Choosing and Preparing Chicken Breasts
Try to resist the impulse to reach only for skinless, boneless breasts-- both skin and bones add flavor and keep the meat moist.
*Breast Quarters (with wings) are ideal for grilling, broiling and cooking in stews.
* Whole Breasts (on the bone with skin) are best for roasting whole, with stuffing under the skin or not, and for poaching.
* Breast Halves (on the bone with skin) are great for grilling, broiling and roasting, with stuffing under the skin or not, and for poaching. Trim with shears to give them a nice, neat shape.
* Boneless Breasts are the quick cook's dream; this tender cut is best cooked quickly over direct heat (sautéed, panfried, stir-fried, deep-fried, broiled and grilled) or cooked gently and briefly in a moist preparation such as soup or stew. In supermarkets, these are usually available as skinless whole or half breasts. Either way, they need to be trimmed of fat, membranes and pieces of cartilage. It's most economical to cut the breasts yourself from a whole bird. Simply cut around the wishbone at the rounded end of the breast and remove it. Then slice against the breastbone and follow the ribs with your knife to release the meat. Repeat on the other side.
*Breast Tenders, or breast tenderloins, as their name implies, are the most delicate morsels of all. Cook them as you would boneless breasts, but very briefly. To remove the tough white tendon running along the length, hold the tendon with your fingers and scrape away from you with the back of a table knife.