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A Chicken Emergency.

Hello!

A recent sale on SKINLESS bone-in split chicken breasts at my local grocery (a meager 89 cents per pound!) was something, as a thrifty mother of 3, I could not pass up on.. despite my dislike of skinless chicken. My mother, having seen the same sale, decided to buy me 3 packages as well. I am now the (proud?) owner of upwards of 20 lbs of skinless, bone-in chicken breasts.

I would not consider these suitable for roasting as-is, as in my opinion they would likely turn out dry as a bone despite my best efforts. Therefore I appeal to you, yes you... what should I do with these damn things? I haven't been very inspired in the kitchen as of late, and rather than dig through the mountains of perhaps good, perhaps not recipes on the Internet, I'll be happy to take some of your recommendations.

Thank you!

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  1. You can marinate them. One place I worked we marinated the chicken breasts to ensure they would remain moist when cooking. I just put a bit of oil, lemon juice, few cloves of garlic, and whatever herbs you have. We always had fennel fronds that were otherwise thrown out so I'd include them and then rosemary or thyme. I tried to marinate for 24 hours, but even an hour would help.

    1. Do you have a crock pot? That works well for boneless breasts as the meat doesn't dry out. This is a good site for some recipes:

      http://crockpot365.blogspot.com/

      6 Replies
      1. re: carolinadawg

        A crockpot is the worst thing for chicken breasts, boneless or not. It sucks the life out of them, leaving them dry and disintegrated.

          1. re: fourunder

            Yep.

            But...
            I have not noticed the crockpot succubus phenomenon.

          2. re: C. Hamster

            I've heard it described as "fall off the bone delicious." Chicken breast isn't supposed to be cooked so much that it falls of the bone!

            1. re: chowser

              There's a few factors at play. Much of today's chicken is, in my opinion, without much taste. If you go with small farms, free-ranged, etc., then yes, there's some great stuff available. But the typical value grocery store family packs on sale for a $1 a pound type stuff, it's fairly bland. With breasts, yes, you can cook it very carefully and have a moist and tender piece of meat - but it's still fairly bland and tasteless if it's that grocery store value pack sort of thing.

              I've gone the way of crockpot for chicken on occassion. For thighs, it works fairly well. Generic thighs with some aromatics cooked until tender make a good stew. With breasts, it's a matter of your expectations vs convenience. I've put breasts in the CP to make stews. They were generic breasts, on sale. Bland and tasteless, but a protein source. It was more about the other ingredients + conveniece. The final product was good, even very good, though the chicken was clearly not the star attraction. If it's a good to very good chicken, then it would not go near a crockpot.

              That said, we all have different limits and tradeoffs with convenience and expectations.

            2. re: C. Hamster

              That's an interesting take. I've only done chicken in the crock pot once...and that was a couple of weeks ago. I was making chicken chili. I started the breasts alone, came back to the pot a few hour later and thought "where did all that liquid come from?"

          3. Make Chicken Marsala, or a braised chicken dish, see here: http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/384452

            1 Reply
            1. re: ipsedixit

              Braise a little extra and use for chicken salad - just chunk or shred the chicken, mix up a little mustard into some mayo and add a pinch of one or two dried herbs (celery leaves and dill are nice, or just a bit of oregano) - mix into the chicken to moisten it. Add some minced onion or shallot and diced celery, let it sit in the fridge 'till the next day and either fill tomatoes with it or make as sandwiches.

            2. Bake them in lots of balsamic vinegar with rosemary, mushrooms, red onions and lots of fresh garlic. If you tightly cover the dish with foil first they stay super moist.

              1. If you have a food processor, you could grind some of it for use in chicken chili or other recipes using ground chicken, and freeze some for later use.