Even after brining, filleting and cooking to perfect temperature (68 to 71 c) my chicken texture (whole and breast) sometimes comes chalky. Mind you, the chicken can still be juicy while being chalky. Here is a picture:

I have tried different combinations of brining solutions and cooking oils - nothing seems to give a consistent result of juicy, smooth textured chicken:

enter image description here

Mind you, this is not a duplicate of "why my chicken is dry" because many times I can get a moist but chalky chicken.

  • 1
    Do you always buy the chicken from the same source? If you are having varied results while getting the techniques correct, the easy explanation might be that you have inconsistent quality meat to begin with. Jun 23, 2016 at 11:29
  • Are you letting the chicken rest a bit before cutting/consuming it? Letting it rest a few minutes will let the juices re-absorb. Also, Agos is correct. Try consulting cooking charts for meats. You can cook meats to lower final temperatures if you keep the meat at that temperature for the proscribed time (which is temperature dependent).
    – JS.
    Jul 1, 2016 at 1:19

2 Answers 2


Your temperature of 68 to 71 Celsius is very high for white meat. This is what makes the mini clumps in the breast you perceive as "chalky". If you cook it to a lower temperature, you will not have this effect, 60 to 65 Celsius makes "medium" doneness chicken meat.

Note that food safety is a separate consideration, chicken is considered safe starting at 73 Celsius (https://www.foodsafety.gov/keep/charts/mintemp.html). So you are lowering the temperature at your own risk.

  • food safety is not only a function of temperature: time should be also taken into consideration.
    – Agos
    Jun 23, 2016 at 12:30
  • Agos, food safety rules don't take time into consideration, they are written for an instant read.
    – rumtscho
    Jun 23, 2016 at 12:31
  • 2
    @rumtscho : I think Agos is trying to say that you can pasteurize the meat by holding it a lower temperature for longer, mitigating the safety concerns ... although many people's stomach will still turn at overly pink chicken.
    – Joe
    Jun 23, 2016 at 14:51
  • I cook chicken on a daily basis, and indeed the chicken temperature is important. Even just a little too high and it can be very chalky. One time the thermostat on my stove malfunctioned so I had to replace it and the new one was off by a few + degrees, and I noticed it and had to subtract a little to get back to the right "range" (sorry bad multi-pun). Oct 22, 2022 at 15:16

I've experienced the same and have found that a shorter brine time yields a better texture. I prefer to dry brine boneless chicken to avoid that chalky texture. No more than 30 minutes for small boneless chicken to and hour for large bone-in chicken breasts. A large whole chicken can brine for about 3 or 4 hours.

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.