Why Is My Chicken Rubbery? – Common Mistakes To Avoid

Often you may be at the dinner table and faced with rubbery chicken. It may be a disaster if you have a guest having to struggle with the chicken breast. However, you can avoid such a situation if you go through this real time review. We have emphasized on why is my chicken rubbery to get yourself rid from that odd situation.  Perhaps the next time around, you will serve a delicious chicken dish to please everyone.

What Is A Rubbery Chicken?

There are many reasons for the chicken to become rubbery. The chicken breast is rubbery when it turns tough and chewy. The muscle fibers become hard and reach a condition called “woody breast” or “white striping”. You may have bought this type of tire-like texture chicken from the poultry farm or lost moisture because of storage at the home fridge.

Why Is My Chicken Rubbery?

A study in the year 2020, revealed that the rubbery chicken breast has a higher amount of connective tissue compared to the normal breast. When broilers are given protein-rich food, there is an increased growth resulting in toughness and striping of the tissues. The bulging growth muscles in the absence of enough moisture become tough and, difficult to chew.

Another reason is the overcooking of the chicken breast resulting in a tire-like structure. If you leave the cooked chicken in the grill, oven, or pan for a long time, the moisture evaporates and makes the chicken rubbery. When moisture content depletes, the protein fibers become elastic and rubbery. You find that undercooked chicken can also be rubbery; it then has a shiny look and rough consistency.

How Can You Avoid Ending Up In Rubbery Chicken?

To avoid ending up in rubbery chicken at the end of preparation take care that you

-buy “slow-growing” chicken 

-cook chicken with enough moisture

marinate the chicken for at least 30 minutes before you cook

Method of Cooking to Avoid Rubbery Chicken

The best method applicable to avoid rubbery chicken are the following

  • Boiling
  • Steaming
  • Simmering
  • Stewing
  • Slowing cooking in moisture
  • Braising

Method of Cooking to Avoid Rubbery Chicken

Avoid the Following Mistakes

In cooking chicken, usually, some mistakes occur, resulting in rubbery, stripped chicken. Avoiding these can help you cook a perfectly soft and juicy chicken dish.

Cooking in a cold pan or oven: Always preheat the oven before placing the pan of chicken. The hot pan does not make the chicken stick to the pan and will be complete in a short time without drying. Give time for preheating to the right temperature.

  1. Do not skip marinating with brine: Soaking in brine makes the chicken moist and adds flavor. As chicken meat is lean, marinating makes it soft.
  2. Chicken with the skin: If you keep the skin with the meat, there is the retention of moisture. If you dislike the skin, remove it after cooking. This process tenderizes the chicken and reduces cooking time.
  3. Use slow-growing chicken: Slow-growing chicken is fed with a rich meal, so accumulate less fat. Such “heritage” or “slow-growing” chickens are available at the stores. These chickens are more expensive as they wander requiring more space, food, and water.

Reasons And Solutions To Cooking Rubbery Chicken

Many reasons end up in rubbery chicken making it disagreeable texture and taste. Let us discuss some reasons for woody chicken and find simple solutions.

1. Overcooking

Cooking for a long to make the chicken breast overcooked makes it rubbery. The fibers that make the protein of overcooked chicken lose moisture content and become hard to chew. Baking and frying for a long time also make it rubbery because of exposure to heat for a long time. You can take the following measures to ensure perfect cooking time and avoid overcooking of chicken.

rubbery chicken over or undercooked

2. Frying

Quick frying of chicken is the best way to fry chicken with no rubbery texture. All pieces are not be the same size, so you need to use your intuition while cooking for each piece. You may remove the smaller pieces before. Do not overuse the grease. You may use the following procedure to ensure uniform frying of all parts of the chicken.

  • Cut similar sizes of pieces of thighs and breasts that are thick and large.
  • Keep smaller and larger pieces of chicken in two pans and cook separately.
  • Cook the larger pieces first as they will stay hot because of the size, then fry the small pieces.
  • Watch out for even frying on all sides.

