Why do you score chicken breast?

Answered by Robert Dupre

Scoring chicken breasts is a technique that I always use when cooking poultry. It may seem like a simple step, but it really makes a difference in the flavor and texture of the chicken. Let me explain why.

When you score chicken breasts, you create small cuts or slits on the surface of the meat. These cuts serve multiple purposes. Firstly, they allow the seasonings to penetrate deeper into the meat, resulting in a more flavorful chicken. By scoring the chicken, you are essentially creating channels for the flavors to seep in.

Secondly, scoring helps the chicken cook more evenly. Chicken breasts tend to be thick in the middle and thinner towards the edges. This uneven thickness can lead to overcooked or undercooked portions. However, by scoring the meat, you create grooves that help distribute the heat more evenly, ensuring that the chicken cooks uniformly.

To score the chicken breasts, I usually make 4-5 slits, about 1/8-inch deep and 1/2-inch apart. I find that this spacing allows for optimal flavor infusion and even cooking. After making the initial slits, I then make cross-hatch cuts, creating a diamond pattern on the surface of the chicken. This pattern not only looks visually appealing but also provides more surface area for the seasoning to adhere to.

Once the chicken breasts have been scored, I drizzle some olive oil over both sides. This step helps to enhance the flavor and also adds some moisture to the chicken, keeping it juicy during the cooking process. The oil also helps the seasonings stick to the meat, ensuring that every bite is packed with flavor.

So, in summary, scoring chicken breasts is a simple yet effective technique that enhances the flavor and texture of the meat. It allows the seasonings to penetrate deeper, promotes even cooking, and adds visual appeal to the dish. Next time you’re cooking chicken, give scoring a try, and I’m sure you’ll notice the difference it makes.