Pre-cooked chicken breast is a way to add a quick but hearty meal to your family diet when you don’t have time to make it from scratch.
Meal prepping can be challenging, and choosing a good pre-cooked chicken breast cut is not that easy.
However, with a little preparation and planning ahead, you can make it easier.
In this article, we will learn more about the pre-cooked chicken breast, from its nutrient values, tips to choose the best one, and where you can find this food item on the market.
Let’s check it out!
What is pre-cooked chicken breast?
Pre-cooked chicken breast is a convenient and healthy option for your meal.
It’s also less expensive than buying raw chicken breasts and cooking them yourself.
It simply refers to the chicken breast that is already cooked before being packaged and sold on the market.
When it comes to pre-cooked chicken breast, it can be cooked in numerous ways, including grilling, roasting, breading and deep-frying, or slow-cooking.
As long as the chicken breast is ready to serve from the package, it is the pre-cooked chicken breast that you are looking for.
All you need to do after bringing a package of pre-cooked chicken breast home is reheating it or just consuming it immediately.
You can keep the cut intact, or shred it to add pulled chicken breast to your salad or sandwich.
How many calories are in pre-cooked chicken breast?
The number of calories found in the pre-cooked chicken breast can vary depending on many factors.
For example, grilled chicken breast will be lower than the fried version, or skin-on cooked chicken breast is higher in calories than the skinless counterpart.
However, in general, a 3.5-ounce serving of cooked boneless and skinless chicken breast will deliver 165 calories.
This dish also provides you with a generous amount of protein and many other essential nutrients, such as iron, phosphorus, and amino acid tryptophan, which is known for its ability to relieve stress in our brains.
How to choose the best pre-cooked chicken breast?
Shopping for pre-cooked chicken breast is considered more difficult than buying a raw cut.
The reason is that the chicken is already cooked so it is hard for us to know how fresh the uncooked chicken was.
Therefore, the key when shopping for pre-cooked chicken breast is looking for it from a reputable store.
After that, keep in mind the following tips to choose the best pre-cooked chicken breast:
1. Consider the size of the breast, way of cooking, and type of the breast (boneless/bone-in, skinless/skin-on)
Pre-cooked chicken breast comes in a variety of types for you to choose from.
They are different in sizes, ways of cooking (grilled, roasted, fried, or braised), and can be cooked with skin/ bones intact or removed.
Therefore, you should determine what you want for dinner and how many people you will serve this dish to have the most suitable choice.
2. Check for a sell-by date and make sure you buy freshly cooked chicken
Pre-cooked chicken breast is usually contained in a package that has a sell-by date printed on it.
This indicates the date that the chicken breast will taste best, after that, it can get stale and not delicious as initially.
Moreover, although the pre-cooked chicken breast is wrapped inside the package, you can still smell it.
A fresh chicken breast should have a fragrant smell and look glowy.
It should also be warm, which means the chicken has just been cooked and fresh.
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3. Read the label to make sure the chicken hasn’t been treated with preservatives
Besides the freshly cooked chicken breast, there might be some cooked for a while and sold frozen.
These kinds of pre-cooked chicken can be packed with preservatives to lengthen its shelf life, therefore, make sure you will read the label of the package before making the purchase, and better buy the warm one instead of frozen cooked chicken breast.
4. Make sure there is no pink meat and juices run clear in the package, or when you cut into it
If you cook chicken breast at home, it will be fine to serve it medium-rare, which is juicy and a little pink in the center.
However, when it comes to pre-cooked chicken breast, it should be thoroughly cooked, otherwise, it is easy to be contaminated and not safe to eat.
Give it a touch when shopping for pre-cooked chicken breast and make sure there is no juice coming out.
5. The packaging should be intact with no tears, holes, or leaks of liquid from inside
The package’s condition of the pre-cooked chicken breast is also a thing that you should keep your eyes on.
It should be intact with no tears, holes, and leaks of liquid.
If the package is damaged, the chicken breast inside isn’t fully protected from the surrounding environment and can be contaminated.
6. Ask for a try bite if possible
It will be best if you can ask the seller for a bite to try their pre-cooked chicken breast product to know if it suits your taste buds or not.
Normally, they will be comfortable with that because there are even some slices served as a sample for customers to try before making the purchase.
Where to buy pre-cooked chicken breast?
Pre-cooked chicken breast is widely sold on the market due to the high demand for this quick and delicious dish.
Let’s see where you can purchase pre-cooked chicken breast:
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1. Food stalls and restaurants
You can easily buy pre-cooked chicken breast in a food stall or restaurant that serves this dish.
Chicken is one of the most consumed meats in America, therefore, almost all restaurants across the country have this ingredient and at least a dish from chicken breast, from a fast-food restaurant that offers the classic crispy fried chicken breast to a high-end restaurant with a more complex chicken breast dish.
2. Grocery stores or supermarkets
If you can get the best freshly cooked chicken breast in a food stall or restaurant, you can have access to both fresh and frozen pre-cooked chicken in a grocery store or supermarket.
Try to look for pre-cooked chicken breast from a reputable brand that is trusted by many other consumers.
In conclusion, pre-cooked chicken breast is a quick and easy way to add more protein to your family’s diet.
While it may seem like an impossible task at first, meal prepping with this food item can be made easier by doing some preparation ahead of time and choosing the right cut for you.
If you are interested in trying out these tips, then head to the nearest grocery store or supermarket to bring home the best package of pre-cooked chicken breast.
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