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Thursday, October 16, 2014

Fast and Easy Trick for Tender Chicken: Stick a Fork In It!

One of the first things I learned in the kitchen in my early 20s was that it is really easy to cook tough, hard-to-chew chicken. The first time I baked a chicken recipe I was so disappointed with the outcome. The chicken was not tender and delicious at all and I hated that. I quickly mastered the art of pounding chicken, which always yielded tender, evenly-cooked chicken. I’ve used that technique for years and still love it.

FAST and easy trick to truly tender chicken from @janemaynard

BUT…my mother-in-law Pat shared another trick with me that is equally as magical and beyond easy. She got the tip from a kid in town who worked in a restaurant and it’s great! Just stab the you-know-what out of your uncooked chicken breasts with a fork on both sides. Like, lots and lots of stabbing. Like, you-really-need-to-vent-some-frustration-so-you-take-it-out-on-the-innocent-chicken lots of stabbing. You end up with tender chicken and a little mental therapy to boot!

I like this method because it’s less messy. When you use a mallet, you need to get a cutting board dirty, there’s the yucky plastic wrap to contend with and, of course, the mallet also needs to be cleaned. With this method you just need a fork and you can stab the chicken right in the dish it will cook in. Easy peasy! This technique is also good for marinade…lots of little holes to soak it all up!

Happy stabbing! (Chicken stabbing, people.)


  1. shoot, we had chicken last night –I’ll be sure to give this a try next time. We eat a lot of chicken! 😉

  2. Such a great tip. I’ll have to give it a try soon.

  3. 3
    Rachel U

    Love this tip. I always overcook chicken. I hate it.

  4. This is awesome! I feel like all the chicken I make lately is blah. Probably because I’m throwing it from the freezer straight to the crockpot…oops 🙂

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