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What’s the cause here of rubbery chicken???

post #1 of 26
Thread Starter 

Ok all you chefs and cooks out here. Where did I do wrong? I entertained a large number of people and served grilled herbed chicken cutlets as one of the meat dishes a few weeks ago. These were chicken breasts from Sam’s which I used before for large events with no problems.

 

The chicken breasts this time were huge and I mean huge. I have never seen chicken breasts that large before but it was definitely chicken LOL. I sliced the breasts into cutlets, no pounding and brined in salt and sugar as I usually do for a few hours before grilling.  

 

The chicken breasts for the event were good, very juicy, but I thought the meat was a tad rubbery coming off the grill but it wasn’t really noticeable.

 

I froze the leftover raw, brined chicken and thawed it and used it over last weekend. The meat off the grill this time was like biting into rubber. I never had this problem before, wasn’t over cooked or dried out but the wood grill may have been a little high on the heat.  

 

Was it poor chicken quality from Sam’s? Was it the brining and freezing? Could the meat have been frozen before and the second freeze caused the problem? Can too high of heat cause this? Trying to figure out what made the chicken rubbery as serving that at my next event would be highly embarrassing.

 

Thanks in advance for any advice!

post #2 of 26

Could be a combination of all of the above.

Are the chicken breasts natural or enhanced?..... Chances are from Sam's, they are enhanced.

Stick with smaller breasts, don't know what region your in, but buy a reputable brand such as Foster Farms or similar, they will not be enhanced 15% with salt water. They will be fresh, never frozen thawed, unless you buy them frozen, then they will be ice glazed, and your still paying for water.

 

I serve grilled chicken breast every day, 6oz, never dry, always tender. Skip the brine, give this marinade a try....

 

Cilantro, fresh lime, garlic, olive oil, red chili flakes, s&p. Marinate for a couple hrs, then grill, don't over cook.

 

post #3 of 26
It was partly freezing, but mostly the chicken itself.

As a rule, you can't use too much heat to grill a thin piece of poultry white meat. You can overcook it, but I'll take your word that you didn't.

Brining will not make chicken tougher than otherwise -- won't tenderize it either unless there's acid in the brine, but... again, not the case.

Cooking, holding and reheating will -- but you didn't do that.

Since the chicken was rubbery before you froze it, then more rubbery afterwards... you have your answer.

Buy better chicken.

BDL
post #4 of 26

Most chicken breast sold today are FROSTED that is a degree or 2 below freezing. So in escence you froze twice which makes them  tough., but allows extended shelf life

 2 The larger the breast the tougher

. 3. You should in particular, those large 10 and 12 ounce breast  Pound them first. I do not think marinating had any thing to do with it

4 Some brands of chicken are  always tough to start with Sanderson Farms, Iowna, Mission etc.

Chef EdB
Over 50 years in food service business 35 as Ex Chef. Specializing in Volume upscale Catering both on and off premise .(former Exec. Chef in the largest on premise caterer in US  with 17 Million Dollars per year annual volume). 
      Well versed in all facets of Continental Cuisine...

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Chef EdB
Over 50 years in food service business 35 as Ex Chef. Specializing in Volume upscale Catering both on and off premise .(former Exec. Chef in the largest on premise caterer in US  with 17 Million Dollars per year annual volume). 
      Well versed in all facets of Continental Cuisine...

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post #5 of 26

I have a very good gambling buddy called Chicken Neck.

Their family has been in the chix business for years. It's a simple fact that you can oversaturate any meat including humans.

Enhanced is a nice word. If they were taken to 100% saturation the muscles will in fact expell water if enhanced again.

It no longer represents meat/muscle. Heat will make it expell all of it's liquid.

  If you purchased flashed chix breast like Chefed says, he is exactly right about refreezing them.

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post #6 of 26

Might be worthwhile to resurrect this thread with current information. It's been becoming more and more common to find breasts as tough as shoe leather. If I take a breast and fillet it I know right away when the mallet bounces right off of it I have a tough piece.

 

http://www.cbsnews.com/news/woody-breast-could-bite-the-chicken-business/

post #7 of 26

Interesting.  I try to find chickens under 3 1/2 Lbs., they are hard to find.  Chicken has changed.

post #8 of 26
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jimyra View Post
 

Interesting.  I try to find chickens under 3 1/2 Lbs., they are hard to find.  Chicken has changed.


