Sunday, July 26, 2009

BYBS: Chicken Breasts

In keeping with the rather simplistic nature of my BYBS postings I thought I'd talk about chicken breasts.

As I've mentioned in the past, I'm on a diet; and this means I'm miserable. Scratch that. What I was trying to say is that, in addition to being miserable, I try to get the maximum nutrients with the minimum number of calories. This being the case, I have a running interest in high protein foods.

According to one source I've read, egg whites are one of the most readily absorbed sources of protein. The problem I have with them is that, in order to get a measly 40g of protein a day, I would have to eat around a dozen egg whites.

From time to time people have accused me of being lazy. I think they say this because it's true. In particular, the idea of boiling 84 eggs every week and then separating the whites from the yolks does not appeal to me.

Chicken, on the other hand, has about 3 times as much protein per gram as do egg whites. A modest 135g of roasted chicken breast (without the skin) contains that 40g of protein. It also comes in the convenient chicken-sized package instead of the somewhat smaller portions that eggs use. I therefore found myself in the supermarket eyeing chicken breasts.

At this point I ran into problem #2: I'm cheap. A glance at a whole chicken showed that pre-packaged breasts are over twice as expensive as buying chicken whole. For quite some time(tm) I've been buying whole chicken.

Given the stuff that I've blown money on in the past, I'm surprised that I lasted as long as I did. When I finally resorted to buying chicken breasts, I was, to put it mildly, pleasantly surprised.

I will usually roast a whole chicken for 3 hours, quite a bit longer than the minimum time of around 2. I'm that scared of food poisoning. By comparison, being completely paranoid and cooking the precut stuff for twice as long as required takes an hour.

Whereas it usually takes me a while to cut all the meat off a chicken, a chicken breast just needs to be cut up into cubes. I'm thinking of cutting them up ahead of time, they're easier to work with before roasting.

Being the sort of person who replied to the joke: "Does anal-retentive have a hyphen in it?" with "Which edition of the dictionary are we talking about?" using chicken breasts also means that I don't have to worry as much about how much fat I'm getting along with the chicken. I'm the guy who blogged about the USDA food database, remember?

So the moral of the story is: chicken breasts, good; JJ Abrams, meh (just curious to see if anyone read this).


Tanis said...

Chicken breasts can be tasty, if you cook them so they're moist still. I detest dry meat. I am more of a chicken thigh girl, myself. If you get the deskinned deboned chicken thighs, they're quite moist, but a bit more expensive. It is a compromise that Ben and I might sometimes make.
Lost rules! or something. :)

SandyCarlson said...

You crack me up--all the time. How do they get all those chickens to undergo mastectomies? Maybe it's not a choice thing.

I like your way of thinking and doing biz.

I wonder what we could do with those boiled egg yolks if we cooked that many eggs? Some new form of pool? Bocce? Dunno.

Have a great week.

CyberCelt said...

How about boneless chicken breasts? No waste, no cutting up, just meat, meat, meat. LOL

I am on a diet (always). It tends to make me preoccupied with food.

Hang in there. See ya next week.

Ben said...

The correct answer is: Use the yolks to make waffles and the whites to make the sauce. all are going to lynch me now, aren't you?

Blue Panther said...

The simplistic nature of your posts makes them interesting to read. I, like you, am pretty concerned about what I eat, and that has made me a vegetarian. :-)

PERBS said...

Well, I bought chicken breasts recently when I went camping with a friend. . . but I made fajitas out of them! The onions and peppers were great with it and I cooked them in light Virgin Olive Oil so that is healthy. Not too sure about the fajita seasoning tho. . . and on mine, I left off the sour cream and salsa and added tomatoes. Personally, I like the chicken breast the best because it is dry! lol

PERBS said...

I was sure I wrote a coment here last week. I remember tying it into chicken I made while camping. Maybe you just haven't had time to moderate it.

Just stopped by early for a new blessing -- will come back.

Whatever said...

If your comment did not show up, it is almost certainly because I am so good about moderating comments >.< Just one more reason I to appreciate the spammer who encouraged me to moderate comments in the first place.

stev said...

interesting thoughts. hmm.

i'll keep that in mind.

ps. also interesting ideas on meet-cooking from all