Whether it’s for a salad, a filling in your pita bread or a sumptuous dinner, chicken breasts are a staple in the kitchen. Often, the weight of the chicken is indicated in the package when you buy it at the store. But sometimes, you tend to repack your chicken breast and throw away the original package. By then you might have forgotten how much the chicken breast weighs.
And if a recipe calls for a pound of chicken, how many pieces of the breast will it be? It’ll be easy if you have a kitchen scale. But what if you do not? Read our article to find out and we’ll also dabble a little bit more about chicken breasts.
Does Frozen Chicken Weigh More
You might be thinking that frozen chicken might weigh heavier than thawed ones. Since the bird has accumulated water, it should have added weight, right?
Technically, there isn’t any difference between the frozen and thawed chicken. Yes, there will be an increase in the overall weight. But the weight gain is very insignificant. That’s why you have to weigh frozen chicken as you would the thawed ones.
Don’t complicate your life in the kitchen! They weigh almost the same.
How About Raw Weight vs Cooked Weight
Chicken, beet, pork, or any other meat decrease in size and weight when cooked. They shrink to about 25 percent. Hence, the cooked chicken will weigh lighter than raw ones.
Though if you boil or braise the chicken, it would not shrink as much since it will also absorb some of the broth. Hence, frying, baking, and grilling tend to shrink chicken more compared to cooking them soup type.
But in cooking, you normally would have to deal with uncooked meat. So if the recipe calls for a lb of chicken, needless to say, this refers to the raw weight of the chicken,
So when you are referring to cooking the chicken, this pertains to the raw weight. The same goes for all types of meat. If a recipe calls for the weight of a cooked chicken or meat, this is referred to as edible portions.
How Many Pieces of Chicken Are in a Pound
Why is it important to know the weight of the chicken in the recipe? One, for dietary restrictions. A pound of meat corresponds to a specific serving portion that you can consume in a day.
And two, to achieve balance within the dish. If you’re going to use too few or too many chicken pieces versus what’s needed, the recipe might become too bland too rich.
The size of the chicken varies. But as a rule, two medium sizes of chicken breast is equal to a pound.
How to Portion Size Chicken
Chicken nowadays are getting brawnier. They are bigger, and they are going to get bigger in the future. So this is due to the process of selective breeding. That’s why it can be challenging to find a decent-sized chicken.
Why do you need to portion size your chicken before cooking? Because it will help lessen the cooking time. Moreover, since chickens are getting bigger and bigger, a single portion might be enough for two people already.
And getting an equal size of chicken pieces will ensure that all of the chicken pieces will be evenly cooked. There’s nothing that can mess up your recipe other than chicken with raw parts. Medium rare isn’t a thing in chicken, it has to be well done.
One of the best ways to portion size chicken is by butterfly slicing. And here’s how to do it.
- Hold the chicken breast on the top using your left hand.
- Place the knife sideways facing the chicken breast.
- Slice the chicken breast across from left to right.
- Then slice down in the middle.
Butterfly cut chicken is also perfect for cooking chicken cordon bleu or chicken breasts with stuffing inside.
Is Eating Chicken Breast Healthy?
Chicken is a good source of lean protein, particularly the breast part. Take a look at what nutrients you can get from chicken breasts.
1. A serving of chicken breast roughly contains 25-35 grams of protein.
It can provide part of your required protein requirement for the day. And a diet that’s sufficient protein can help you feel fuller longer. Thus it helps in managing weight too.
2. Chicken breast contains amino acids
Amino acids are the building blocks of protein. They help repair muscles and some amino acids have a special function in the body. For instance, tryptophan can help boost serotonin. Serotonin is a hormone that can help boost happiness. It’s called the happy hormone.
Chicken has high levels of tryptophan that can help improve your mood. Though it’s advisable to consume it together with high tryptophan foods such as a banana. This will help achieve maximum effect.
3. Chicken breast is lower in saturated fat
Compared to beef and pork, chicken breast is a source of protein that has lower fat and saturated fat. This can help prevent heart diseases.
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4. Chicken contains vitamins and minerals
Chicken breast is also packed with essential vitamins and minerals such as Vitamin B12, choline, zinc, copper, and iron. These nutrients help the normal and optimal functioning of the body. It can also help curb several symptoms such as anemia.
Chicken Breast vs Chicken Thighs, Which is Healthier
Since chicken breast and thigh came from the same bird, they’re just the same banana, right?
No, they aren’t the same. Though they came from the same animal, they have different nutritional values.
Chicken thigh is referred to as the dark meat of the bird. Its meat is tastier compared to chicken breast. Chicken breast is called white meat, that’s why it has a milder flavor.
In terms of nutrient content, the thigh part has twice as much fat content compared to the breast, especially if you’re going to eat the skin.
So people who are trying to lose weight must opt for the breast over the thigh. Thighs will be tastier but have a higher saturated fat content, thrice as much as that of the chicken breast.
How to Handle Chicken Breast Properly
There is a proper way of handling and preparing raw chicken. Otherwise, you can put yourself at risk of contracting salmonella.
- When working with chicken or turkey, never rinse them.
- Wash your hands for 20 seconds with soap and water before and after handling raw chicken.
- Thaw chicken or turkey at the bottom part of the fridge. Do not thaw poultry at room temperature.
- Use a separate chopping board, knives, and utensils when handling raw chicken and poultry.
- Regardless of the cooking method, the internal temperature of cooked chicken should be at least 165 degrees Fahrenheit. Chicken should be cooked all the way through.
- Freeze chicken and poultry as soon as you come home from the grocery. It should not exceed 2 hours.
- When reheating leftover chicken, heat it to a minimum of 165 degrees Fahrenheit
- Consume leftover chicken within 2-3 days.
Doing the following will prevent you and your family from contracting any food borne illness. Improper handling can cause listeria, salmonella, and other food-borne disease.
How to Tell if the Chicken Has Gone Bad
You might have leftover grilled chicken from dinner yesterday. As long as it has been properly stored in the ref or freezer, you can eat it again.
But what if your chicken goes bad? How will you be able to tell?
Here are telltale signs that you should toss it to the bin.
- It has developed a gray or green-gray color.
- It smells bad or there is an off-putting scent.
- Chicken becomes slimy after reheating.
- There are white spots or mold on the chicken
And of course, when in doubt, it’s best to throw away the chicken. Otherwise, you can risk contracting food borne illnesses. And this can be serious. It can even land you in a hospital bed. And some foodborne illnesses can have very serious complications. So it should not be taken lightly.
How long can you freeze chicken?
When frozen properly, chicken can keep in the freezer for as long as it’s not beyond its best before date yet.
How long can I keep cooked chicken in the ref?
Cooked chicken can keep in the freezer for 2-6 months. And when kept in the fridge, it can last for 3-4 days.
Can I keep the raw chicken in the fridge?
Keep raw chicken in the fridge only to defrost and thaw it. It will only keep in the fridge for 1-2 days.
Chicken is a versatile protein. It has a lower fat compared to beef and pork. And determining how much chicken you need for a particular recipe is pretty easy. But if you want to get an exact measurement, you can use a food scale instead.
Eva M. Smith is the owner of this website. She is a 4 year old mother of two kids and a professional chef. Eva loves to cook for her family, but being a working mom has a lot of challenges. From squeezing in time to do the groceries to make three meals for the day. Eva knows how challenging cooking can be without a kitchen game plan.
That’s why she perfected techniques of preserving staple ingredients and several foods so that you have something pre-cooked or pre-baked to use for an array of meals. And they do not come short in flavor! And she does not want to sacrifice flavor with convenience. That’s why she is the best person to ask.