Try the local farmer's markets (if any) in your area, I routinely find chickens around 3 lbs there. 

post #9 of 26
Quote:
Originally Posted by French Fries View Post
 


Try the local farmer's markets (if any) in your area, I routinely find chickens around 3 lbs there. 

 

@French Fries - have you done a "free range" chicken?  Even ours at 3-1/2 lbs. had somewhat tough leg quarters.  I mean these chickens are on the move building muscle all the time.  :lol: 

post #10 of 26

The chickens at farmers markets are not USDA inspected.  I would have to observe the slaughtering process.  I raised chickens for a while and they are kind of nasty.  I just  kept laying hens.  The people that sell eggs at the farmers market reuse egg cartons.  This is a good way to spread contamination.  They tell me they can't afford to buy new.  New cartons can be bought for around twenty cents each.  If they don't sell safe eggs,  I question the chickens.  There is one farm that sells meat, poultry, and produce.  I have been wanting to go one Saturday and check them out. 

post #11 of 26

This is how you fix woody chicken breast. Soak them for about 15 minutes in about a gallon of water and 2 teaspoons of backing soda. You'll see the hard fibrous outside layer of the breast turn white.

 

You'll also see that tough leather layer start to separate from the tenderized meat. After 15 minutes wash them off and you can just peel that layer right off the breast. The breast will no longer be smooth, it will have a rough sandpaper like look to it but the meat will be tender and you won't have to be chewing on a shoe all night.

post #12 of 26

I did not know what that white stuff was coming off the chicken breasts. Some months ago I purchased already breaded breasts (for a quick meal) at the grocery store meat counter but did not realize they were so thin....had been run through a machine for tenderizing, apparently. They first ones I cooked were awwwwful; more breading than meat. Second time I actually ran both breasts under the faucet until I had rubbed off all the breading. It had gotten in and through the grooved tissues. By the time the breading was gone, I had this whitish material which, when I began pulling away, left me with almost no meat at all. I bought 4 packages of 2 each breasts. The store is good about returns, but the date will show I have waited too long to return the remaining packages. At least I am finding my answer about this weird chicken texture.

While here, I might as well ask, has anyone noticed that large white vein/artery running through the breast? It seems to be a recent "addition" as I am over 70 and never remember such a large vein in any chickens I bought. For years, until recently, I bought whole chickens and think I would have seen it. Have chickens suddenly grown a new vein? It is too tough to eat when cooked, and by the time I trim and pull it from the raw breasts, I have mangled them badly. Thanks.

post #13 of 26

Resurrecting the thread hopefully. I think someone is mistakenly using those rubber chickens for breast cutlets. Not so long ago,  I would order Chicken Francaise weekly from a local restaurant. Delicious! But, lately, the chicken that used to be easily cut with a fork, can barely be cut with a steak knife! The pieces are rubbery and tough to chew. That NEVER would happen before. There has to be a legitimate answer. Are they injecting them with hormones or antibiotics? It is NOT an overcooking or a freezing that is causing it. There is something unusual about the texture. I'm going to try to call Perdure. Maybe they know something,

post #14 of 26
Whenever I think about how much genetic changing has taken place with chickens, I can't bring myself to eat a commercial one.
There is an additional or enlarged (I'll call it an artery) in the breast.. I have to believe it delivers extra blood to the additional growths on chickens being raised in an unknown place.
Those growths must be whole legs. That's why the breast are so big. Also why most of the commercial retail breasts are skinless. Hiding under the healthy label. Otherwise they would look like Swiss cheese.
I get stymied when I try to do the math on chickens.
You go into the so-call meat section in a grocery store. You'll find a hand full of whole chickens, a dozen packages of chix breasts. Then you'll find 100's and 100's of thighs, and legs.
Just think about it. The economy dictates that most families are buying legs and thighs. Most all restaurants that are able to disguise the chix will use thighs. There are millions of
Buffalo chix wings served daily. It's just not possible that one half chix breast represents one leg, thigh, and wing.
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post #15 of 26

I think part of it is the solution they inject?  It almost cures them, a bit like a ham.

post #16 of 26
Quote:
Originally Posted by kuan View Post
 

I think part of it is the solution they inject?  It almost cures them, a bit like a ham.

