Did you ever face a rubbery chicken when you are ready to serve dinner? The texture of the chicken becoming rubbery has been a problem for some. Your best recipe that you cooked many times does not seem to work to give the perfect chicken dish. It is frustrating! However, knowing the reasons for chicken turning rubbery, and how you can fix rubbery chicken may solve the problem.
Although you have enough reasons to get upset, using some techniques will help you not to face a rubbery chicken again! Let us look at the whys and how’s of dealing with rubbery chicken.
What Makes Chicken Rubbery?
When cooked chicken is hard to chew, you know it is rubbery and there is no way you can enjoy your meal. This type of chicken also goes by the name of “chewy chicken” as takes a long time to chew. The breast and the lean meat part becomes are more vulnerable to become rubbery and spongy. Whatever way you cook the chicken, the rubbery texture is not all enjoyable. The reasons that make chicken a rubbery texture are the following.
1. The Farming System
In chicken farms, farms feed the chicks with a variable combination of feed. The environment of the farm and the nature of the feed affects the quality of the meat. The chicken turns out with “woody breast” a condition that makes the muscles too tight in texture. While buying raw chicken breast you may feel the meat of the breast hard. Organic feeds and a better raising environment produce finer-textured meat of chicken.
2. Overcooked Chicken
Overcooking the meat at a high temperature makes the chicken chewy. The overcooked chicken becomes dense and hard ending up with difficulty to chew.
3. Cooking Temperature
High temperature dries off the moisture inside the meat fast and creates a rubbery texture. The temperature and time of cooking need to change to create the best appearance and tenderness of the chewy chicken.
Chicken needs enough water to cook tenderly. Otherwise, in dry conditions, the protein turns elastic. Too much water will however break the pieces and appear indecent in a platter.
How to Make Chicken Tender?
If you want to have tender chicken, you need to pay attention and follow some steps from the time of purchase. We have for you some techniques that will help in avoiding rubbery chicken.
1. Buy the Best Brand
While buying the whole chicken or breast, look for a brand, a company of which follows good environmental practices and supplies harmless, scientifically accepted feed to the chicken. Test the pieces with your hand to see the hardness of the meat. With experience, you will know which type does not produce rubbery chicken.
2. Slow Cooking
Cooking food at a low temperature for a longer time is a traditional practice. As we save time, many of us enter the kitchen with very little time causing a disaster in the taste of food. With electronic stoves and microwaves, you can have slow-cooked food without taking up your time. However, with a little pre-planning.
To avoid rubbery chicken, prepare your dish a few hours ahead of dinner. Add enough stew so that the water in the chicken does not dry up. Set up to a low temperature and time in the oven. Let the food sit in the oven on a heatproof bowl, the number of hours required to cook tender. You need not check, the timer will let you know when it is done.
Slow cooking is a way of avoiding overcooking food especially beef, pork, chicken, and more. As the meat is in the stew, there is plenty of moisture to keep it hydrated. Further, slow heat releases the water in the cells of the meat slowly, preventing degeneration of protein and a chewy state of the chicken.
Most recipes call for 4 hours of high heat settings and 6 hours for low temperature. You may follow the same time and heat management for tabletop stoves. However, you would like to watch now and then to watch and find out the exact time it takes for the certain weight of chicken to become tender.
In avoiding rubbery chicken, the disadvantage is the long time to cook. It may not be workable to use an oven going for so many hours. Other ways of cooking tender chicken are possible.
3. Gravy Method
Using gravy is wonderful for cooking tender chicken. Gravy is a type of sauce made from the juice of meat or bones, with a mixture of both. They usually prepare the broth with milk and flour or starch. This gravy can have additional spices and ingredients to suit individual tastes.
The chicken with the gravy is easy to cook in an oven or a stove. Because of the moisturizing effect of the gravy, the chicken does not turn rubbery. You may have to watch occasionally to see if the gravy does not dry out. Cooking chicken in gravy is an excellent way of avoiding chewy chicken.
4. Brine Solution
Using brine solution to tenderize chicken saves cooking time. Brine is a solution of salt and water. However, the solution is not just salt and water but contains several salts and spicy ingredients to create a balanced effect. Therefore, the chicken takes the flavor of herbs and spices.
The brine breaks up the protein of the chicken with less loss of water and a tender chicken. A simple brine chicken recipe should help in carrying out the process easy.
8 cups of water
1/2 cup of kosher salt (sea salt)
1/4 cup of honey
3 bay leaves (dried)
5 cloves of smashed garlic
1 tbsp. Black peppercorns (whole)
3 fresh rosemary sprigs
3 sprigs of fresh thyme
3 fresh parsley sprigs
2 lemons, sliced
4 lbs. of chicken (whole)
- In a large pot place water, honey, salt, garlic, bay leaves, peppercorns, parsley, rosemary, thyme, and lemon. On top of a stove let the mixture simmer over low to medium temperature.
- Cook the ingredients for 3 to 4 minutes until the salt dissolves.
- Switch off the stove and let it cool.
- Submerge the chicken in the brine.
- Place a cover and keep it in the refrigerator for 10 -24 hrs.
- Take off the chicken, rinse with cold water, dry with a towel.
- Cook the brined chicken according to your recipe. This is a perfect of avoiding rubbery chicken.
Also Check: Professional Garlic Chopper Reviews
The problem of rubbery is a common problem in homes. For beginners, broiler chicken cooking may be disappointing. The reasons outlined have led to finding out treatments to overcome the rubbery texture of cooked chicken.
You can fix rubbery chicken by simple procedures. These however need prior planning, starting from buying the uncooked chicken from the grocery store. Avoiding the chewy chicken requires more time than if you would cook straight from the fridge or store. However, the processes are full proof. As you chicken dish will be delicious and not rubbery.