Though chicken breasts at first seem simple, it can be easy to make a few cooking mistakes along the way. Armed with these tips, you will be able to cook flavorful, juicy chicken breasts every time—promise!
Tip 1: Often when shopping for chicken breast at the store, you’ll notice that many are thicker on one end than on the other. This can make cooking chicken breasts tricky, since one side will take longer to cook than the other, especially when cooking on the stove. To avoid this issue, pound your chicken breasts to uniform thickness. To do this, you’ll need a cutting board, a gallon-sized plastic zip-top bag and a meat mallet. (If you don’t have a meat mallet, a rolling pin will work.) Working with one piece of chicken at a time, place chicken breast into the bag and seal, pressing air out. Pound the chicken breast with mallet until you have the desired thickness.
Tip 2: It’s important to make sure that your chicken is fully cooked before serving. The easiest way to know if your chicken is ready to serve is to use an instant-read meat thermometer, stick it into the thickest part of the chicken, and check for a temperature of 165°F. If you don’t have a meat thermometer, cut the chicken to see if the juices are clear. If they are, your chicken is ready to serve. If they are still a red-pink color, you will need to cook your chicken longer.
Tip 3: Want to add a crispy crust to your chicken? You can use a technique called “dredging.” To do this, you’ll need some flour, an egg that’s been whisked with water or milk and some seasoned breadcrumbs. In assembly-line fashion, coat one chicken breast in flour, then dip it in the egg mixture and finally coat it with breadcrumbs. You can then proceed with cooking! The preferred method when dredging chicken is to cook on the stove in some oil. Dredging chicken not only gives chicken more flavor and a crispy texture, but it also helps seal in moisture, ensuring that your chicken will be juicy and not dried out.
Take these tips and try ‘em out in these easy recipes that start with chicken breasts.