Why is baked chicken breast so dry?

a Whole Foods Market Customer


innoabrd March 1, 2011
I thought that's how boneless, skinless chicken breasts were meant to be. I mean, they seem to sell a lot of them, and charge a premium for them. I just figured it people who actually went out of their way to eat them, liked them like that...
usuba D. February 28, 2011
The number one reason, ahead of overcooking is the quality of the chicken. I guarantee if you buy a quality organic chicken, such as Eberly chicken over a Tyson . . . . Night and day the Eberly will always come out moist. How a chicken is raised, what it is fed and especially how it is processed will determine the moistness and quality. Save your brining, that is for low quality. For the last 35 years I have proved this time and time again to other cooks. . . Quality does matter when it comes to your ingredients.
boulangere February 28, 2011
I'm with latoscana. I brown them first in a skillet for nicely caramelized flavors, s&p on both sides, then put the skillet (ovenproof!) in a 250 degree oven until done to 160 degrees measured at the thickest part. Then take them out, cover with a couple of towels, and let rest in the skillet for 5 minutes or so before serving. The slow baking keeps the chicken from overbaking, the rest period lets fluid reinflate the cells, and the caramelizing means they are beautiful and very flavorful. Bon appetit!
latoscana February 28, 2011
As everyone else says, start with bone-in, skin-on chicken, but you can also brown on the stove briefly, then you can bake, but cover - even if with foil, it will be moister than if without. It will be more flavorful, too.
pierino February 28, 2011
I'm down with ChefDaddy's advice on this one. And he poses the right question, are these "skinless, boneless breasts" (an abomination against nature anyway)? Chicken with skin, cooked on the bone will be moister and more tender.
ChefDaddy February 28, 2011
Ahh, the real question is are you baking single boneless, skinless chicken breasts? If so, don't bake them! Put them in a pan and cook them low and slow so that they cook all the way through but doesn't drive the juices out to an internal temo of 160F and let stand for a few minutes before cutting. I only brine for the grill or BBQ.
SKK February 28, 2011
Threemealsaday is right on. I always, always bring my chicken breast and whole chicken for that matter. Brining allows boneless chicken breast, when not over-cooked, to remain tender.
Threemealsaday February 28, 2011
It is typically overcooked. The way to avoid this is 1) cook with the bone it and 2) brine the chicken in advance. Brining the breast will help retain the moisture in the breasts.
nutcakes February 28, 2011
It is due to overcooking. You must just cook until the inside temperature barely registers 160. Get a instant read thermometer so you can check. The temp can continue to rise as it rests, especially in the breasts are large. Chicken on the bone will usually come out moister. Another way to try to keep breasts moist is to brine them for a short period of time.
ChefDaddy February 28, 2011
Because it has been overcooked. Use a thermometer and cook to 160F (internal) and let it stand for a few minutes before cutting. If you cook it too long or cut it too soon it will be dry. Good luck!
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