T Nation

Dry Chicken Breast: Save Me


#1

Okay… I’ve been eating the ridiculous, plain, overcooked chicken breast provided by my college dining hall for the past 1.5months (5-6 per day).

I need help.

Does anyone have some incredible ways to add flavour to chicken breast? Surely there are some good tips?

So far, I’ve found Tabasco to work sometimes, Sriracha works sometimes too (but sugar) and the ‘pure’ mustard they provide also helps. Any clever concoctions? I’m not adverse to buying spices/sauce.


#2

depending on macros, I usually marinate in orange juice, soy sauce, honey, and garlic for up to 24 hours. you can also use a brine (usually close to equal parts salt and sugar in water, with herbs, spices, and aromatics, like chopped onion and garlic), you can also poach it or just don’t make the mistake that most make which is to overcook.


#3

[quote]gulfcoast wrote:
depending on macros, I usually marinate in orange juice, soy sauce, honey, and garlic for up to 24 hours. you can also use a brine (usually close to equal parts salt and sugar in water, with herbs, spices, and aromatics, like chopped onion and garlic), you can also poach it or just don’t make the mistake that most make which is to overcook.[/quote]

I feel like you didn’t read the original post closely. He’s looking for things to do after it’s cooked. He’s not the one cooking, he’s getting food that’s already cooked at the dining hall.

OP, the things I would suggest would basically be sauces. Siracha, BBQ sauce, teriyaki, etc. Those will help with the moisture issue. Spices won’t do much for you. Unless you’re dieting for a competition or something, I doubt the sugar in these sauces will be particularly detrimental to your physique/lifting.


#4

Thanks for the response! ^

I’ve been trying to do a cut for the past 1.5months and am finishing it with a particularly strict two weeks now. This is partly because it would be fun to look very impressive when I get home after 3.5months, and partly because I want to reach a level of leanness that I haven’t reached before – to prove to myself that I can.

So, I’ll use the sauces more so next semester, but not now. Something else that I found helps a lot: break fried eggs over the chicken breast – the yolk adds moisture.

Thanks to you too, Gulfcoast, but Flipcollar is right – I can’t have any input in the cooking process.


#5

dry chicken breast is the worst. Has to be done when you’re dieting though


#6

Yeah… Meals take at least 30-45mins, every time… Just can’t eat dry chicken breast quickly…


#7

Sauces that flipcollar suggested would be a great route, also what about cutting up the chicken and tossing it into a salad.(Guessing the dining hall has this too). Between all the veggies and the salad dressing I think that would help with the chicken.


#8

you just need to go to your local supermarket and buy one of every type of condiment and rotate through them. It’s the only way.

Is chicken breast the only thing you can get? I understand you want to get as much use out of the cafeteria as possible, but are there no other options?


#9

Thanks guys, will try the salad option (probably a very good idea) and go condiment shopping.
To answer Yogi’s question:

The dining hall has a ‘grill’ (not a real grill by any measure) and the standard food area.
The food provided in the standard area is different every day (often very ‘unclean’ – think meatball subs, or deep-fried chicken nuggets), whilst the grill prepares food ‘made-to-order’. The options for the grill are: eggs, chicken breast, beef burger patty, turkey burger patty, beef sausage. The beef sausage is processed crap, nothing more, nothing less. Eggs are good. The turkey burger patty is a blend of ‘vegetables, brown rice and turkey’ (if you trust the label) – better next semester, not appropriate now. The beef burger patties come with boatloads of fat (and not all healthy animal fat), so also not appropriate now. The chicken is (nutritionally) fine, but there isn’t a person at that grill who knows how to cook chicken – it comes out with the consistency and flavour of rubber.

Thus, for now at least, I am eating rubbery chicken by any means necessary. Will load up on some beef burger patties when I’m looking to gain some weight.

There are areas nearby where I could purchase some food, but:

  1. Definitely don’t have time in my schedule to prepare food
  2. Probably don’t have time in my schedule to walk far away for a meal
  3. Do I really want to buy a meal elsewhere, when the cost of roughly 2.5 meals could get me a whole bag of Metabolic Drive protein, and I can just suck it up and eat the rubber chicken in the dining hall?

#10

I’m curious what kind of fat the beef patties are coming with that isn’t animal fat… And aside from that, it’s hard to eat too much fat in general.

As far as your diet goes, how lean are you? I maintain the level of leanness in my avatar picture without completing ditching carbs/sugar. I actually eat a lot of carbs. Unless you’re getting to, as I mentioned earlier, contest leanness (leaner than me), you don’t need to worry. Maybe just make sure you minimize carb intake from other sources. What kind of diet are you trying to follow?


#11

sweet baby rays. Ronnie coleman got me on to that and I have been using it for years on all my boring chicken, also mixing the chicken into mashed potatoes is pretty good.


