-THANK YOU! My thoughts exactly. Well, I also thought, yeash!!

                  1. MrsCheese RE: janetms383 Apr 9, 2009 05:59 PM

                    I have absolutely nothing against chicken breasts per se, though I think I made a comment that was somewhat disparaging toward boneless skinless. So sue me. Chicken breasts are SO much better if you cook the bone-in, skin-on. Much juicier and, I think, tastier. And yeah, I like BS chix breasts just fine if I pour a bunch of sauce on it or pound it and fry it too, but that says more about sauce, etc. than the chicken. It probably also doesn't help that I associate BS chix breasts with dieting. For the record, I don't like the dark meat either - it has a weird texture. I'm not really a chicken fan in general. Bring on the pork! :-)

                    1. l
                      LPhila RE: janetms383 Apr 9, 2009 06:09 PM

                      I feel like I have heard that it's not the meat that is bad for you, white versus dark meat, but rather that it is skin-on chicken, of any variety, that is higher in fat and calories, than skin off chicken?

                      Anyone aware of any truth to this?

                      In any event, certainly won't get me off the crispy skin from time to time...

                      2 Replies
                      1. re: LPhila
                        Caitlin McGrath RE: LPhila Apr 9, 2009 07:29 PM

                        Dark chicken meat has around twice the fat of white, and a higher calorie count. Dark meat isn't "bad" for you; it's that white meat is particularly low in fat. Chicken with skin has a good deal more fat than skinless chicken, especially saturated fat, and therefore is higher in calories than skinless chicken.

                        1. re: LPhila
                          Ruth Lafler RE: LPhila Apr 9, 2009 07:53 PM

                          Sometimes when I want to work with a skinless breast, I take the skin off and render the fat and use it to saute the chicken. It's amazing how much fat can be rendered from the skin from one half-breast. You'd be eating most of that fat if you left the skin on, so it makes a considerable difference.

                        2. Demented RE: janetms383 Apr 9, 2009 06:31 PM

                          The problem with chick here in the states, is that everything is raise from egg to market (as it where), as fast as possible.

                          I'm not recommending a stewing hen for fried chicken mind you, just making the point, most chickens in the US are slaughtered for market at such a young age, they have not had time to develop any flavor.

                          Doubt this, try making a flavorful broth with anything other than a capon or stewing hen!

                          That's what Americans are use to, chicken that really has no flavor, hence the joke, “Everything taste like chicken.”

                          I cook bone/skinless chicken breast 2 – 4 times a week. It is always moist and flavorful, Not because young chicken brings anything special to the table. But because how it's cooked makes all the difference.

                          People who whine about hoe bad this market cut of meat is, should learn how to cook.

                          4 Replies
                          1. re: Demented
                            Shrinkrap RE: Demented Apr 9, 2009 07:19 PM

                            Hmm... I'm confused.... is it the young American chicken that's the problem, or the people who have not learned to cook?

                            1. re: Shrinkrap
                              kchurchill5 RE: Shrinkrap Apr 9, 2009 07:27 PM

                              I think too many chain restaurants and people just slap sauce on and bake till it's dry and rubbery and that is where it gets a bad wrap. Nothing wrong with sauce, nothing wrong with chain restaurants but too many have gone with white chicken the healthier meat but yet they either cook it to death, it is processed or they cover it with sauces and cover it up and therefore ... where is the healthy part.

                              I too cook chicken all the time and love it. Simple light marinade or just a rub and grill or bake and it is wonderful. I have lots of recipes with sauce and some without. Just try to bring out the natural flavor.

                              1. re: Shrinkrap
                                alwayscooking RE: Shrinkrap Apr 9, 2009 07:33 PM

                                IMHO - both

                                Most supermarket chicken is quickly raised, barely move, pumped with water, and 'harvested' early. They have very little real chicken flavor. And what they have comes mostly from the fat - not found in the breast. The poorly flavored breast is then subjected to longer cooking , often at high heat - whatever taste was there has been cooked out.

