I have not been to the grocery store in about 10 days now, but the last time I was there I could not help but notice the distinct lack of boneless, skinless chicken breast. Actually, all of the neat, boneless cuts of meat were running quite low and, while I understand the need for simplicity right now, this is not the time for boring meat.
We can do better. We deserve better, and we have the time to invest in learning. I love all the beautiful boules I’m seeing on Instagram, and if you have the bandwidth for artisanal bread, you probably have the bandwidth to learn how to cook more challenging, interesting pieces of meat. (Unless you are a vegetarian, in which case, why did you click on this?)
Though I couldn’t find much in the way of chicken, there was plenty of lamb (multiple cuts), oxtail, whole pork shoulders, pork belly, and many whole fish at the seafood counter, and the freezer aisle was a treasure trove of exciting stuff. I spotted quite a few whole ducks, a couple of geese, and many one-pound packets of ground elk, wild boar, and goat.
If you have an immersion circulator, there has never been a better time to cook large hunks of meat for long periods of time. Carnitas, beef tongue, and an entire goose are wonderful cooked sous-vide, and they can feed you and your loved ones for many days. If you really need a project, you can support a local farm and cook a whole pig’s head. If you need a smaller project you can make your own cold cuts.
But even if you don’t have a sous-vide circulator, now is a good time to mix up your meat routine. That could mean trying a new pork chop marinade, faux-ageing your steaks with fish sauce, or brûlée-ing your pork belly. If you really want chicken, at least make it fun. Make some Buffalo wings, big batch of liver mousse, or some thighs that are confited in duck fat. And if you simply must, for whatever reason, cook those boneless, skinless breasts, at least have the decency to pound them out first.