Chicken Breast Quarter
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A Chicken Breast Quarter is one of the common products made from Breaking Down a Chicken. The Chicken Breast Quarter, NAMP # P1010 (for a Broiler)  consists of a single Chicken Breast  with a Chicken Wing and portions of the back attached.

Availability

Chicken Breast Quarter is available all year long.

Production

A Chicken Breast Quarter is made by separating the Front Poultry Half vertically with a single cut through the sternum of the carcass and continuing through into the back of the carcass. A Chicken Breast Quarter is all White Meat.

Purchasing

The Chicken Breast Quarter should not have any defects, cuts or broken bones. It should not have any lingering feathers either. The skin color can range from cream white to corn yellow. Any color within this range indicates suitable quality. The differences in color are only a byproduct of the feeding practices of the poultry farmer. Different areas of the country have different skin color preferences, and the farmers usually adjust their feeding regimen to meet those preferences.

With a selection in mind, look it over. Are there bits of frost or ice formations on or around your intended purchase? Ice and frost can indicate a Frozen Chicken being passed off as a Fresh Chicken. While you are looking, check the “Sell-By Date,” which is 7 to 10 days after the Chicken was slaughtered. If the bird is out of date or even approaching its Sell By Date, look for another bird. Properly refrigerated Chicken will only last a few days past the Sell By Date once you get it home.

Even with a good date on the package, you may want to ask the butcher how long that particular Chicken Breast Quarter has been sitting in the case. Avoid spending your money on something that has been sitting there a few days. The longer they are out in the store, the shorter time they will last in your refrigerator.  

Finally, complete your purchase decision with a “Smell Test.” Does your Chicken that has passed all the other tests smell neutral or does it smell off?  Oxygen and light can cause fats to go rancid. Chicken Fat is mostly composed of Unsaturated Fat, which breaks down more easily and quickly than Saturated Fat (the predominant fat in Beef and Pork). This means that Chicken keeps less well, even in the modern refrigerated distribution system. There isn’t likely to be a problem, but there could be, and your nose is a good first line of defense. While all bad Poultry won’t smell, all smelly poultry is bad.

With the perfect specimen selected, place the Chicken Breast Quarter in its own plastic bag. Most stores provide them hanging from a wall near the Poultry case or you can probably find some in the produce section or grab some from the checkout stand on your way in.

We advise separately bagging the Chicken to try and prevent Cross-Contamination. Place the bagged Chicken by itself in a corner of your cart. It should not be sitting on top of, or over, anything else. You don’t want any raw chicken juices dripping onto and contaminating anything else, especially ready-to-eat foods.

Get the raw or frozen Chicken Breast Quarter home as quickly as reasonably possible. In high heat (90°F or higher), it may only last an hour in a hot car before starting to spoil. If you live far from the store, consider investing in a cooler to protect your purchases.

Once home, it is best to use your raw meat as soon as possible. If you cannot use it immediately, you will want to store it safely out of The Food Danger Zone, either frozen or refrigerated.

This may seem like a lengthy purchasing process at first, but soon it will become second nature, and your family, and your budget, will thank you.

Storage

With your poultry purchase unpacked at home, if you are planning to store it, you should do a little preparation to ensure the best outcome for a longer chill or freeze.

If you plan to use your Chicken shortly and are going to refrigerate it, just place it in your refrigerator in the lowest of the meat drawers in the coldest part of your refrigerator. It should be in its original packaging, and optimally be inside a plastic bag. Placing it in a plastic bag will help prevent any raw juices from inadvertently dripping out and Cross-Contaminating other foods. If it won’t fit in your lowest meat drawer, place it as low as possible and don’t store any ready-to-eat or previously cooked food below it. If nothing is below it, escaping juices, if any, won’t spoil other food. If you want to learn more about safely handling Raw product visit Smart Kitchen’s Food Handling Exercises, and the Refrigerated Storage Resource Page.

Stored this way, you should be able to refrigerate Chicken safely (below 40°F) for 2 to 3 days before using it but since fresher is better, we recommend cooking it as soon as practicable.

If you plan to Hold your Chicken frozen see the Smart Kitchen resource on Avoiding Freezer Burn. Using this method, the frozen Chicken Breast Quarter (held at or below 0°F) should last for 3-4 months but will begin to lose flavor after 2 months. Fresher is still better, even with frozen Chicken.

The best way to Thaw (the link has more on thawing) Chicken is in the refrigerator over a day or so. To thaw in a hurry, frozen Chicken can be removed from its packaging and thawed in an hour or so by placing it in a container with perforated sides (like a Colander) and continuously running cool water over it in the sink until it is thawed. If using this quick thawing method, keep an eye on the clock and be mindful of how long your product has been in The Food Danger Zone. 

