Saturday, May 9, 2009


Last week, as part of a major restocking in case of swine flu (purchased: Some $500 of frozen/ nonperishable/ yummy stuff to be used up starting now, whether or not a pandemic hits Seattle), Alex made a purchase I cannot condone: Four pounds or so of free-range boneless, skinless chicken breasts, on sale at the PCC for some minuscule discount off the usual extortionary $6.99 a pound or whatever, frozen and shrink-wrapped in a massive "DISCOUNT PAK!!" Ah, commerce.

The thing is, no matter how much you're "saving" on boneless, skinless chicken breast, you always lose. This is because boneless, skinless chicken breast is the plain 35-calorie rice cake of poultry--all but textureless, more than flavorless, and inferior in every conceivable way (unless you're counting calories, but why not just eat less of something actually good?) to any kind of dark chicken meat. This is an indisputable fact. Dark meat just tastes better. And if you have to eat white meat, the skin is its only saving grace--take that away, along with the satisfying experience of biting off the end of a well-cooked chicken bone, and you've got the poultry equivalent of a stale low-sodium saltine cracker--perfectly innocuous, harmless in every way, but why would you eat it?

But--bias, nay, good taste be damned--I've got to figure out a way to cook the freaking things. So far, I'm wavering between Mark Bittman's sauteed chicken cutlets (which redeems the fatlessness of the chicken cutlets by frying them in half an inch of oil); his stir-fried chicken with fermented black beans (the latter, again, for flavor); chicken piccata (a classic, apparently); or the Joy of Cooking's baked stuffed chicken breasts (can't find a recipe online, but it's on page 592 of the 1997 edition). I'll update on whether I ultimately overcome my boneless-skinless-chicken-breast aversion (doubtful) or learn tolerance for America's most popular poultry cut (it's possible!)

1 comment:

  1. Hi Erica-

    I’m writing to you from Meatless Monday (the same Meatless Monday you wrote about the meat industry opposing when we asked Obama to institute it at the White House.) I just wanted to thank you for supporting our cause and helping to spread the word.

    I’ve read several posts on the C is for Cocina and your interest in food and politics really fits in line with what Meatless Monday is all about- cutting back meat moderately to conserve what’s important- our health and our planet.

    This week we’ve featured C is for Cocina as a featured friend on the Meatless Monday homepage. Check it out: Many blogs think it’s fun to do Meatless Monday posts every Monday, with featured recipes, photos, or stories every Monday, capturing their latest meal. If you’re interested, feel free to use any of the recipes, available in the Meatless Monday recipe archive.

    Please keep in touch if you’re interested in doing Meatless Monday posts. My email address


    P.S. I absolutely agree with this post in particular. Dark meat is much more delicious than white meat. (Even I eat meat on days that aren't Monday.)