                                Buy a whole chicken, farmyard raised (or at least raised on a good diet in a stress free environment), and cut it up at home. The chicken overall will be better because it was the entire chicken has been graded and not just the parts. The better upbringing will also reflect in the flavor of the meat.

                                Brine a chicken and cook it right - never overcook a lean meat. Bring it to 157 and let it rest. All pieces of the chicken will taste great.

                                It seems so sad to me the we raise an animal in poor conditions, kill it, and then don't like what we eat.

                                1. re: alwayscooking
                                  NYchowcook RE: alwayscooking Apr 10, 2009 05:40 AM

                                  I agree -- there is a world of difference in flavor between a factory farmed chicken and one that gets to run around outdoors as nature intended, eating bugs and such.
                                  A well cared for chicken has a breast that is flavorful indeed!

                            2. jfood RE: janetms383 Apr 10, 2009 04:20 AM

                              jfood is excited because his grocer has a one day special on B&B boneless for $1.88#. Jfood heading over to buy some then cook a few varieties. Chicken parm with ricotta gnocchi for dinner tonite.

                              1 Reply
                              1. re: jfood
                                Boccone Dolce RE: jfood Apr 10, 2009 06:00 AM

                                Ooooh I'd make chicken parm too but a request was made for fish tonight. I think I'll trek down to the closest fish market (it's 24 miles each way-BLAH!) and see what's what.

                                I use lots of white meat chicken- I tried the other parts but it didn't make me happy except in the wallet.

                              2. alkapal RE: janetms383 Apr 10, 2009 05:35 AM

                                last night, i used a technique i will do again:

                                brine frozen chicken breast till partially thawed, then slice and poach in chicken broth.

                                add mahatma brand yellow rice mix and bell pepper strips, to cook together for easy chicken and rice.

                                my chicken was flavorful and juicy!

                                i'll also use goya "sazón" seasoning packets in soups, stews, sautés. http://www.goya.com/english/products/...

                                4 Replies
                                1. re: alkapal
                                  BernalKC RE: alkapal Apr 12, 2009 11:27 AM

                                  Poaching. I was looking for someone to recommend that.

                                  I recently had an eye-opening poached chicken breast dish where the breast was served on a bed of some sort of large beans topped with a nettle sauce. I have no idea what spices were in the poaching liquid. I'm sure the bird was as organic, free-range locavorian as possible. Whatever... the result was really amazing. The breast flesh was so tender, juicy and delectable -- totally different from other preparations. Gotta try it myself - even if I know I won't hit the same high notes as this chef.

                                  1. re: BernalKC
                                    kchurchill5 RE: BernalKC Apr 13, 2009 12:14 PM

                                    I make one with poached in a mix of chicken broth, brandy, cinnimon, nutmeg, peppercorn and orange. Then I top it over chick peas sauteed in a pan with orange zest, a little of that brandy, just a touch, just olive oil, shallots and orange zest. Top with fresh mint and ground pepper. I top with pan sauteed chard, also cooked in olive oil with fennel, crimini mushrooms and some oj and butter, and again some nutmeg and pepper to adjust the flavors. Nothing hard and all easy. Very healthy and great flavors. You can add a little cheese if you want but I don't need it. Sometimes I will add a little broth to the beans and lightly mash to make a small broth or creamy texture.

                                    Great dish

                                  2. re: alkapal
                                    kubasd RE: alkapal Apr 14, 2009 01:20 PM

                                    sounds like if you cooked anything like that it's taste good, haha. I put goya adobo in all my soups, i do like the sazon too. For a super easy fix I cut the breasts into strips, marinate in bbq and throw on the foreman. But that's for the bf in an extreme food emergency.

                                    1. re: kubasd
                                      alkapal RE: kubasd Apr 16, 2009 04:03 AM

                                      what i thought was the neat *trick*, was brining the whole breasts to take them from "frozen" to chilled enough to slice in just a few minutes, then poach.

                                      and my goya sazón i use a lot -- the culantro and achiote version -- esp. with cooking dried beans.

