Grilled Chicken? Stuffed Chicken? Lemon Chicken? Secrets to Preparing Amazing Chicken Breasts
|February 1, 2016||Posted by Tracy Knutsen under Main Dishes||
Who doesn’t love grilled chicken? Or stuffed chicken? Or lemon chicken? Chicken is a bit of a conundrum. Everyone wants a great chicken dinner, but it rarely tops anyone’s list of exciting ingredients. A great chicken dish should knock your socks off and leave you hoping for leftovers. I know that chicken thighs are always juicy and flavorful, but my family prefers white meat. What are the secrets to serving up fabulous chicken breasts?
The Secret to Amazing Chicken Breasts
White meat’s leanness is one of its strengths nutritionally but also one of the challenges of cooking it. Lean cuts are prone to drying out, leaving them chewy and flavorless. Luckily there are many simple remedies:
- By browning the breasts quickly on the stovetop for deep caramelized flavor, then slipping them into a hot oven to finish cooking, they’ll be delicious and juicy with little risk of overcooking or undercooking. And while the chicken finishes in the oven, you can focus on the fantastic garnishes — sautéed spinach, sweet and savory pan-seared pears and (my favorite!) tangy blue cheese. All this is in a dish that’s on the table in about 30 minutes. Masterful!
- Pound the breasts before cooking until they’re uniform in thickness. They’ll cook more quickly and evenly and be less likely to dry out. This is a great approach for grilling or breading and pan-searing.
- Make thin cutlets from very thick or large chicken breasts: Place a breast half flat on a cutting board and slice through it horizontally with a sharp knife while applying gentle downward pressure on the breast with the palm of your other hand.
- Use moist heat to keep the meat juicy. Think about steaming, poaching and quick braises or stewing. Grilling? Use a spray bottle of water to add steam while cooking.
- Finally, check your chicken throughout the cooking process. You can pierce the thickest part of the breast and check that the juices that run out are clear, not pink, or rely on an instant-read thermometer inserted in the thickest part — breast meat should register 160 degrees F.
These are some more of my favorite easy chicken recipes from Whole Foods:
Source: BlogsRelease and Whole Foods