Do Not Re-Freeze Previously Thawed Chicken. Also be aware that since you were thawing Raw you will need to Sanitize your sink and equipment accordingly.

For chicken leftovers or extra pieces, separate them into smaller portions for fast, safe cooling, then store them in a storage container or labeled zip-lock bag. Move them out of The Food Danger Zone as quickly as possible to the freezer or refrigerator. Cooked Chicken or Chicken Parts can be held refrigerated up to 4 days.

Culinary Uses

Chicken Breast Quarter is composed primarily of White Chicken Meat which is generally more tender, and faster cooking than Dark Chicken Meat. On Smart Kitchen’s Home Plate Chicken Breast Quarter would be considered: Cooked, Tender, [1.Thin, 2. Thick or 3]. Thin or Thick (depending on how it is butchered and prepped), Moist, & Lean. In the Home Plate shorthand it would be (C,T1, [T3 or T4], M, L).

Since White Chicken Meat has very little Fat, and is almost 70% water (raw with skin on), White Chicken Meat can be cooked “fast and hot.”

White Meat also cooks more quickly than Dark Meat, making it appropriate for some quicker Dry Heat Methods such as SautéingGrilling, Broiling, Pan Frying, Roasting, Deep Fat Frying, etc.

White Chicken can also be cooked with Moist Heat Methods such as PoachingStewingBraisingFricassée, etc.

Remember Chicken Breast Quarter is a Bone-In item. It will take longer to cook than a Boneless item (potentially twice as long). The bone is denser than flesh and is more resistant to the penetrating heat of cooking than flesh. The flesh next to a bone also takes longer to cook as a result of its proximity to the bone. Think of the bone as a “heat shield,” protecting/preventing the surrounding meat from cooking and you may get the picture.

All of the Chicken meat has to be cooked to a safe Final Cooking Temperature of 160-165° F (71-74° C). Because there is Carry Over Cooking involved, the Pull Temperature™ for Chicken Breast Quarter should be 150-155° F (65–68° C). Using a Meat Thermometer is the best way to check that all of the food has reached a safe Internal Temperature for consumption.

Despite the fact that Bone-In Chicken takes longer to cook, there are some plusses to cooking it as well. One positive is that the retained bones add a lot of flavor to the cooked dish. Another is that retained bones help the meat hold its shape during cooking.

Portion Size

Allow 2-4 oz of Chicken Breast Quarter per person.

Pairings

Dried Herbs & Spices - AniseAllspiceCardamomCayenne PepperCelery SeedsClovesCorianderCuminCurrantsCurry LeavesCurry PowderMustard SeedsNutmegPaprikaRed Pepper FlakesSaffronSaltSea SaltKosher SaltSesame SeedsStar AniseWhite SugarBrown SugarBlack PepperWhite PepperPink PepperTurmericChili PowderBay LeafCinnamonTarragonParsleyOreganoBasilGarlic PowderRosemaryDillMintSavory

Fresh Herbs OreganoChivesParsleyCilantroBasilSageTarragonMarjoramThymeRosemaryChervilDillCorianderMintSavory

Dairy MilkButtermilkButterYogurtCrème FraicheSour Cream

Wet Ingredients Beer, Coconut MilkOilsCream, Fish Sauce, Soy Sauce, Grand Marnier, Sherry, Stocks, Wine, Vermouth, Vinegars, Whisky, Brandy, Cider

Thick Ingredients Hoisin Sauce, Honey, Maple Syrup, MayonnaiseMolassesMustardsTomato Paste

Vegetables Artichokes, Bell Peppers, CapersCarrotsCauliflowerCeleryCelery Root, Chile Peppers, GarlicOnionsGingerKale, Lemongrass, Mushrooms, PotatoesSpinachTomatoes, Turnips, Turnip Greens, Chard, DaikonEndiveEscarole, ParsnipsLeeks

Fruits Apples, OlivesAvocados, Bananas, Figs, Raisins, Cranberries, Dates, Guava, Grapefruits, Grapes, LimesLemons, Oranges, PeachesPomegranates, Pears, Apricots

Nuts AlmondsCashewsHazelnutsWalnutsPeanutsPine Nuts

Meats Bacon, Ham, ProsciuttoPancetta, Sausages, Turkey

Substitutes

Chicken Breast

Nutrition

Skin-On Chicken Breast Quarters contain 275 calories with .69 oz (19.6 g) of Fat and .81 oz. (23 g) of protein.  With the Chicken Skin removed there are only 128 calories, and .13 oz. (3.8 g) of fat.  Chicken Breast Quarters do not contain any Carbohydrates, Dietary Fiber or Sugar.

Gluten Free

Yes

Low Fat

Yes

Low Calorie

Yes