                                  3. pikawicca RE: janetms383 Apr 10, 2009 06:16 AM

                                    I brine them, then smoke in my stove-top smoker. Cut up into juicy morsels and place in small freezer bags, ready to pop on pizza, in a sauce, crepes, "fake paella," whatever. It's like having Ali Baba's hidden treasure in your freezer.

                                    5 Replies
                                    1. re: pikawicca
                                      jfood RE: pikawicca Apr 10, 2009 07:27 AM

                                      P

                                      Do those stove-top smokers really work?

                                      Where does the smoke go? Is it self-contained? Does the house smell like a Tx BBQ pit when done (not that that is bad?)

                                      1. re: jfood
                                        pikawicca RE: jfood Apr 10, 2009 09:11 AM

                                        I've been using mine for over 20 years, and love it. The excess smoke is taken care of by my (modest) exhaust fan, leaving a hint of smoke wafting about the house. It's not the same as having your own pit out back, but it's pretty darned good. I've even smoked a whole beef rib roast, using heavy-duty foil to seal. That is a dinner my friends still talk about!

                                        I continue to enjoy playing about with different kinds of wood chips in combination with different foods.

                                        The convenience factor is a big plus for me: If trout are on sale, for instance, I'll buy a few and throw them on the smoker while I cook dinner, producing some great snack food for later in the week.

                                        If space is a concern, there is now a small version available (although the standard size isn't huge).

                                        1. re: pikawicca
                                          kubasd RE: pikawicca Apr 14, 2009 01:21 PM

                                          hmmm.... I've been looking at a couple of those and have been seriously considering buying one. Which brand/model do you have?

                                          1. re: kubasd
                                            pikawicca RE: kubasd Apr 14, 2009 04:05 PM

                                            Cameron.

                                          2. re: pikawicca
                                            danhole RE: pikawicca Apr 15, 2009 02:52 PM

                                            I agree pikawicca! I love my stovetop smoker and use it for many different things, but the chicken breasts are a real favorite. They are good hot or cold. I have sliced them thin and served with cheese as an appetizer before. I mix up different wood combos also. I have even smoked potatoes in it, as well as heads of garlic, and vegetables. Mine is a Cameron as well.

                                      2. g
                                        gfr1111 RE: janetms383 Apr 12, 2009 06:55 AM

                                        Boneless, skinless chicken breasts are handy to have on hand because they are the fast food of the butcher's world. However, I don't like them very much. They're pretty lacking in flavor and moisture, too. Yes, you can cook them to try to overcome these problems, but why bother? You can just cook bone-in, skin-on chicken breasts and get tastier chicken, then remove the bones and the skin later, if necessary.

                                        Mostly, what I see is people who are on a diet, eating them. The retreat from flavor in the United States continues . . .

                                        2 Replies
                                        1. re: gfr1111
                                          danna RE: gfr1111 Apr 14, 2009 01:07 PM

                                          well, it just depends on what you intend to DO with the chicken. If you're making a satay, or grilled breasts for a sandwich, or saltimboca, etc...then a skinless boneless breast is what is called for.

                                          If you're going to cook w/ long-term heat, or need the bones for stock (if you're making chicken salad or chicken pot pie) then you want the bones.

                                          I think if buy good quality organic chicken, you don't have to worry so much about getting tasteless , dried-out, stringy, tough chicken if you overcook it a second.

                                          OP: yes, you're not imagining it..there's a bias against anything low fat these days.

                                          1. re: danna
                                            jen kalb RE: danna Apr 14, 2009 02:15 PM

                                            I would have thought you want boneless thigh for your satay.

                                            It is so upsetting in Chinese/malaysian type restaurants when they switch the dishes over from ethnically preferred dark cuts to white to please the gringo patrons.

                                        2. j
                                          jpc8015 RE: janetms383 Apr 12, 2009 07:04 AM

                                          The chicken leg is the most important piece of protein in the course of human history; every other part of the bird can go in the stock pot for all I care. Give me the hind quarter.

