See also chicken.
One of the most popular and versatile chicken parts available, white meat chicken breasts are available fresh or frozen in a variety of cuts. Whether baked, broiled, grilled or sautéed, chicken breasts are easily prepared or added to recipes. They're an excellent source of protein and lower in calories when eaten without the skin.
- Entire breast portions are available bone-in, boneless, skin-on and skinless.
- Breast quarters include half a breast, a wing and part of the back. This is generally a little more than one quarter of the whole chicken.
- Breast halves, or split breasts, are portions that have been split lengthwise to produce two halves. They are also available bone-in, boneless, skin-on and skinless.
- Cutlets are boneless chicken breasts that have been pounded to produce a tender piece of meat with uniform thickness. They are typically boneless and skinless.
- Fillets are boneless strips that have been sliced from the breast.
- Tenderloin is the upper muscle portion of the breast that runs along both sides of the breastbone. When cut into pieces or chunks, they're called tenders.
Chicken breast is typically sold prepackaged. Check that the cellophane isn't torn or leaking. Also check the date on the label for an indication of freshness. Avoid any chicken with an "off" odor or skin that is bruised or torn.
Because chicken breasts require more "grooming," they are more expensive than other chicken parts. Perfectly skinned, boneless cuts will cost you more, but you may find them worth the price in convenience. Breasts sold pre-seasoned, pre-breaded, fully cooked or in individually wrapped portions can be real time-savers in the kitchen.
Store fresh chicken in the coldest part of the refrigerator for up to two days. Leave in the refrigerator until ready to use.
If not using right away, wrap breasts in foil or an airtight plastic bag and freeze for up to six months. Thaw chicken in the refrigerator or submerge frozen packages in cold water.
Containing little fat, lean chicken breasts should be watched carefully to keep them tender and juicy. Boneless breasts will cook faster than bone-in pieces. As a general rule, chicken is done when the juices run clear.