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Thread: tough chicken breasts??

  1. #1
    Super Member kriscraft99's Avatar
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    I purchased two big bags of frozen raw skinless, boneless chicken breasts and no matter how I cook them, they are tough.

    Has anyone ever had this problem and is there anything I can do to make them not so leathery?

    Kris

  2. #2
    Super Member Scrap Happy's Avatar
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    Iíve never purchased them but remember Rachael Ray had a video about this at Thanksgiving for dried out turkey. She said to put them in broth, cover and back in the oven. Have never tried it but her other tips and recipes are some of my favorites.

  3. #3
    Senior Member Kathios's Avatar
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    I boil chicken breasts until they fall apart. And now I will confess that I do it for my kitties.

  4. #4
    Power Poster QuiltE's Avatar
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    How about the crockpot?
    One of my favourites is ...

    ~~~~~~~~~
    Salsa Chicken
    ~~~~~~~~~
    Layer chicken in crock
    Top with salsa.
    If more chicken next layer of each.
    At end, top with grated parmesan, cover with lid til ready to serve.

    Variations:
    * bake in oven covered with foil
    * use antipasto and feta in place of salsa/parmesan

  5. #5
    Super Member JanetM's Avatar
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    Cooks Illustrated (great magazine if you like to cook) says it is important to cook chicken on low heat. The muscle fibers will shorten and toughen if you use high heat.

    I cook chicken probably 4 times a week and since adopting their method of low heat, my chicken is tender and juicy.I generally saute chicken, and sometimes simmer (never boil) for some recipes.

  6. #6
    Super Member kriscraft99's Avatar
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    that is interesting

    I thought about trying some in the crock pot with some taco seasoning - to use for chicken tacos.

    I know normally I can boil or grill breasts and they are fine, but even boiled it is like leather. I've never run across chicken like this... It has me so confuzzled :?

    thanks so much,
    Kris
    Quote Originally Posted by JanetM
    Cooks Illustrated (great magazine if you like to cook) says it is important to cook chicken on low heat. The muscle fibers will shorten and toughen if you use high heat.

    I cook chicken probably 4 times a week and since adopting their method of low heat, my chicken is tender and juicy.I generally saute chicken, and sometimes simmer (never boil) for some recipes.

  7. #7
    Super Member quiltlonger's Avatar
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    I brown them quickly in a little olive oil put in a casserole dish cover with spaghetti or Marinara sauce bake at 350 for 35? minutes until done-no pink- meanwhile make either spaghetti or egg noodles top chicken/sauce with mozeralla cheese cook few minutes more to melted YUMMMY or cut chicken into finger/strips dip in ranch dressing, roll in CRUSHED cheezit crackers and bake at 350 for 35min or til done depends on size of your strips serve with more ranch /blue cheese dressing. We do a whole 3lb. bag at a time and never leftovers (3 boys)

  8. #8
    Power Poster QuiltE's Avatar
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    [quote=kriscraft99]I've never run across chicken like this... It has me so confuzzled :?

    From what you would say, I'm thinking this is be this is "old" chicken as in age of the bird. Thus not a lot you can do for it.

    Perhaps chop up into small pieces and use it in soup?

  9. #9
    Super Member oatw13's Avatar
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    One thing that sometimes helps is to marinate tough meat overnight or for at least several hours in a vinegar-based marinade or even just vinegar. It doesn't matter what kind of vinegar. Some type of vinegar based salad dressing works well and lends a nice flavor. The vinegar helps keep the meat from getting so tough.

    I would also agree with the crockpot on low with lots of liquid.

    Good luck!

  10. #10
    Senior Member Busy Bee's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by kriscraft99
    I purchased two big bags of frozen raw skinless, boneless chicken breasts and no matter how I cook them, they are tough.

    Has anyone ever had this problem and is there anything I can do to make them not so leathery?

    Kris
    CROCK POT. My MIL gave me some very tough chicken years ago. The only way to cook it. Was great no matter what you put with it as long as you cook in your crock pot.

  11. #11
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    I have noticed the same thing and no matter how I cook it, it remains tough and stringy. They are also almost the size of turkey breasts. My husband said they must be old hens they got rid of.

  12. #12
    Super Member kriscraft99's Avatar
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    yes!! these are HUGE - I've never seen breasts this big (okay.. that didn't sound quite right) :roll:


    Quote Originally Posted by sttchr
    I have noticed the same thing and no matter how I cook it, it remains tough and stringy. They are also almost the size of turkey breasts. My husband said they must be old hens they got rid of.

  13. #13
    Super Member gmaybee's Avatar
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    I always buy the same brand everytime. One time I bought a bag that was so tough, no matter how I fixed them they were awful. I tried boiling to make soup, baking, and frying. It had to be in the way they were processed, because with all the different pieces, from different chickens they shouldn't have all been tough.

  14. #14
    Junior Member brennalee's Avatar
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    I did the same thing, always buy Tyson and this time I bought member's mark, and they was tough, so I went back to tyson and can't believe they are as tough as the member's mark, wonder whats up with the chicken, ended up having to use them for chicken jerkey for the pups!!!

