What did she do to the chicken?

New girlfriend cooked me dinner Saturday night.

She wrapped the chicken breast in parchment paper, then wrapped that in aluminum foil and put it in the oven for half an hour.

It tasted fine but it looked weird: no browning at all on the meat.

What would you call that manner of cooking meat?

Steamed en papillote?

The relationship is doomed. Get out now! [Standard SDMB broiler plate]

Touché, my friend. Touché.

Next time order the mallard au maillard.

She steamed the breast, and thank goodness she did!

Chicken breast has little/no fat and doesn’t do well being roasted/baked. It ends up dry and stringy and lacking all sorts of flavor.

You should be kissing your GF’s toes for being so sensible.


Sacrificing the brown to get the best possible texture is legit. As long as it turns out good, be happy. :slight_smile:

Note that poached chicken breast (yes what it sounds like, just cooked in boiling-hot water) is also very effective, in certain recipes at least.

Thread relocated from IMHO to Cafe Society.

Chicken breast is kind of an annoying cut of chicken to cook; they’re typically thick and extremely low fat. This means that it needs a fair amount of time to cook (thick), and that it’s going to be prone to overcooking and dryness (no fat).

Your best options are to cook it in some sort of high temp/high conductivity method (i.e. immersed in hot liquid like oil or water), or at a relatively low temperature (USDA food safety recommendations are 165 F internal).

High temp methods tend to overcook the outside pretty severely.

And yeah, steamed en papillote is probably the best description.

I agree on the difficulty of cooking chicken breast. En papillote is a good method.

My favorite method: Halve the chicken breast flatwise, and maybe pound it just a little bit to thin out the thick end a bit. “Poach” it in butter in a skillet, slowly and gently. Remove it and make a yummy sauce of your choosing out of the poaching butter. Shallots and tarragon is especially good. Whole grain mustard and cream are another good choice. When the sauce is completed, return the chicken and any juice, and heat gently for a few moments to reheat the chicken.

Of course, the defeats the purpose of eating lean white chicken meat, but you have to goose it up somehow.

I still want that maillard goodness, though. Can you do a quick sear, ala a rare steak?

I always just cook them on the skillet, but thaw them in the microwave first, where they get a bit cooked.

While we’re on the subject, if you butterfly it, load it with a sagey, peppery sausage (through which you’ve stirred diced onion sweated in bacon fat), fold it back over then wrap the whole thing in bacon and oven roast it…well, it won’t be dry. That whole “lean white meat” thing is maybe lacking a bit here too.

Don’t overthink things. Just slice it thin, bread it and fry it in a pan.

Honey harvest stuffed chicken breast. Exgirlfriend made this for me once. Never could get the exact recipe from her. Involved butterflying the chicken, stuffing them with a mixture of almonds butter honey and herbs and spices and then baking.
Its the herbs and spices that remain a mystery. Today mostly because I’m too lazy to look it up.
Yep, totally defeats the common purpose for eating chicken breast, to eat healthier.

I prefer to turn it into schnitzel. Cut it as described, then pound it to about 1/4" (yes, “I’m going to pound my chicken now” is a running joke in my house), dredge in flour, then egg wash, then Panko mixed with dried herbs, and fry.

Agree with Alessan and ChefGuy.. Chicken schnitzel is always welcome at table.


Or you can do what Alessan and Chefguy said (specially good if you expect leftovers), or just cut the breasts thin / butterfly them and fry them using the smallest amount of oil.

Second the Panko - it makes deliciously crunchy schnitzel. I also recommend mixing a bit of mustard in with the egg.

Mustard is a good emulsifier and works well when making scrambled eggs as well. You’re basically combining two emulsifiers (mustard and egg yolk) with a third (butter), which makes for some creamy eggs.