I previously asked How to make chicken absorb more salt when cooking a soup? on how to make the chicken in my soup absorb more salt water, as I have noticed that the amount of absorption changes in some days. Note that the recipe is simple: Add 1.5 liter water, 1 kilogram chicken, and 8 grams of salt in a pot; bring to boil; simmer and eat. There are no vegetables.
The major reason the answerer gave was pore size influenced by freezing. Initially I thought he hit the nail, as I do recall the few days the absorption was good were the days I had taken it from the freezer.
Having been using frozen chicken since then, however, the absorption doesn't seem to be occuring while cooking. I am thinking that perhaps it is due to the way the chicken is being frozen. Factors I have thought about include:
Having done a fair bit of testing, I cannot seem to get these pores to open via freezing, which should then lead to high absorption of salt water when cooking. I didn't brine on the days when there was good absorption, so I think the answer has to do with freezing, although I could be wrong.
Do you think it is an issue of freezing, and it might be something about the way I am freezing?
I think your best bet is to change your recipe. While trying to figure out the exact process that sometimes makes your soup work does indeed sound like an interesting science project, it doesn't sound like its going to yield a reliable recipe. Especially since you've got to deal with supermarket chicken from suppliers that may change their processing procedures whenever it suites them—maybe even from package to package, depending on which plant it came from, or the specifics of the chickens the plant processed that day.
There are easy, reliable ways to get salt into chicken. The following two will get you salty chicken, every time you do it:
Of course, that'll be far more salty than you want. So you'll want to scale back—use a 5–6% brine, put it in only for a few hours, etc. But that will get flavorful chicken every time.
Then, to keep your soup base from being salty:
Also, as a final note, it turns out that a lo of how we (humans) perceive flavor has nothing to do with the food. The ambiance, how we're feeling that day, etc. affect perceived flavor substantially. Keep this in mind, since you're not using e.g., a salinity meter, its possible you're chasing down differences that aren't due to the food itself.
Maybe the freezing process is drying out the chicken and that effects the salt absorption, but I don't really know. If you're freezing the chicken yourself, make sure it is well wrapped (food-saver if you have one, or wrapped snugly in plastic wrap and then foil).
Also - are you controlling the source of the chicken? Some brands of commercial, supermarket chicken are injected with salt water, so if you're using different chicken one or the other could have been salted before you got it home. Aside from flavor, they do this to increase the weight, so they can make more money. Check the labels carefully. (This excess water can cause problems with stir-frying, BTW.)
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