                                          1. k
                                            karykat RE: janetms383 Apr 12, 2009 09:35 AM

                                            We've been making more chicken thighs lately, for cost and flavor. But my SO just happened on a good source of organic, free-range, etc. chicken breasts that are amazing. Incredible chicken flavor when breaded, pan-fried, all the variations. So I am concluding that the quality of the chicken you start with makes a decisive difference.

                                            1 Reply
                                            1. re: karykat
                                              j
                                              jpc8015 RE: karykat Apr 12, 2009 09:57 AM

                                              Just imagine what the hind quarters of that same bird taste like. I bet they're even better.

                                            2. b
                                              bnemes3343 RE: janetms383 Apr 14, 2009 01:23 PM

                                              One of the best ways to enjoy a boneless, skinless breast is to simply season it properly and cook it on the grill or a grill pan (but please don't overcook it). Cook it until it's just a bit below done and then let rest. Slice across the grain and serve any number of ways.

                                              1. Karl S RE: janetms383 Apr 14, 2009 01:24 PM

                                                Most of the time, when I see boneless skinless chicken breast, I think what did that poor bird do to be so disrespected after being slaughtered for us, and proceed to run for some tofu.

                                                The best way to prepare boneless, skinless chicken breast is to buy split bone-in, skin-on chicken breasts, marinate them for a day in the famed Cornell Chicken basting sauce, grill them, and then bone and skin them, and refrigerate them. (Cornell Chicken prepared this way is the best non-fried cold white meat chicken. By far. I've tried tons of other approaches.) The sauce of course adds flavor, but cooking them with the bone is very important, and the skin helps protect the outer layer of flesh from getting overdone.

                                                4 Replies
                                                1. re: Karl S
                                                  jen kalb RE: Karl S Apr 14, 2009 02:19 PM

                                                  this is a new approach for me - have never seen the Cornell Chicken thing before, thanks.

                                                  1. re: jen kalb
                                                    Karl S RE: jen kalb Apr 14, 2009 03:33 PM

                                                    1-2 large eggs (to stabilize the emulsion - 2 makes this easier than 1, but the original recipe only called for 1)
                                                    1 cup vegetable Oil
                                                    2 cups cider vinegar
                                                    3 Tbs. Diamond kosher salt (if Morton's, use 2.25 Tbs; for table salt, use 1.5 Tbs)
                                                    1 Tbs. poultry seasoning
                                                    1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper; other finely ground herbs or spices can also be added to taste

                                                    In a blender (not food processor), mix the egg. Then stream in the oil very very very gradually (like making mayonnaise) to emulsify. Then stream in the vinegar slowly. Then the other ingredients.

                                                    This was originally a basting sauce - used on halved chickens over the grill. If you want to use some that way, reserve some for that purpose (don't use the marinating liquid to baste, of course - cross contamination hell). I marinate split (bone-in, skin-on) chicken breasts for 2-24 hours in this before grilling - the chicken will get a pronounced vinegar flavor, but white meat chicken needs all the help it can get. Also, if you eat this chicken cold, the vinegar note is modulated in a nice way.

                                                  2. re: Karl S
                                                    danna RE: Karl S Apr 15, 2009 05:45 AM

                                                    Do you consider a beef tenderloin disrespectful to the cow?

                                                    1. re: danna
                                                      Karl S RE: danna Apr 15, 2009 05:50 AM

                                                      Well, yes. I think filet is a waste when eaten on its own the way it usually is. I never order it. It's tender and relatively flavorless. Why bother?

                                                  3. Squirrels RE: janetms383 Apr 14, 2009 01:28 PM

                                                    It's trendy to not like them because the food trend now is to have naturally flavorful, wholesome ingredients. Look at the high-end pork industry; now it is dominated by Berkshire and other heritage breeds that offer higher fat content and much more flavor and texture.

                                                    Boneless skinless breasts are the epitome of American wastefulness and laziness: They are expensive, lack any significant flavor, they have the texture of wet toilet paper, and they are easy for any Sandra Lee housewife or Bob Vila bachelor to cook.

