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Pan-fried undredged chicken turned out less moist?

Commented on August 09, 2012
Created August 09, 2012 at 3:44 AM

I'm new to this forum, but I'm considering the Paleo Diet, especially because I take after my father physically and he is very sensitive to carbs from grains (they make him very sleepy) so he typically eats home-cooked meats for breakfast and lunch.

Anyway, I have a question about pan-frying meat. In this case, I was making chicken picata with boneless skinless chicken breasts that were pounded thin. My recipe was already pretty much paleo, except that the chicken is dipped in an egg and lemon mixture, and then dredged in flour. So I tried making a few pieces without the flour (but I still dipped them in the egg-lemon mixture) and the resulting pieces came out slightly drier than the ones dredged in flour, and I'm trying to figure out why that might be the case.

The cooking method was to pan-fry the chicken in a skillet with a little butter (I used homemade ghee) on medium-high heat for one minute per side, then to pour in the sauce (chicken stock and lemon juice) and reduce the heat to medium low and cook covered for 10-15 minutes.

If I were not going to use flour, how could I alter the cooking method to keep the juices in the meat better? And should I still dip the chicken in egg, or would it be best not to, since I'm not dredging in flour?

Sorry for the silly question. I honestly have no problem eating chicken without a coating, I just want to keep it moist and am wondering what I did wrong!

F2c347d7525967f66644a12266639b96

on August 09, 2012
at 11:29 PM

Yeah Just add a little oil. I never tried saving the chicken fat but you could try it. You can pound the thighs or quarters but they're like cooking thick piece of bacon. The longer you cook it, the smaller it gets and more fat gets rendered off. It will never get tough or dry out on you like chicken breasts will. They cook way faster then breasts and it's almost impossible to overcook them.

0156dcc25110efb6351e5308fbe57b86

(125)

on August 09, 2012
at 01:46 PM

Can chicken thighs or quarters be easily pounded thin in the same way as chicken breasts, to 1/4" thick? Also, when searing them, do you need oil in the pan, or do they release enough of their own fat to cook themselves in? Can the drained excess fat be used for cooking later? Sorry if I seem ignorant; I'm still getting used to cooking things beside chicken breasts, but I'm excited to experiment! Roasted a whole chicken (skin-on of course!) a few days ago and it was delicious! I was disappointed that they didn't include the giblets, as I'd been hoping to try cooking and eating those too.

F5a0ddffcf9ef5beca864050f090a790

(15515)

on August 09, 2012
at 05:54 AM

Use ground almonds instead of flour.

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F2c347d7525967f66644a12266639b96

on August 09, 2012
at 04:03 AM

I actually suggest not using chicken breasts at all. Use either deboned chicken leg quarters or thighs. You can still get that crispy exterior without the need for dredging. I treat it like it's bacon due to the amount of fat.

Just sear the sides, drain some of the fat, and then proceed to saute your vegetables if you're using some. Once you cook them a bit, you can then deglaze the pan with your chicken stock lemon juice mixture and add your chicken back to pan.

But if you insist on chicken breasts. Try rice flower, tapioca flower, or coconut flower. Don't know where you live but a place like Whole Foods has them.

F2c347d7525967f66644a12266639b96

on August 09, 2012
at 11:29 PM

Yeah Just add a little oil. I never tried saving the chicken fat but you could try it. You can pound the thighs or quarters but they're like cooking thick piece of bacon. The longer you cook it, the smaller it gets and more fat gets rendered off. It will never get tough or dry out on you like chicken breasts will. They cook way faster then breasts and it's almost impossible to overcook them.

0156dcc25110efb6351e5308fbe57b86

(125)

on August 09, 2012
at 01:46 PM

Can chicken thighs or quarters be easily pounded thin in the same way as chicken breasts, to 1/4" thick? Also, when searing them, do you need oil in the pan, or do they release enough of their own fat to cook themselves in? Can the drained excess fat be used for cooking later? Sorry if I seem ignorant; I'm still getting used to cooking things beside chicken breasts, but I'm excited to experiment! Roasted a whole chicken (skin-on of course!) a few days ago and it was delicious! I was disappointed that they didn't include the giblets, as I'd been hoping to try cooking and eating those too.

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