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YAWN. Boneless skinless chicken breast. So uninspired. Tell me how to cook it tonight.

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This ingredient always manages to suck away my passion for cooking, but every now and then I buy it because it feels healthy (of course, I usually saute it with butter, lemon and capers so the healthy part is a bit of an illusion anyway.)

Any good suggestions for me to kick it up a notch? (I winced when I typed that but at least I didn't say Yum-o.)

Thank you!

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  1. Marsala? That's my husband's favorite--pounded, breaded, pan fried. Chicken parmegiana? That's my daughter's favorite. Or, pounded, stuffed w/ bacon and cheese, rolled--my son's favorite.

    1 Reply
    1. re: chowser

      Yum, yum and yum. Love them all!!!

      Also love piccata, with lemon butter & capers. How about rolled up with prosciutto, swiss and arugula? Don't have those ingredients handy?

      Marinate it in some white wine vinegar, garlic, thyme & oil. Grill and serve with a fruit salsa on top. Or roll up in toritllas with avocado, sour cream and cheddar or jack cheese. Maybe even with fried onions and peppers, a fajita roll up, one of my go tos.

      1. There was a recipe in Food & Wine a month or so ago that was really good. Have a pint of cherry tom's, salt half and muddle them a little and let them drain out for 15 or so minutes (saute your chicken at the same time); the tom juice is your acid for a dressing. Mix 2 oz of goat cheese, a little olive oil, and the tom juice to make a dressing; mix the dressing with your tom's, throw in some more cheese and that's it.

        1. OK, made this last night.
          I'm w/you, find bcb utterly boring, but DH and I both loved this. Pound breasts to an even thickness, dredge in seasoned bread crumbs (actually, I use a mixture, of half flours, half crumbs). In a saute pan with a thin layer of hot oil (I use cheap olive for this, but any will do, and I throw in a little butter, too), brown the chicken on both sides. It will be crusty. Remove from pan and set aside. Add some sliced onion (for two people, I use half a large onion) to the pan and saute until soft and beginning to brown. Add a little chopped garlic and some fresh thyme if you have it. Saute briefly, then add 2 parts chicken broth or stock and 1 part lemon juice (or dry white wine or vermouth--but I love the lemony kick) (for two, I use 2/3 c and 1/3 c) and boil the liquid for a few minutes. Remove from heat and swirl in cold butter (and a little cream or creme fraiche if you have some, really rounds out the sauce). Return chicken to pan and return pan to fire and heat briefly to warm the chicken.

          For two people, I used probably 1 T. each of butter and creme fraiche--and we didn't eat all the sauce--so, it's still pretty healthy . . . but very tasty.

          6 Replies
          1. re: nomadchowwoman

            I've been making something similar except instead of onion, I brown a bunch of mushrooms (lovely mixed batch from farm market) and maybe some garlic, splash with sherry, then add cream and thyme, reduce, and pour over the chicken which was prepared as you stated above.

            1. re: tcamp

              I'm going to try that. I love mushrooms! But I can rarely find much of anything beyond shitakes here fresh. I keep hoping someone will bring mushrooms to our farmer's market.
              I was also thinking about using a similar method using pork cutlets and substituting sliced fennel for the onion once it gets a little more fall-like here.

            2. re: nomadchowwoman

              I am going to make this tonight! I was just thinking about what to do with the chix breast I have at home. Will it cause a problem if I marinated them in a mojo? I think the fresh thyme may go well with the citrus flavors of the marinade, but I guess we'll see.

              1. re: cookieluvntasha

                I've never tried marinating something I was trying to brown. The only thing I'd worry about is the chicken not browning well if marinated--although the dredge might eliminate that problem. I love the combination of thyme and citrus, any citrus.
                If you marinate, let us know how it turns out.

                1. re: nomadchowwoman

                  Ok, sorry about the late response. I did have the chicken in the marinade before I came to work and so when I read this thread I was a little worried about the outcome of mixing recipes. However, I really had nothing to worry about. I will add, that if I had planned on making this meal in the first place I would not marinate, but the citrus of the marinade complemented the thyme wonderfully! Also, I did dust in flour before browning, so the chicken got a nice light breading and browned to a buttery golden brown and helped thicken the wine sauce. Overall it was a great weekday meal that could be upgraded to a weekend service for 6 if so inclined.

            3. Spicy Oven Fried Chicken
              4 BCB
              1 1/2 cup corn flakes smashed to make crumbss
              3 tsp Chipolte Mrs. Dash
              1 tbs garlic salt
              1/4 tsp cumin

              1/2 cup milk

              Line cookie sheet with foil and Preheat oven to 375.
              Mix together dry ingredients. Dip chicken in milk then in corn flake crumb mixture. Bake for about 30 minutes at 375 until done.

              1 Reply
              1. re: portiajean

                My mom used to make corn flake "fried" chicken in the microwave.

              2. Poach them and use them in Dave Lieberman's Mexican Chicken Stew recipe. Delicious and not in the least boring:


                1. You could make chicken kebabs by dicing the breasts in cubes and marinating for a couple of hours at least in a mix of olive oil, lemon or lime juice, Worcestershire sauce, garlic, cumin, chilli powder or cayenne pepper, turmeric and ginger (or if you have Harissa paste, that's great too). Then you could put the meat in skewers with peppers and mushrooms and grill for a few minutes each side (I normally finish in the oven covered with foil as it turns out less dry).