                                                    There's a place for everything of course, even chicken breasts, but when I walk into one of my least favorite local grocery stores (a Kroger) and I can't even buy a decent whole chicken there are problems with the food priorities in this nation. Oh, did I mention that there are literally dozens upon dozens of feet of refrigerated case space exclusively dedicated to boneless skinless chicken breast? It's such a waste!

                                                    15 Replies
                                                    1. re: Squirrels
                                                      Karl S RE: Squirrels Apr 14, 2009 01:48 PM

                                                      It's funny - in places like China, chicken breasts are considered the cheap not-so-great part - the wings and leg quarters are the choice, more expensive parts....

                                                      1. re: Orchid64
                                                        j
                                                        jpc8015 RE: Orchid64 Apr 15, 2009 06:25 AM

                                                        There are many, many other cultures in the world that use boneless skinless chicken breast in the food. Chinese, Japanese, Indian, Middle Eastern, French, Italian, Latin, etc...This is not strictly an American phenominon. I certainly do not prefer a boneless skinless breast and would never order it in a restaurant, but when I am looking for something to cook that is easy, mindless, relatively healthy, and somewhat affordable I will reach for it. Does this make me a lazy American?

                                                        1. re: jpc8015
                                                          Squirrels RE: jpc8015 Apr 15, 2009 06:40 AM

                                                          You said it yourself... it's mindless.

                                                          But you're right jpc... Every culture that uses chicken uses boneless skinless breasts at some point. The difference here is that in America people often rely on it as a staple, not as a part of the whole animal. I completely agree with Karl S.

                                                          When was the last time you bought a pack of chicken feet jpc8015?

                                                          1. re: Squirrels
                                                            Karl S RE: Squirrels Apr 15, 2009 06:46 AM

                                                            I eat chicken breasts. Normally, I use whole chickens, so the breast is part of that. If I am going for parts, I prefer legs to breasts. If I want breasts, I buy them split, not boneless and skinless.

                                                            1. re: Squirrels
                                                              jfood RE: Squirrels Apr 15, 2009 12:03 PM

                                                              Taking chicken breasts and making them delicious shows talent. In a similar vein taking tough beef, many forms of fish, some cuts of pork and lamb also require the talents of the chef to take various cuts of beef to their highest potential.

                                                              Jfood disagress with your conclusion that chicken breasts are the epitome of American wastefulness and laziness. When someone takes any of the many less than perfect ingredients and makes them into a pleasure to eat THAT is the epitome of American ingenuity and resourcefulness.

                                                              1. re: jfood
                                                                Karl S RE: jfood Apr 15, 2009 01:41 PM

                                                                "Taking chicken breasts and making them delicious shows talent."

                                                                Yes, it does. It's even harder when they are boneless and skinless before cooking....

                                                                1. re: Karl S
                                                                  jfood RE: Karl S Apr 15, 2009 08:55 PM

                                                                  Ah Karl, with all your talentyou should see this as a challenge.

                                                                  Jfood has to try your eggs this weekend, thanks to C Oliver reminding him

                                                                  1. re: jfood
                                                                    Karl S RE: jfood Apr 16, 2009 02:33 AM

                                                                    Except that they are not worth the cost to buy boneless and skinless, so that's not a challenge I crave. I've already identified what I think is the best preparation for cooking chicken breasts.

                                                          2. re: Squirrels
                                                            alkapal RE: Squirrels Apr 16, 2009 04:11 AM

                                                            >>>>>Boneless skinless breasts are the epitome of American wastefulness and laziness: [...] they are easy for any Sandra Lee housewife or Bob Vila bachelor to cook.<<<<<

                                                            this comment slanders the thrifty, hard-working americans who cook with these boneless chicken breasts, who don't have lots of time, or need to eat low-fat, or buy these breasts on sale. maybe we should just all switch to squirrel purloo?

