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Substituting Chicken Breast for Thighs

Chicken dark meat tastes better than white meat. I get it and I agree. It's tastier, more forgiving, etc. However, both for health and marital bliss reasons, I generally need to reduce fat and, frankly, my wife doesn't like the taste of dark meat and as well.

Do you have recommendations for using chicken breasts instead of thighs without drying out the chicken? For example, I've found that converting some recipes into grilled kebabs with two zones allows chicken breast to cook through more quickly and evenly. But that doesn't work for everything. For example, Milk Street's miso-glazed chicken with mushrooms recipe that was recently highlighted doesn't lend itself to this sort of approach.



  • edited August 12

    Hi Mitchell - you can substitute chicken breasts for most (if not all) of our sheet pan chicken recipes, including our recipe for Miso-Glazed Chicken with Mushrooms. In fact our Sheet Pan-Roasted Chicken (which includes 3 flavor variations - za'atar, jerk, and coriander) calls for a mix of whatever parts you like. I would recommend using bone-in, skin-on chicken breasts. The skin and bone will protect the chicken a bit from drying out. Most importantly, temp your chicken. Insert the thermometer into the thickest part of the breast and pull it out of the oven when it hits 160 degrees. This will ensure that the chicken will still be moist and juicy. Hope that helps! Best, Lynn C. _

  • I brine my bone-in, skin-on chicken breasts, then air-dry in the fridge before use regardless of the recipe for which they are intended: pan-seared and oven-finished; sheet pan, etc., unless obviously for stews or soup. The results have been consistently tender and juicy for the 10+ years I've done it this way. Typically, I'll brine 4-6 split breasts, use 2 and freeze the rest which I'll air-dry after defrosting.

  • Thank you both.

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