Help - Odd chicken texture
I have been having an issue on and off with the texture of my chicken. The chicken is fully cooked through (I can tell based on internal temp, time in the oven, color of the chicken and juices), but the texture of the chicken is funny, almost like it hasn't been thoroughly cooked. When I cut into the chicken I feel resistance (like you would when butchering raw chicken rather than cutting/carving cooked chicken) and there is a strange almost squeaky mouth feel. This has happened to me with bone in, skin on chicken breasts and also skinless boneless breasts. Usually when this happens to me, there are some pieces of chicken that are fine, but others that are decidedly not. At first, I thought it was a result of cooking frozen chicken that hadn't fully thawed. But last night, this happened when I roasted some never frozen bone in breasts from the fridge. Could this have something to do with how I'm cooking the meat? Or is it a sad byproduct of factory farmed chicken breasts? Has anyone else had this problem?
I have also come across something very odd.
I buy from a local and popular meat outlet selling for local grass-fed free-range no-antibiotics no hormones-grown meat, poultry farms = Not Factory Farmed.
We’ve enjoyed numerous excellent buys from there.
Then we bought 2 chicken breasts the size of turkey breasts (1st flag?) and with simple cast iron fry and butter basting, they were exceptional in taste, texture, cooking.
But then, a second purchase of similar product, first bite is a TOUGH bite - like eating that very thin band of ‘gristle’ found on steaks, just under the delicious fat layer. Again, the taste, smell, colour, cook, and texture below this layer on the breast were all fantastic….except that outer bit.
Think one of the farms is pulling a quick one on the outlet?
Never thought of generational effects of junk-fed critters, and breeders and raisers buy from multiple farms, just as they sell to multiple farms.
That's actually a very good point, well worth contemplating....sadly..
As far as this goes, I have also had this situation with chicken breasts and it is described here perfectly with the "rubbery, crunchy, silicone" texture. Not sure if this is the reason, but what I've noticed is if the chicken breasts were not properly and totally thawed, they will tend to have this texture after being cooked.
Giving up on chicken.
Do you mean the top layer of the meat?
Stay away from mass produced branding has stopped this issue completely, for me anyways. I also used to buy what I thought was good, clean chicken, as it is market as such. The owner of Springer chicken himself messaged me directly when I addressed concerns---because it seemed it was happening quite a bit with their brand. He actually admitted it is a known issue within the larger processor plants. They have no fix for it, as it isnt clear how to eraddiciate it...and there are supposedly are no health effects, just a random unpleasant experience. He sent me a mound of Springer Chicken coupons and a check with a personalized letter. Is that accountability? Sure...but revealing you're not the "smaller" more "natural" brand you market, as well as acknowledging the issue, was somehow admirable and honest [shining a light on it from the source], but also had me giving the coupons away and just switching to either some local to me, or Bell & Evans, which I haven't had any issues with in the 2 years or so that I experienced this issue on an alarmingly increasing amount of times.
The thread from day one is very comprehensive and do recommend a skim to any/all that have questions.
Good day to all!
Was supposed to say something to the effect of commenters should be going back and reading/skimming and there are answers in there. Just the industry hasn't a way to fix it, as it happened over time, abd will take time to reverse it, if it is genetically related issue.
Raw chicken or dry rubber bands, I think woody chicken fits because it’s like you can feel each grain of muscle like you can see wood grain.
I stopped buying chicken sandwiches at McDonald’s after two failed attempts and Popeye’s is next after bad chicken tenders.
I really think organic is the safest bet; which sucks for those shopping on a budget or for large families. Thankfully I am buying for three people.
I have also had an issue with tough, stringy, inedible chicken legs. Chicken legs are a favorite of ours on the smoker, but after the last experience we’ve shied away. We will prob have to try the organic route with those as well.
