Monthly Archives: November 2012



Q: What do a hammer and boneless chicken breasts have in common?

A: It’s how an ex-pat breaks up a 5-pound bag of frozen chicken breasts.

Now I still like my warm, fresh, moments-ago live chicken from the wet market but most of my American recipes call for boneless breasts or thighs (hah – I’ll never find them). EVERYTHING IN CHINA HAS BONES so when I found them in the freezer section at Metro a few months ago I was excited.  It wasn’t until I got them home that I realized I had “some trouble”. I had no idea how to break up the 5 pound “sheet” of chicken. Somehow I managed to saw, break with my hands, stab with a butcher knife, and thaw them a wee bit in water and then refreeze the ones I didn’t need. Our immunity systems have never been in better form so something like refreezing slightly thawed chicken doesn’t deserve a second thought. But after tearing a bicep and almost cutting a finger off, I haven’t bought them. 😉 A few weeks ago I caved and they have sat in the freezer, unopened since then. Monday night as I was trying to go to sleep and not think about anything, the idea hit me! I can tell you it works like a charm.

I’m going to explain the proper technique because you may be faced with the same dilemma someday. Your power may go out juuuust long enough to slightly thaw your chicken, not enough to be unsafe, but enough that the juices run together and refreeze into a mass of white breast meat. What will you do?  Wrap the bag in a towel, you don’t want any frozen bits of chicken splattering the cupboards when the bag tears open, and hammer away. They tend to naturally break into individual breasts and not into nuggets.

You can thank me the next time you see me. 😉

2PM – 74°