                                                            1. re: alkapal
                                                              jen kalb RE: alkapal Apr 16, 2009 07:20 AM

                                                              Id just comment on the wasteful costwise of these. 3X the cost of whole chicke, or even legs. But this needent be a war - obviously there are different points of view and tastes and decisions re time and money that people - and obviously food obsessed people included - can make..

                                                              1. re: jen kalb
                                                                alkapal RE: jen kalb Apr 16, 2009 07:28 AM

                                                                depends on what is on sale. at harris teeter three weeks ago, i got a "buy one, get two free" deal on perdue all-natural boneless skinless chicken breasts. so for around $7.20, i got 5#. i never pay more than $1.99/#. bone-in thighs are $1.19 on sale. whole chickens, i bought on sale a month ago for 59 cents/# at harris teeter. (wow, i know!!!) this week at safeway, the boneless breasts and the thighs are both on sale for $1.99. two days ago, i got two nice cornish game hens for 99 cents per pound. it's what's for dinner!

                                                                i am not lazy, nor am i wasteful. i know how to shop for bargains. and sometimes i like to use the boneless skinless chicken breasts for piccata, or chicken tikka, or the like. thighs don't cut it there.

                                                                1. re: alkapal
                                                                  jen kalb RE: alkapal Apr 16, 2009 08:16 AM

                                                                  those are great prices.
                                                                  my husband is often able to buy leg quarters at our local store for 39 cents a pound. This is so close to 0 for a meat product that it indicates that societally everything but the breast is regarded as waste.

                                                                  Im talking societally not of any chowhound.

                                                              2. re: alkapal
                                                                Squirrels RE: alkapal Apr 16, 2009 07:33 AM

                                                                If these people you speak of were so hard working, you think that they would buy a whole chicken and cook all of it or break down the pieces themselves. If a whole chicken is too fatty for your diet, well, then you have more problems than should be discussed here. That is all my argument is. It's the mind set of the general American public that creates the demand of this kind of item. It is factory chicken, and it represents the dumbing down of taste.

                                                                An argument was made previously that other cultures use boneless skinless breasts and I agree, but those other cultures also use the entire animal often from the head to the feet. Here we consider those items waste.

                                                                I'm not saying that they can't be made delicious, I'm not saying that I haven't used them myself, all I'm saying is that people should explore food beyond the pre-packaged slimy chicken breasts.

                                                                As for the squirrel - eat em all you want. I've killed 86 of them from my kitchen window in the past year.

                                                                1. re: Squirrels
                                                                  alkapal RE: Squirrels Apr 16, 2009 07:37 AM

                                                                  fratricide?

                                                                  1. re: Squirrels
                                                                    danna RE: Squirrels Apr 16, 2009 12:09 PM

                                                                    Outrageous commentary.

                                                                    First - No one said the people were hard working chefs. Maybe they're hardworking landscapers or lawyers. Maybe they get home at 8pm and need food fast. Give them credit it's food fast...not fast food.

                                                                    Too fatty means you have more problems than can be discussed here? Really? I like to be slim, and although I prefer chicken thighs in some preparations (and prefer breasts in others because i'm not married to thighs for some PC reason), I try to eat the breast instead because I can spend those extra fat calories on chocolate or cheese or pate or whatever i freakin' feel like. What PROBLEM do I have?

                                                              3. o
                                                                Orchid64 RE: janetms383 Apr 15, 2009 06:03 AM

                                                                The skinless part of chicken breast is a big part of the problem when people cook it. To cook a breast well, you should leave the skin on and cook it for a longer time skin side down. If you cook it at low temperature long enough, you cook out almost all of the fat and are left with collagen (which is good for the skin). This is the way it is cooked in Italy. Even if you want to eat it without the skin, it's best to cook it with the skin and remove it before you eat it (this is what I do) rather than before you cook it.

                                                                If you cook it without the skin to protect it, it's far more likely to dry out unless it is specially prepared using some other technique. Marinating it in yogurt helps, for instance, especially for using it in Indian dishes. It's also fantastic if you do the Chinese "velveting" process on white meat.