But sous vide is not gonna make this type of texture go away. Reading quite a few posts from ppl going back several years and this is my 1st ever even coming across this or heard of this myself. Im in (middle) TN. My family eats mostly chicken and I'm just completely speechless at what I experienced last night and had no idea what it was and was not a woody texture or a fatty texture but def not a tender but I guess a rubber texture. Was not edible. The other 3 were normal, tender, juicy, as usual.
I'm glad I'm not crazy!!
People here are commenting that there is woody breast but that description seems very different - like stiff and hard.
What I experienced (and it's happened a couple of times) is a raw feeling texture, rubbery, and like it should squirt!
What is it?! Thanks!
I am seeing some below mentioning it's caused by some of cheaper chicken factories brining/injecting. This is NOT the case...it is believed this is brought on by overbred chickens---a genetic issue. As much as it safe to eat, not too sure I want to experience it again. Whole Foods made a statement that they would not sell or deal with "factory commercial chicken" suppliers [i.e. responsibly raised], so you will have better luck with them imo, and I have. They do business with Bell and Evans also, and havent had an issue with their 365 or the B&E. Springer is one of the culprits for sure---I complained awhile back and the owner does reach out personally, but just threw a handful of coupons instead of "owning" the situation.
I think the best way to describe the texture is if it were raw, its has the weird "raw" feel...with a light almost crunchlike feel, though cooked ll the way.
The thighs are fine, which I do love, but the lady isn't always a fan of those. So Springer is 3 for 3...next up: Bell and Evans...I don't remember having such a noticeable condition in that brand, but will see.
Organic Whole Foods chicken (the one in the shrink wrapped tray). This seems to be happening with conventional and organic chicken. Why?!
All the more reason to buy local, pasture-raised chicken (wicked expensive tho). I'm guessing local poultry farmers are better about keeping it at bay and breeding against it. Probably has to do with decades of industrial farming. Chickens being grown with no sunlight, so packed in they can't even move, growing so fast that their legs can't support their bodies even if they had somewhere to move to. That's total speculation that that's the cause, of course, but it certainly can't do any good for their genetics over generations.
I buy them from a butcher and only recently have they started to dish out rubbery ones. I guess it’s the future
Disappointed to have to find another dinner, but glad I’m not alone.
I honestly thought I was cooking it wrong this whole time! But after reading this thread I know I wasn’t... still, it’s weird that I’ve never had the problem since I started sous vide.
If you don’t want to buy the machine, you can use a pot, ziplock bag, water, and thermometer and babysit the chicken.
I know this may sound like it’s a bit hot, but I cook my chicken at 165 degrees for one hour, 2 hours if it’s frozen. I pan fry it on a hot pan for a few seconds for a sere, and it comes out great every single time.
Give it a try!
So here's my theory - Something happened when I inserted the thermometer probe into the thickest part of the thigh, right at the joint there. I punctured the artery (vein?) with the probe and a small amount of red fluid rushed out. From there the chicken came straight out of the stove and rested in foil until I cut the leg quarters right before serving. They say we're supposed to let the meat rest before cutting so that the juices can redistribute, but I figure the damage is done when we break the seal if you will, by inserting the thermometer.
I couldn’t stomach a regular egg, suddenly in 13 years ago. A very wise science major told me to buy Certified organic eggs, and instantly I could eat an egg again.
But business being business, slipping in the GMO’d is becoming an organic thing. Wishing everyone the best of luck in our current environment!
We’re going to need it, so just keep reading the peer reviewed science journal articles to get the real deal on their “progress” and the noticeable effects in our CRISPR world.
Home cooked (1 out of 5) and even twice at KFC (2 out of 3)... haven’t been back since.
It really does put you off chicken.
I might try our local market (this chicken was purchased at no frills) and try to find a scrawny little delicious chicken. I heard a show recently on chicken and how they used to be much smaller - and so rich and delicious that you’d only need a small amount to feel satisfied. It’s a drag to have a meal turn out like this after buying all ingredients and spending the time. I hate to waste food!
Always all about the money, with no thought about the real consequences.