 

I am with kuan on this one. Makes sense to me.

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post #17 of 26
Quote:
Originally Posted by panini View Post

Whenever I think about how much genetic changing has taken place with chickens, I can't bring myself to eat a commercial one.
There is an additional or enlarged (I'll call it an artery) in the breast.. I have to believe it delivers extra blood to the additional growths on chickens being raised in an unknown place.
Those growths must be whole legs. That's why the breast are so big. Also why most of the commercial retail breasts are skinless. Hiding under the healthy label. Otherwise they would look like Swiss cheese.
I get stymied when I try to do the math on chickens.
You go into the so-call meat section in a grocery store. You'll find a hand full of whole chickens, a dozen packages of chix breasts. Then you'll find 100's and 100's of thighs, and legs.
Just think about it. The economy dictates that most families are buying legs and thighs. Most all restaurants that are able to disguise the chix will use thighs. There are millions of
Buffalo chix wings served daily. It's just not possible that one half chix breast represents one leg, thigh, and wing.


No, I don't think there are chickens genetically engineered to grow extra legs. ;) My thinking is that many breasts are not acceptable for consumption as is for various reasons, one being tough or rubbery. I would think those would be processed into ground chicken that would be used as is or further processed into chicken nuggets, etc. That would explain the disproportionate number of wings, legs and thighs.

post #18 of 26

We were driving down a country road one day and a chicken ran past us.  I stopped and asked the farmer why the chicken ran so fast.  He explained the need for more legs for the average family dinner.  He had developed a breed that had three legs.  I asked him how do they taste?  He replied "I don't know I can't catch one."

post #19 of 26

Being in hurricane country we increase the amt of canned items on the pantry par starting in spring...just in case.

So ready for bad weather as well as the zombie apocalypse .

If nothing happens we have plenty of soup and casserole ingredients for fall and winter.

Have noticed the increase of shelf space given over to chix.

Solid chunk chix breast to be specific.

 

So maybe that is where all the breast meat is going.

 

mimi

post #20 of 26
Quote:
Originally Posted by panini View Post

You go into the so-call meat section in a grocery store. You'll find a hand full of whole chickens, a dozen packages of chix breasts. Then you'll find 100's and 100's of thighs, and legs.
Just think about it.

 

All thoses breasts must be shipped here to Southern California then. Here it's the other way around, it seems like chicken have been modified to have 3 or 4 breasts, because the hip word in town is "white meat." How could all those restaurants, from hole-in-the-wall to food truck to fancy healthy joint all offer only white meat on their menus?

 

post #21 of 26

Those 4 pound breasts certainly help.

post #22 of 26
The four pound breast is the problem for tough rubbery chicken.
post #23 of 26
Halb
I'll agree that the may be using the breasts for something else, but your example, chicken nuggets? really? They are made with whole bird parts, you know, the same byproducts as used in dog food. trim, feek, toes, feet, etc. And if you figure they they are 60% fat, I'm not sure how much breast is in them.

French Fries
, judging from the prices on that menu, I would have to bet a' nice lunch, with beverages' that you are going to receive thigh meat. Have a friend who has a place that serves similar dishes. As the thigh sits on the cutting board, there is usually a plump high spot that is lighter in color. He slices that portion off and then freezes
them so he can slice them paper thin.
chefbuba
I think a four pound breast should be running around yelling gobble-gobble
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post #24 of 26
Quote:
Originally Posted by panini View Post

French Fries
, judging from the prices on that menu, I would have to bet a' nice lunch, with beverages' that you are going to receive thigh meat. Have a friend who has a place that serves similar dishes. As the thigh sits on the cutting board, there is usually a plump high spot that is lighter in color. He slices that portion off and then freezes
them so he can slice them paper thin.

 

So you're saying chickens are being genetically modified to produce more leg meat than breast meat – but then that leg meat is being sold as breast meat? Not sure I follow your train of thought.

post #25 of 26
No, not what I'm saying. I apologize for not having the ability to string a sentence together. Major Chemo Brain. I was saying that there are many restaurants that substitute thigh meat for white meat even if it stated on the menu. Truth in menu laws are obsolete and and almost never addressed.
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post #26 of 26

So... I guess it's been awhile so I can make a joke now?  :D :D 

 

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