                                                                From a cooking point of view, breast meat is much easier to handle for recipes that require cubes or cutting into bite-sized pieces in order to put it into a more complex recipe. If you use dark meat, you have to pretty much use the whole piece of leg or thigh and it changes the entire eating experience.

                                                                The odd thing about people who malign the subtle flavor of chicken breast is that they are often the same people who enjoy food like sashimi which is also very subtle in flavor. The flavor does not have to be intense to be good, and texture is at least as much a part of enjoying food as taste and white meat has a great texture when properly cooked. I can only guess that all the breast meat haters can't cook breast well or don't cook for themselves and are constantly fed poorly prepared food.

                                                                3 Replies
                                                                1. re: Orchid64
                                                                  Caitlin McGrath RE: Orchid64 Apr 15, 2009 10:36 AM

                                                                  Either boneless breasts or boneless thighs can be easily cut into bite-size pieces to incorporate into another dish, which is nice because you can then choose based on preference, length of cooking, type of dish, etc.

                                                                  1. re: Caitlin McGrath
                                                                    Karl S RE: Caitlin McGrath Apr 15, 2009 10:46 AM

                                                                    Boneless breasts work much better shredded than cubed, especially if they are going to be reheated. When cubed, they become rubbery on reheating.

                                                                  2. re: Orchid64
                                                                    Shrinkrap RE: Orchid64 Apr 15, 2009 12:21 PM

                                                                    "I can only guess that all the breast meat haters can't cook breast well or don't cook for themselves and are constantly fed poorly prepared food."

                                                                    Hey! That's not fair! Not that I'm a "hater", but as I said before, I just find it unforgiving. If I'm cooking for myself, and can "serve immediately", it's all good. But more often than not, I'm cooking for several people who show up at varios times. Sometimes hours, or even days later! I much prefer reheated dark meat, to reheated breasts. I'll eat leftover breast meat cold before I'd reheat it.

                                                                    BTW, it seems lots of the original "ethnic" recipes call for dark meat, but make it with white for "us".

                                                                  3. chef chicklet RE: janetms383 Apr 15, 2009 11:31 AM

                                                                    Well there's no fat, so of course it needs help, but that doesn't make me stop eating it.
                                                                    I love chicken picatta, it's one of our favorites;
                                                                    pound the breast thin, make little scallops, saute in olive oil, butter and garlic. add white wine, lemon juice, scallions, capers, salt, and white pepper. Makes an awesom sauce to serve with garlic butter angel hair pasta... oh did I say diet food? nah.

                                                                    And, there's nothing wrong with chicken fried chicken in a country gravy served with mashed potatoes either...

                                                                    1 Reply
                                                                    1. re: chef chicklet
                                                                      janetms383 RE: chef chicklet Apr 15, 2009 04:17 PM

                                                                      CC, yum
                                                                      those are certainly 2 recipe I could eat! And right now.

                                                                    2. Boccone Dolce RE: janetms383 Apr 16, 2009 03:45 AM

                                                                      The idea that one is charged extra when there are so many that use the other parts boggles my mind. In my local grocery (Publix) they sell the leg/thigh portions for 79 CENTS a pound. The breast meat is $3.99 and up. I try to get them when they are closer to $1.99 lb.

                                                                      I really tried to fall in love with the legs and thighs. It was close- I made a kickass Cacciatore with thighs, it was so rich and kinda gamey. I roasted them but it was a grease-fest. I even posted on here that I was converting!!

                                                                      (sigh)

                                                                      Our favorites using breast meat:
                                                                      stir frys with fresh veggies

                                                                      chicken parm (I make a deconstructed version on the stovetop- takes 20 minutes and we love it)

                                                                      pounded, cut into strips and breaded, baked, tossed in butter & franks red hot and served ontop of romaine

                                                                      boiled, shredded and made into white bean chili

                                                                      boiled, shredded or baked and chunked and mixed into 'Chinese Chicken Salad' the one with cabbage and crunchies- like this one : http://allrecipes.com/Recipe/Chinese-...

                                                                      i use them often, with zero shame.

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