But I must admit, I really did like the Cotton Candy grapes.🤑
Costco, Lidl, & Zaycon. All the breaths are huge. From Zaycon we would get 40lbs of chicken delivered farm to table. It was less than 40 breasts with average breast size over a lb. I have found that soaking in milk for an hour before cooking or so helps with this funky texture.
1. Like the original poster, the chicken breast looks mostly normal, but when cooked the texture is as if it is still raw. There is an odd resistance when you cut into it, not with threads of fibrous tissue, but pretty uniform throughout the breast.
2. There are fibrous threads running through the chicken breast, though I haven’t seen much that tells me what biting into one of these is like. I believe this one is what some people are referring to as “woody breast” or something like that.
They SEEM to be two separate issues as the first seems to surprise people with no warning as the breast appeared normal but is as if it’s raw when bit into, and the second you can tell by looking at it and/or cutting into it and it has fibrous tissue.
Science for profit owned by global conglomerates tells the American people nothing. Americans can’t even get the right tests to cure the “new” rampant chronic illnesses.
My favorite line “we are entering the golden age of genetically altered chickens”
I have noticed this at numerous places including at home
In my experience I notice a tough fibrous texture where you can feel every tissue fiber break under your knife or teeth while chewing. I wonder if what I describe is similar to your experiences.
After cooking the same way for 20 years, I have also noticed this rubbery, off, texture in chicken breasts over the last couple of years. Even when others in the same package are fine, there are one or two that aren't.
The answer lies in the previously hyperlinked article from the Wall Street Journal:
The problem is called "woody breast" and recognized by the industry. It is directly related to commercial chicken producers breeding fowl to produce larger amounts of the white meat preferred by the modern consumer.
In fact, the breast of some of these chickens weigh more than an entire chicken did 20-30 years ago.
This is causing abnormalities in the breast meat that cannot be detected until the meat is cooked. This happens now in about 5-10% of typical mass-market commercial chicken breasts.
As I pointed out in my reply, it appears I have not encountered this problem simply because of my personal preference in smaller chicken breasts (I don't eat a lot of meat, don't have an interest in huge chicken breast portions).
There are only a handful of breed lines sourced for producing commercial chicken here in the USA, so the frequency of "woody breast" is not so surprising, assuming the condition is genetically determined.
The easiest course of action to minimize this problem would be to simply avoid buying gargantuan chicken breasts at the store.
Best of luck.
At some point in the 80s it became generally fashionable to prepare kosher birds--they were perceived as either healthier or more flavorful (or both).
Kosher aside, the texture of brined white meat (is 'bouncy' the word?) is what puts me off.
Side note: we Viets like our chicken on the chewier side and we'll actually pay a little more for that quality.
When I buy at my farmers market, I always ask for the smallest one they have; if I'm lucky, it weighs in around 3.5-3.75 pounds. When I buy a whole chicken at the grocery store's staffed butcher case, I always try to get a small one.
This is mostly due to the fact that my meat consumption is quite small, so having a smaller bird fits better with my own eating habits. I also like the way the smaller birds taste and cook up.
Clearly all chicken is not equal as I mentioned earlier.
Look at your chicken very closely. Assuming you are purchasing prepackaged chicken, look at the ingredient list on the package.
These days, many commercial chicken producers are brining their meat which alters the texture substantially.
I find the texture of brined poultry (chicken and turkey) to be utterly repellent, but some people here seem to enjoy it. Brining also increases moisture retention which essentially allows poultry producers to increase package weight with water.
You should consider changing sources, either switch brands or find a store that has a butcher case staffed by people.
My chicken supply is pretty reliable. I buy A.) whole frozen chickens from farmers market, B.) whole ones or parts from the staffed butcher case at my favorite local grocery store, or C.) parts from the refrigerator case (making sure the parts aren't adulterated).
You don't say where you get your chicken, but like *ALL* ingredients, all chicken is not equal. Choose wisely.