  15. #15
    Super Member #1piecemaker's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by kriscraft99
    I purchased two big bags of frozen raw skinless, boneless chicken breasts and no matter how I cook them, they are tough.

    Has anyone ever had this problem and is there anything I can do to make them not so leathery?

    Kris
    Smother them in Ranch Dressing and let marinate an hour or so (even overnight) cover with foil and bake on 325 for a couple of hours or until done. It's a great way to cook them.

  16. #16
    Super Member Rumbols's Avatar
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    I split them down the middle and pound them to soften the fibers. Then I lightly brouwn them in olive oil and bake in the oven. I have been known to place them after browning in the crock pot with some chicken broth and let them cook on low for about three to four hours. Make great sandwiches. Sounds like you have an old laying hen that was allowed to live a long life. My mom used to use the meat tenderizer products they use on red meat on the tough old chickens; letting the tenderizer sit on the chicken breasts over night. Then she made as stew. Hope this helps.

  17. #17
    Super Member reeskylr's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by QuiltE
    How about the crockpot?
    One of my favourites is ...

    ~~~~~~~~~
    Salsa Chicken
    ~~~~~~~~~
    Layer chicken in crock
    Top with salsa.
    If more chicken next layer of each.
    At end, top with grated parmesan, cover with lid til ready to serve.

    Variations:
    * bake in oven covered with foil
    * use antipasto and feta in place of salsa/parmesan
    Crockpots are a godsend. I do my chicken this way too, most of the time. I also keep seeing a commercial for french fried onions and coating them with that, then baking. Need to try that one out.

  18. #18
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    Lightly brown them in butter on both sides, then ad a can of cream of mushroom soup and the breasts to the crockpot.
    Always tender. If it doesn't work for you, I would take the rest of them and the bag back to the store, they are not useable.
    D in TX

  19. #19
    Junior Member overdew's Avatar
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    [quote=QuiltE]
    Quote Originally Posted by kriscraft99
    I've never run across chicken like this... It has me so confuzzled :?

    From what you would say, I'm thinking this is be this is "old" chicken as in age of the bird. Thus not a lot you can do for it.

    Perhaps chop up into small pieces and use it in soup?
    I agree. It is old, either before or after, it was frozen. It is hopeless, I'd say. A market I no longer use would skin the "old" unsold chicken breast and repackage. Impossible to cook or eat!

  20. #20
    Super Member tlpa's Avatar
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    KrisCraft, I love your avatar!

  21. #21
    Junior Member quiltwiz's Avatar
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    I use them all the time. I have found that if I cook them in a fry pan on med. heat and add broth or salsa to the pan after the chicken has browned, but not yet cooked thru. Just don't over cook. Salt and pepper. They are delicious.

  22. #22
    Super Member teacherbailey's Avatar
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    Either bake them covered forever---like 2-3 hours (be sure they don't dry out; Zesty Italian salad dressing is our favorite and it contains some vinegar to help tenderize) or I ditto everybody with my favorite way to cook most anything.....CROCK POT!

  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by kriscraft99
    that is interesting

    I thought about trying some in the crock pot with some taco seasoning - to use for chicken tacos.

    I know normally I can boil or grill breasts and they are fine, but even boiled it is like leather. I've never run across chicken like this... It has me so confuzzled :?

    thanks so much,
    Kris
    Quote Originally Posted by JanetM
    Cooks Illustrated (great magazine if you like to cook) says it is important to cook chicken on low heat. The muscle fibers will shorten and toughen if you use high heat.

    I cook chicken probably 4 times a week and since adopting their method of low heat, my chicken is tender and juicy.I generally saute chicken, and sometimes simmer (never boil) for some recipes.
    A very very elderly chicken can be tough as cement...

  24. #24
    Super Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by kriscraft99
    that is interesting

    I thought about trying some in the crock pot with some taco seasoning - to use for chicken tacos.

    I know normally I can boil or grill breasts and they are fine, but even boiled it is like leather. I've never run across chicken like this... It has me so confuzzled :?

    thanks so much,
    Kris
    Quote Originally Posted by JanetM
    Cooks Illustrated (great magazine if you like to cook) says it is important to cook chicken on low heat. The muscle fibers will shorten and toughen if you use high heat.

    I cook chicken probably 4 times a week and since adopting their method of low heat, my chicken is tender and juicy.I generally saute chicken, and sometimes simmer (never boil) for some recipes.
    A very very elderly chicken can be tough as cement...

  25. #25
    Super Member amazon's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by kriscraft99
    I purchased two big bags of frozen raw skinless, boneless chicken breasts and no matter how I cook them, they are tough.

    Has anyone ever had this problem and is there anything I can do to make them not so leathery?

    Kris
    Kris , yes, I have run into this problem before. I have noticed its in the chicken breast that are bigger than your hand, and in fresh or frozen. I try to purchase them only from our local gro. who cuts & pkg. their own,they are small enough to fit on the palm of your hand. I find that Tyson here is bad about having larger birds therein larger chicken breast. When they are big like that , I butterfly them and pound them between plastic wrap or wax paper and cook as usual. It really does help. :D

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