Easy Chicken Breasts Cooking Tips
To infuse with quick flavor, saute chicken breasts in butter and lemon juice.
Boneless chicken breasts are a staple for any time-pressed cook's kitchen because they're quicker to cook than bone-in chicken breasts.
Chicken breasts are susceptible to drying out, so they're best cooked quickly using high heat. That means skillet-cooking, stir-frying, roasting, or grilling chicken breasts are the best routes. Skillet-cooking is particularly easy because you can make a sauce in the same pan.
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How to Saute (Skillet-Cook) Chicken Breasts
It's best to choose a quick method that won't dry them out. We fried this chicken with asparagus and bacon in a skillet.
When it comes to cooking boneless chicken breasts, the terms "saute," "pan-fry," and "skillet-cook" all refer to the same basic preparation: Cooking chicken breasts in a skillet in a small amount of fat (such as cooking oil, olive oil, or butter) or in a skillet sprayed with nonstick cooking spray.
- Select a heavy skillet that can accommodate the chicken breasts in one layer. If the skillet is too large, pan juices can burn; if the skillet is too small, the overcrowded chicken will steam instead of brown.
- If a chicken breast is significantly thicker in some parts than others, consider pounding it with a meat mallet to even it out.
- Sprinkle both sides of the chicken with salt and ground black pepper to taste.
- If the skillet is not nonstick, lightly coat it with nonstick cooking spray or 2 to 3 teaspoons cooking oil.
- Preheat the skillet over medium-high heat until hot.
- Place the chicken in the skillet. Do not add any liquid and do not cover the skillet.
- Reduce the heat to medium and cook until the meat is no longer pink and the juices run clear. This should take 8 to 12 minutes. As the chicken cooks, turn it occasionally so it browns evenly. If the poultry browns too quickly, reduce the heat to medium-low.
- Chicken breasts are done when the meat is no longer pink and the juices run clear (170 degrees F on an instant-read thermometer). Try not to overcook chicken breasts, as the meat can become stringy and dry.
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How to Boil Chicken Breasts
We boiled chicken breasts in a combination of broth, herbs, citrus peels, and lime juice for a light, flavorful chicken dinner.
Boiling, or poaching, chicken breasts is perfect when chicken is part of a larger recipe.
- In a large saucepan pour liquid and herbs, veggies, or citrus slices over the raw chicken breasts. Some popular choices are water, wine, broth, juice, or a combination.
- Over medium-high heat, bring liquid to boiling. Reduce heat and cover, simmering until the chicken is no longer pink or when the temperature reaches 170 degrees F.
- Whole chicken breasts will take about 15 to 20 minutes. Chicken breasts cut into pieces won't take quite as long to cook, while whole bone-in chicken breasts will take slightly longer.
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How to Make Stuffed Chicken Breasts
Pounding chicken breasts with a mallet not only flattens the meat but also tenderizes it.
- Place each chicken breast between two pieces of plastic wrap. Use the flat side of a meat mallet, and working from the thickest part of the breast outward, pound the chicken lightly until it's about 1/8 inch thick. That gives them more surface area, while making them thin and supple enough to roll around the filling.
- Remove the plastic wrap and season the chicken breasts as desired.
- Prepare the chicken filling and place 2 to 3 tablespoons of filling in the center of one flattened chicken piece. Popular fillings are cheese, veggies, and nuts. Fold in the bottom and sides of the breast and roll up, securing the breast with wooden toothpicks. Repeat with each chicken breast.
- For extra flavor and texture, consider coating the chicken rolls with a sauce or a Parmesan bread crumb coating.
- Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Place rolls, seam side down, in a shallow baking pan. Bake the chicken breasts, uncovered, at 400 degrees F for 25 minutes or until chicken is tender and no longer pink. Remove toothpicks before serving.
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