Originally Posted by Dignan
It's more tender than at 165 because it hasn't toughened up as much and there is less moisture loss. Just like a rib-eye will be more tender at 130 than 160. The ten minute hold is simply for safety, not to tenderize. The muscle fibers will not have constricted as much as at 160. It will be juicier and more tender. I have done multiple experiments in a sous-vide machine at 140, 150, 160, and 170 degrees with chicken breast. It consistently will be tougher and less moist as the temperature is raised. The temperatures are not high enough to break down enough connective tissue in the breast to tenderize.
That makes sense, comparing it to sous vide at those temps. Heck, even without sous vide, I could agree that 145 should be more tender than 165 for possibly any meat (I'm still not sure I want to say the toughness range is universal). I guess what got me early on in this thread was the idea of cooking chicken to 145 to get it more tender than at 165, when all you really need to do is take that meat to, say, 185, and avoid all of the concerns with...
I love threads like this.