Below is an except from the cooking section in Sodium bicarbonate Wikipedia. Velveting is optional if using chicken thighs because its a juicy cut.
Sodium bicarbonate was sometimes used in cooking vegetables to make them softer although this has gone out of fashion as most people now prefer firmer vegetables.
Velveting chicken with baking soda. The sodium in baking soda chemically reacts with the meat and make the meat very tender and soft. Use your fingers to mix then set aside for 20 minutes no longer than 30 minutes can get too tender. Rinse well pat excess water with paper towels set aside see video.
It coats the proteins that form gluten and helps keep the breadsticks tender. Plus because the baking time is so short the sugar will help the breadsticks turn golden. Place chicken in a bowl sprinkle over baking soda.
Olive oil – it adds flavor and also softens the dough.