#12

[quote]flipcollar wrote:
I’m curious what kind of fat the beef patties are coming with that isn’t animal fat… And aside from that, it’s hard to eat too much fat in general.

As far as your diet goes, how lean are you? I maintain the level of leanness in my avatar picture without completing ditching carbs/sugar. I actually eat a lot of carbs. Unless you’re getting to, as I mentioned earlier, contest leanness (leaner than me), you don’t need to worry. Maybe just make sure you minimize carb intake from other sources. What kind of diet are you trying to follow?[/quote]

Not carb phobic. Was once, wasted a year of training with almost no improvement – now I eat my damn carbs. I was previously getting 2-3 bowls of brown rice in per day, along with carbs coming from turkey patties, etc. Just, currently running this: https://www.T-Nation.com/diet-fat-loss/2-weeks-to-shredded

After these two weeks, I’ll be going back to more ‘normal’ clean eating – lots of ‘clean’ carbs every day. I’m not quite trying for contest lean, but I am looking to ditch my lower ab fat (something I’ve never accomplished before). Also thought it would be interesting to gain from such a low bodyfat % (lots of cool science about improved nutrient partitioning, etc.).
Despite the very low carb days, training is still going well – hit a squat PR yesterday. I think it’s due to Plazma (the carb I have not and will not cut). I’ll throw up a picture later, if it helps.

EDIT: about the beef patties – they arrive dripping in oil/grease. Unfortunately, my ‘healthy’ dining hall still cooks everything in canola oil. Ugh. Miss my cosseted, coconut oil-filled upbringing.


#13

I typically have chicken breast for lunch. I batch cook them so while they are usually moist to begin with, by the third day they have dried out a bit.

The solution is to go to a good deli and buy a range of relishes and chutneys. Personally, I hate salads, so adding dry chicken to it repulses me.

Also add these to your eggs with dill to bring them to the next level.


#14

^ Haha, I knew you guys would have great tips. Thanks!

Didn’t miss your suggestion, PlutoTheGod, will look into that sauce.


#15

[quote]tsantos wrote:

The solution is to go to a good deli and buy a range of relishes and chutneys.

^This and salsa.


#16

Molly McButter


#17

[quote]Fyzjin2 wrote:

[quote]flipcollar wrote:
I’m curious what kind of fat the beef patties are coming with that isn’t animal fat… And aside from that, it’s hard to eat too much fat in general.

As far as your diet goes, how lean are you? I maintain the level of leanness in my avatar picture without completing ditching carbs/sugar. I actually eat a lot of carbs. Unless you’re getting to, as I mentioned earlier, contest leanness (leaner than me), you don’t need to worry. Maybe just make sure you minimize carb intake from other sources. What kind of diet are you trying to follow?[/quote]

Not carb phobic. Was once, wasted a year of training with almost no improvement – now I eat my damn carbs. I was previously getting 2-3 bowls of brown rice in per day, along with carbs coming from turkey patties, etc. Just, currently running this: https://www.T-Nation.com/diet-fat-loss/2-weeks-to-shredded

After these two weeks, I’ll be going back to more ‘normal’ clean eating – lots of ‘clean’ carbs every day. I’m not quite trying for contest lean, but I am looking to ditch my lower ab fat (something I’ve never accomplished before). Also thought it would be interesting to gain from such a low bodyfat % (lots of cool science about improved nutrient partitioning, etc.).
Despite the very low carb days, training is still going well – hit a squat PR yesterday. I think it’s due to Plazma (the carb I have not and will not cut). I’ll throw up a picture later, if it helps.

EDIT: about the beef patties – they arrive dripping in oil/grease. Unfortunately, my ‘healthy’ dining hall still cooks everything in canola oil. Ugh. Miss my cosseted, coconut oil-filled upbringing. [/quote]

It sounds like you’re on the right track. I certainly agree about the benefits of Plazma. I never train without it. I also agree that gaining muscle from a very lean starting point works well, at least for me. You’ll likely benefit greatly from this. Every time I’ve reached a slightly leaner physique than I’ve ever been previously, it becomes easier to reach that point from then on, and it becomes easier to gain muscle while maintaining a low bf %.


#18

[quote]PlutoTheGod wrote:
sweet baby rays. Ronnie coleman got me on to that and I have been using it for years on all my boring chicken, also mixing the chicken into mashed potatoes is pretty good.[/quote]

x2. Sweet baby rays is what’s up. Also, a super-collegy approach would be to chop up the chicken and put into a bowl/cup of instant noodles before adding the water. After a few minutes, the chicke should be a bit more moist.


#19

Chop it up and toss it with some olive oil and garlic salt. Could also use Emeril’s Bam Seasoning or Adobe Seasoning, or any other spice you like, BBQ Rubs, etc


#20

Befriend the cook, say hey will I make it worth your while to fix it a certain way just for me wink wink nudge nudge!
Or as others have said, bring in your own lemon pepper, cookies flavor enhancer or what not.