Whether you poach a chicken breast filet in water, bake it in the oven, pan-fry it on the stovetop, or barbecue it on a grill, you’ll always have something delicious and nutritious on your plate, provided you know how to cook this lean, protein-rich cut the right way. That is to say, once you learn how to prepare chicken breasts that are tender, juicy, and flavorful, you won’t have to throw your dry, tough piece of meat out of the window.
You just nail the brief every single time! Below we’re going to share a few tips on how to cook skinless, boneless chicken breasts correctly. 1. Let your frozen chicken breast sit out for 30 minutes before you put it in the pan. Cold chicken usually cooks unevenly and gets tough sooner. 2. Pound the filet down and to the side. If you’ve bought a large chicken breast, cut it into two halves lengthways, and pound them until they are flat. This will start to break down the proteins in the meat and reduce the cooking time.
3. It’s easy to overcook a chicken breast, particularly when you’re in a rush. To ensure that your favorite piece of meat has moisture and flavor locked in, marinate it in a flavorful sauce or brine, or spice-rub it several hours before cooking. A word of caution though: do not over or under-season the meat. Too much and it’ll be overwhelming; too little and it’s going to be bland and tasteless. Either way, the meat will become inedible too easily, too soon.
4. Brush it with the same sauce while baking or grilling, for extra juiciness.
5. Most cooks agree that chicken breasts are fully cooked once they reach an internal temperature of 165° F. Use a meat thermometer to get an accurate reading.
6. Don’t cut into the chicken breast right after pulling it out of the oven or taking it off the grill. Let it rest for 10 minutes before serving. This will allow the juicy goodness inside to settle down so that the meat is tender and moist through and through.
Now that you’ve got some tips you can use to make perfect chicken breasts at home, you can make all sorts of flavor-packed chicken dinners for the family.
Want to save even more time? Try some of our favorite chicken breast recipes: