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Weird texture supermarket chicken breast fillets

  • 02-03-2022 11:28pm
    Registered Users Posts: 40


    I've been buying chicken breast fillets from supermarkets for years but recently I've found some of them to be am extremely weird texture, has anyone else noticed this?

    I notice it a bit when chopping the meat, but when cooked, parts of the breast have the texture of uncooked chicken, so offputting i have to bin the whole thing!


  • Registered Users Posts: 141 ✭✭lenscap

    Some chicken fillets are brined or "self basting". This can cause a different texture to the cooked fillet.

    Brining is basically adding salt water to the product to add weight to the sale. It can cause a mushy texture to chicken.

    Just check the packet label. If the salt content is high then it has been brined.

    See the image below. Hope it helps.

  • Registered Users Posts: 40 Ardgorm

    Good tip on checking the salt content. I was doing a bit more reading on it last night and came across a thing called "woody breast", a condition in factory raised chickens in the US and it sounds like what I've found

  • Registered Users Posts: 5,755 ✭✭✭Princess Calla

    I've noticed this too....not that I've ever eaten raw chicken ...but the texture was very rubbery or something, I spat it out thinking it was raw.

    I usually get the diced chicken breast in Dunnes so wouldn't notice the texture when it's raw.

    I'll be keeping an eye on the salt content.

    I used to get my chicken in the local butchers but then noticed it was coming from Holland which I thought really strange.

  • Registered Users Posts: 13,359 ✭✭✭✭Dial Hard

    Brining isn't used to add weight to the chicken, it's generally done to tenderise it and the amount of water weight it adds is negligible.

    Some frozen chicken products are "tumbled" and that does add water weight, but any chicken sold in the EU has to declare if water has been added on the label, even if the chicken itself originated outside of the EU.

    So basically, only buy fresh chicken and always check the label to make sure it's actually Irish chicken.

    Not sure what could have caused the OP's issue, but just to flag that when Googling stuff like this, disregard pretty much any results from the US, their food practices for both meat and veg differ vastly from ours.

  • Moderators, Recreation & Hobbies Moderators Posts: 11,037 Mod ✭✭✭✭igCorcaigh

    I remember that woody phenomenon being discussed on some previous threads here, hopefully the new search function might help you. I haven't come across the problem myself. Free range chicken is worth buying if you're willing to pay the extra few €.

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  • Registered Users Posts: 3,059 ✭✭✭Sarn

    We had to bin a chicken breast dinner a few weeks ago due to the chicken being tough and rubbery. Never tasted anything like it before.

  • Registered Users Posts: 8,291 ✭✭✭Gloomtastic!

    I hate threads like this, you start getting paranoid.

  • Registered Users Posts: 4,321 ✭✭✭mojesius

    Spend a few euro extra on free range (Irish) chicken. Tastes much better! I usually buy a whole free range chicken, roast it, then use the leftovers in a curry/stir fry or sandwiches the next day.

  • Registered Users Posts: 8,291 ✭✭✭Gloomtastic!

    But there is no free range at the moment. Spend less and buy chicken thighs. €2 in Aldi that take 5 minutes to fillet.

  • Registered Users Posts: 13,359 ✭✭✭✭Dial Hard

    I'd still be willing to bet that birds that are normally free range are being kept in better conditions than their caged counterparts at the moment.

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  • Registered Users Posts: 435 ✭✭GoogleBot

  • Registered Users Posts: 337 ✭✭robbe


    Posted similar on here a few years ago - still find the same issue from any/all sources (butcher/supermarkets incl free range/corn fed fillets). Tends to be (on a good day) maybe 1 breast in a pack of 4/6 or sometimes worse. Tenderising generally does no good, texture is just wrong when cooked/eaten. Using a lot less chicken but am noticing a marked increase in the amount of mini-fillets (which don't seem to be afflicted) or diced breasts where you wouldn't necessarily notice until you'd cooked it. Have only ever had a not so great experience once with a full chicken which, when cooked had an odd texture so perhaps that or the genuine free range is the way to go (but less convenient/considerably more expensive)......