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need advice about cooking chicken breasts

I am an experienced cook, but need some basic advice about cooking boneless, skinless chicken breasts. I am going to make a sun-dried tomato pesto over pasta and thought I would add some chicken. Grilling would be ideal, but it's pouring outside and I want to master making chicken breasts on the stove. Tell me your secrets. Seems like mine turn out dry, or over/undercooked every time. Thanks for your advice!

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  1. Since boneless skinless chicken breasts have so little flavor I generally poach them in seasoned chicken stock. It helps keep them moist and juicy. A little vermouth in the stock, maybe some herbs of your choice will all help in the flavor department.

    You are getting rain? Lucky you!

    1 Reply
    1. My first advise is to get yourself a grill pan to use indoors when it's raining...
      Here's what I do - can be done in a skillet as well -
      Season breasts with salt & pepper, heat skillet and add olive oil and a little butter, lay breasts down in pan and cook for 5 to 6 minutes on each side, or just until the meat gives a little when you press on it.. You can see the meat getting white-ish along the sides as it cooks. On the grill you would see grill marks.
      With tongs, remove from pan and let rest. At this point you can garnish with minced flat leat parsley, then slice as you wish and add to the pasta.
      Sometimes I marinate the breasts with any one of a number of receipes I have on hand, then grill.

      1 Reply
      1. re: Gio

        completely agree. grill pan is a must. 5 minutes each side. but i would season or marinade prior.

      2. Do you marinate them before cooking? I've found that makes a big difference...

        2 Replies
        1. re: a_and_w

          We buy free range chickens and they are very flavorful on their own. However, if I want to achieve a certain flavor, say Asian or Mexican, I marinate with the herbs and spices, etc. needed. Some of the recipes call for marinating anywhere from 30 minutes to overnight in the fridge.

          1. re: Gio

            I meant more a liquid (e.g., soy based) marinade that leaves the chicken moist.

        2. Yeah, I never use BS chicken breasts b/c they always dry out and have so little flavor. I prefer thighs... bone in or out they are much more flavorful. Dark meat and a little fat help out a great deal. Candy's chix stock w/ herbs idea sounds like a good one though... and maybe a little white wine.

          1. I've found that they'll always come out juicy if you coat them in some kind of spice rub and then broil. Also, let them rest for a good 10 mintues before you cut into them.