Hello friends! Interested in talking about chicken? I sure hope so because today’s post is all about chicken and how I like to cook it.
Chicken is not my favorite type of meat protein on Earth. I would rather eat a cheeseburger, or a steak, or the chicken salad from Palmers Deli in Des Moines Iowa, but maybe that’s because it’s covered in mayonnaise? Or maybe because it’s cooked right? I think it’s a little bit of both.
Truth is – chicken is healthier than red meat and it simply has to be cooked right or else it’s bad. Like really bad.
We eat quite a bit of chicken in our house, mostly in salads. Sometimes I will make a dinner out of it like Honey Mustard Chicken or Chicken Piccata. I try to keep things healthy during the week, and well, chicken is healthy. It’s a great foundation for a flavorful, satisfying, and healthy meal.
But first things first. Let’s learn how to cook it. This is my go-to way of cooking chicken for salads, pastas, wraps, etc.
Step 1: Buy good chicken.
Step 2: Cut off any fat, rinse under water, and pat dry with a towel.
Step 3: Chicken breasts are usually pretty thick. I cut mine in half so I get two pieces of chicken out of each breast. It’s difficult to cook a thick chicken breast evenly without overcooking and it becoming dry. I also find that one chicken breast is a lot of meat. You can probably get two servings from one chicken breast, especially if you’re making a meal with side dishes.
Use a sharp knife to cut the chicken breast in half. I am right-handed so I placed my left hand flat on top of the chicken breast and slightly press down. With my right hand I slice through the chicken. Again, a sharp knife is key – it will do all the work.
Step 4: Season. I always season with salt, pepper and garlic powder. Have you ever had chicken that is not seasoned? Pretty plain…and gross.
Step 5: Drizzle olive oil in a saute pan and place over medium-high heat. You want the pan to be hot. Not too hot though – we don’t want it to smoke!
Step 6: Start cooking! The chicken breast should sizzle when you place it in the pan. This is good! You will get a nice charred crust on the outside and it will stay juicy on the inside. Let is cook for about 3 minutes and then turn it just once to cook on the other side for another 3 minutes. Cooking time all depends on the thickness of the chicken breast.
Step 7: The oil will splatter so you may want to invest in one of these. Can you tell I use it a lot?
Step 8: Flip! Nice and golden. That one on the right is a little thick – I should have cut it in half again. The one on the left is perfect.
Step 9: Admire your cute puppy.
Step 10: Place cooked chicken on a cutting board and let it REST. Just like red meat, chicken needs to rest before cutting into it otherwise all the juices will run out and it will be dry. Not the goods. I let it rest for about 10 minutes. You can lightly cover it with tin foil to keep it warm.
Step 11: Slice and enjoy!
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