CHICKEN REVELATION

Over four years ago, I wrote a post about white vs. dark meat in poultry. To sum it up, dark meat is moist and awesome, white is dry and crappy. For some reason white people love eating white meat and they even pay more for it. Hilarious!

For this reason, I avoid eating white meat when it comes to chicken and turkey. I never order a chicken breast at any fried chicken places, always drumsticks and thighs for me. At a restaurant, I never order a half chicken. Why? Half of it is white meat. If I’m that hungry, I just get two quarters… of the dark meat half, the leg and thigh.

Last week though, I experienced something radically different, something new in all my years of eating food. I ate some white meat from a chicken that was nearly indistinguishable from dark meat in terms of moistness and texture.

I was downtown, at a Joey’s restaurant. I was with a friend I hadn’t seen in a while. I’d had a gin and tonic and I was hungry. I was in the mood for chicken but the menu only had half portions and you know what that meant, white meat. I asked the waitress about this and she confirmed it was a half chicken but that Joey’s chicken was specially prepared and it was moist no matter what meat we were talking about. I was skeptical but I was also hungry.

When the chicken arrived, I was curious but didn’t think any white meat could be that moist. I cautiously cut a piece of white meat and gingerly stabbed at it with my fork. It felt soft at least. With great care, I placed the small portion of chicken breast in my mouth. Incredible. It was moist, tender, and juicy. Was this really white meat? I checked again. In all my years of eating chicken, that was supposed to be where the chicken breast was. I cut another piece and sampled it. It was just as magical as the first.

I ate the whole half chicken and the white meat was just as enjoyable as the dark meat. That had never happened to me before. The menu says that Joey’s brines their chicken for 24 hours for “maximum moisture”. I’m not exactly sure what that entails but I wonder why other restaurants don’t do the same thing.

I’m now afraid this one just a one-off coincidence, a magic bird that somehow was a genetic freak. I need to go back and see if I was just lucky. How could a meat so previously dry and tough becomes so tender? In the meantime, I encourage you to try it yourself.

2 thoughts on “CHICKEN REVELATION”

  1. Brining does make it much better
    Sous vide chicken ups the ante (which is probably what they did as well at Joey’s)
    If not sous vide, having an instant read thermometer so that you can take the white meat off at exactly the food safe temperature works too.
    I was the same with white meat, especially turkey, but I came around after trying the above.

  2. Dave, thank you for your insights! Now that I’ve look at some pictures, it does appear the chicken was mostly likely prepared sous vide. I’ve never seen a chicken breast look that moist before. What a revolution in cooking!

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