Boneless skinless chicken breasts are one of the quickest, easiest, and healthiest cuts of meat to prepare, which is why they're featured in so many recipes for weeknight meals. But we're also constantly frustrated when these easy-peasy chicken breasts turn out dry and tasteless. Here are three methods that can help!
The reason chicken breasts often end up dry is actually one of the things we value about them: they have very little fat. Leaving the skin on and the bone in helps add some fat and keep breasts moist, but this isn't always what we want.
We've found that these three techniques really help keep those boneless skinless chicken breasts tasting good:
1. Low Heat Cooking - Cooking chicken breasts over low heat with a lid covering the pan helps them to retain almost all their moisture and prevents overcooking. It takes a few more minutes than normal, but it's well worth it!
2. Poaching - Poaching chicken breasts in a liquid also helps the breasts to retain moisture and it has the added benefit of giving the bland breasts some flavor. We like to add a little wine or some herbs to the poaching water. Simmering the breasts in broth or coconut milk is also delicious.
3. Dry Oven Poaching - This is a method for cooking chicken breasts in the oven using a buttered piece of parchment to seal in the juices. We find this method is the best when we're cooking multiple breasts and want to get them all done in a single batch.
Giving breasts a quick soak in a brine or marinade is another way of adding some flavor and moisture, no matter how you ultimately decide to cook them. Searing chicken breasts over high heat also gives breasts a savory depth.
What's your favorite method for cooking chicken breasts?
(Image: Elizabeth Passerella)