                  1. Boneless chicken breasts are one of my favorite ingredients--I don't find them boring because they are so versatile. I too would pound them & butterfly to a paillard size , dredge in panko, do a quick saute on both sides & then make a pan sauce w/lemon juice, garlic, dry vermouth, fresh thyme & swirl in some goat cheese at the end & it will get real creamy & tangy.
                    I also gril them all the time but always brine them first.

                    3 Replies
                    1. re: sparkareno

                      How long do you brine chicken breasts? I've had varying degrees of success w/brining, but I've had delicious meats, prepared by others, that have been brined. I'm doing something wrong.

                      1. re: nomadchowwoman

                        Since they are small & boneless I usually only brine them for a few hours..even less if I'm pressed for time. I use kosher salt & brown sugar. If I know they are going to have to be in the brine longer, I make the brine weaker so they don't get too soggy or salty.

                        1. re: sparkareno

                          In his book Real Fast Food, Nigel Slater has a wonderful recipe for "Chili-Chicken Pita". It's easy and pretty quick.

                          You mix together 1 small onion or 4 scallions, chopped
                          4 cloves of garlic, minced
                          3 Tbsp peanut oil
                          juice of 1 lemon
                          1/2 tsp salt
                          1 Tbsp honey
                          1 tsp paprika
                          1/2 tsp chili powder
                          1 small fresh, hot chili, seeded and minced
                          1/2 lb. boneless chicken

                          Mix all this together. Cut chicken into lumps about 1 inch or so square.and stir into the marinade. Let stand at least 20 minutes - longer is better.

                          Yoghurt sauce

                          6 Tbsp plain yoghurt
                          1 Tbsp chopped fresh mint
                          1 tsp. paprika
                          2 scallions chopped
                          S&P to taste

                          Mix together sauce ingreds. and set aside.

                          Cook the chicken in a cast iron grill pan (ridged is best, but not is okay) and cook until the chicken is crisp and crown (about 8 minutes) - I'd say about 5 minutes.

                          Pile hot chicken pieces into pita bread with some shredded lettuce and some sauce.

                          This is really delicious and very quick and easy.

                    2. I like to marinate them in a mixture of yogurt, lemon juice, garlic, salt and pepper (if it is nonfat yogurt I add a little olive oil) Take them out, coat in a mixture of 1/2 bread crumbs and half parm, and pan fry. It's best if you can marinate them over night, but a couple hours works too.

                      I serve this with a sauteed spinach with a squeeze of lemon juice, and some sort of potato, usually roasted, or else a rice pilaf of some sort.

                      1. We do kiev about once a month or so. Love it when you cut into it and the butter runs out.
                        Also: chicken stroganoff, tandoori, fajitas, piccata.

                        1. Grill on indirect heat and use hickory chips to add a nice smokey flavor. Serve as is or on a sandwich with cheese and tomato.

                          1. While thigh meat is recommended, breast works well also.

                            Stir-Fried Ginger Chicken

                            This tasty dish can be prepared and served in about 30 minutes.

                            Degree of Difficulty: Very easy

                            Servings: 2

                            Cooking Times
                            Preparation Time: 20 minutes
                            Cooking Time: 8 minutes
                            Inactive Time: 15 minutes
                            Total Time: 28 minutes


                            3/4 pound boneless skinless chicken (thigh recommended)
                            1 ounce ginger
                            2 each scallions or green onions
                            1 tablespoon of gochujang (hot pepper paste)
                            1/2 teaspoon roasted sesame oil

                            1 teaspoon soy sauce
                            1/2 teaspoon black pepper
                            1 teaspoon sugar
                            1 teaspoon rice wine


                            Add all marinade ingredients to a mixing bowl and mix well.
                            Cut the chicken into strips about 1/4 inch thick and roughly 1 1/2 inches length, then place in marinade and mix well.
                            Let stand fifteen to twenty minutes.

                            Wash ginger in cold water and peel.
                            Pulp (smash) the ginger with mortar & pestle, tenderizing hammer, or the back edge of a heavy knife.

                            Rinse and trim the scallion/green onion, then cut into roughly 1 inch lengths.

                            Heat a fry pan over medium high heat. Add sesame oil and pulped ginger and rapidly stir fry for about 30 to 45 seconds.
                            Quickly add marinated chicken and any remaining marinade, then stir fry until chicken is well browned (about three to six minutes).
                            Add scallions and gochujang and stir fry another 45 seconds to one minute.
                            Remove from heat and serve.

                            2 Replies
                            1. re: hannaone

                              I cook a similar dish very often. I do not cut up the thighs. I let it marinate for several hours in the over for about an hour or so.

                              I often use a minced chile instead of the hot pepper paste.

                              This is a winner.

                              1. re: normalheightsfoodie

                                Cutting it into strips makes it easy to eat Ssam style, wrapping a piece of chicken, some rice, maybe a slice of hot chili pepper and raw garlic all in a red top lettuce leaf.

                            2. If you want to fuss a little: Chicken Cordon Bleu. I use Panko, Swiss cheese and Prosciutto. Always looks really good when sliced and plated and tastes great.

                              If you want to fuss less: Chicken Francese. Flour, then egg wash, saute in olive oil and butter, deglaze with chicken stock and not more than one tablespoon of lemon juice (or it will be too sour), thicken with flour, chopped parsley on top.