T Nation

Best Chicken Recipes?

nutrition

#1

Couldn’t really figure out which subforum this question belongs in, so I’m putting it here.

I am a beginner/intermediate lifter who suffers from eating flavorless chicken all the time. I don’t have a lot to work with, just 10lb bags of frozen boneless & skinless chicken breasts from Costco and some basic spices that my mom never uses. All I’m doing right now is prepping ~8lb chicken about once every 6-8 days by marinating it in some cheap teryiaki (I butchered that spelling) sauce, baking it in the oven, then covering it in barbecue sauce when I’m ready to eat it. Basic and boring.

If any of you experienced folks (or culinarily inclined folks) have a way to turn frozen chicken into something palatable, please post your recipe or a link to one! Seems like every time I find a recipe that sounds good, it ends up just being bad. I don’t know if it’s my fault or what. I’m going to keep eating chicken until the day I die, because gains, but I like being able to enjoy my food. Please help a brother out!

Edit: I have, and am still willing, to go out and buy fresh chicken breasts if it makes a difference. It’s hard to beat 10lbs for $12 or whatever it is, but I’ll spend a little more if it makes a difference in a recipe that any of you guys use and/or recommend.


#2

For the larger (8oz) bagged breasts I broil them with a little salt, pepper and garlic.

The trick is to have the broiler on the 2nd rack down, about 6 min. per side. The outside is nice and broiled, inside nice and juicy.

As simple as that is, people have told me that was the best chicken they’ve ever had.


#3

Wait… you wanted “clean” food? Nvm


#4

I think as opposed to a specific recipe, investing the time into the technique would probably be of more value to you, especially in the long run. If starting with frozen breasts, one thing you can do is start by dry/wet-brining them while they thaw. Dry-brining is coating the breasts all over in a layer of salt and letting it sit for about an hour, whereas wet-brining is when you submerge the breasts in a water-salt solution. If you want to read up on the science behind it I really recommend seriouseats.com, but the gist of this technique is the salt changes the structure of a protein in the breast, helping it retain moisture and cook properly. It also changes the texture of the chicken once cooked, giving it a bit of a glassy look (this is how they treat fried chicken in places like KFC). It also helps to season the chicken more thoroughly, and also makes the breast a more forgiving piece of meat to cook, i.e. harder to overcook.

The second thing I would really recommend is an instant read thermometer. That really makes all the difference in the world when it comes to cooking any meat to the right temp, as it ensures you get consistent results each time you cook. You can get a really good one called thermopop, for about 30 dollars. You can basically cook it whichever method you like, so long as you take the chicken off the heat a couple degrees before it hits the desired temp, which brings me to my next point.

After cooking the breast, especially if it’s a whole breast, you want to rest the meat for a few minutes to let the residual heat

  1. finish cooking the meat
  2. give the breast a chance to reabsorb some of the juices that would otherwise be lost, if you were to instantly cut into the breast.

I know these processes seem quite laborious, but once you get a system going it really doesn’t take much extra time, maybe adds about 15 minutes to your overall cook time.

There are plenty more things you can do, but I think I’ve rambled for a little to long as is, but I really do recommend the aforementioned website, as that’s where I learnt most of my cooking.


#5

Hell nah it’s bulk season baby


#6

I’ve tried using a salt brine solution before, but it didn’t turn out well. It was softer and juicier than normal, but it was also like trying to eat a salt lick or something. I’ll check out seriouseats, thanks man


#7

I changed things up when I realised my lunch tasted like the food on Lufthansa. For those who haven’t flown with them - they must not have changed their menu in over 30 years!

The worst is if you’ve bulk prepped it and it’s 3 days old or more. Urgh.

What I do now is dice it up as small as I can (frozen helps), let it thaw and dry it as much as possible (paper towel) then I make it as part of a stew or chili or similar.

This makes it acceptable.


#8

I’ve got 4 more 6oz ziploc bags of it in my fridge right now that have been there for about a week. I feel like I need to spray it with febreeze or lysol to kill the stench before I attempt to eat it…we’ll see