3. Baking-Avoiding Rubbery/Woody Baked Chicken

Preheat the oven. The temperature should be high enough to raise the temperature of the internal piece of meat to 165°F. This will eliminate the microbes accumulated during freezing. Too high a temperature will also deplete the moisture and end up in rubbery chicken.

If you bake the chicken and confirm its doneness, you may do the following:

  • Make one or two cuts in the bone at the center of the thigh and breast. If it is blood or if the meat is pink, then it is not cooked. A slice of full-done meat will have no such signs.
  • You may also use a meat thermometer and place it deep in the center. If the temperature reaches 165° F it shows that it is completely cooked. By using the USDA temperature chart, you can perfectly baked chicken.

Why Is My Chicken Rubbery?

4. Grilling-Avoiding Rubbery Chicken

While you’re grilling, you have got a lot of liberty of exposing your chicken to low and soaring heat, as the grilling surface is huge. You can easily mix and match the small and big pieces. However, undercooking and overcooking can occur producing, chicken rubbery. Regulating the grill is essential for gas and charcoal grills. The solution to avoiding rubbery grilled chicken can be:

  • Watch every piece of chicken in the grill to have equal tenderness and color. Overcooked or undercooked grilled chicken is not all safe to eat. Such grilled chicken becomes rubbery with unacceptable flavor and texture. It is necessary to pay utmost care in managing the heat while grilling.
  • You can avoid rubbery chicken by adding beer or barbeque sauce to drip and marinate the chicken before grilling.

5. Boiling Chicken to Avoid Rubberiness

The chicken added to soup turns rubbery by boiling too long. Cooking to a temperature that goes above 165°F makes it woody. To avoid rubbery chicken by boiling, use the following suggestions.

  • In preparing soup, add the slices, shredded, or cubes of chicken pieces 15-20 minutes in the water before heating and serving.
  • The cooking time should be reviewed, based on the other ingredients you use and the thickness of the soup. Following the recommended time of cooking and temperature range, the soup poultry should be perfect.

Why Is My Chicken Rubbery?

Can You Soften The Overcooked Chicken Pieces?

If the baked chicken becomes overcooked, it can turn tender by dipping in the broth. Cut the pieces into thin pieces and keep them in a dish. Put the leftover broth that you used for baking the chicken into the baking dish. You can also use packaged broth. Preheat the oven and cook the chicken in the broth for 10-15 minutes at a low temperature.

Effect of Undercooking

Chicken undercooked not only makes it rubbery but also, is not proper for health. To assure yourself that your chicken pieces are all right, check the temperature. You can also check the following.

rubbery chicken over or undercooked

  • Make certain that the meat and the bone in the deep part do not have blood or are not pink. That is a sign of undercooked chicken.
  • Check the temperature of the deepest part of the meat to be 165°F to make sure it is soft.

Inadequate Moisture

Chicken meat is lean. The meagre fat content makes the meat dry. You likely end up with rubbery chicken from the store. It may not be possible to bring back the moisture, so you may try the following tricks to avoid further losing water.

  • Wrap the chicken with aluminum foil or plastic wrapper until you are ready to cook.
  • Before cooking, dip the chicken in salted water. Saltwater revives the moisture of the muscles and makes them soft.
  • Fill a saucepan partially with water, broth, or wine. Place a piece of butter and the chicken pieces. Heat for about 10-minutes as long as the chicken and liquid becomes moderately heated.

Is It Okay To Eat Rubbery Chicken?

If the rubbery chicken is due to overcooking, it is okay to eat. Undercooked chicken is raw, so it is not safe for the digestive system. Overcooked chicken, however, may be uncomfortable to eat because of the texture and difficulty in chewing. Serving with sauce or dressing toad flavor may compensate for the taste.

Why Is My Chicken Rubbery?

Final Words

Now that you know all the reasons for chicken being rubbery, there is little chance that you will place hard-to-chew rubbery chicken on the dining table. The skill in cooking a perfect dish of chicken begins from the supermarket. Slow-growing chicken is always the best choice as they are easy to cook and tastes great. Precooking procedures like marinating and methods of cooking such as control of temperature and time all add up to an appealing chicken dish. 

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