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Boneless chicken breasts bore me to tears

When it comes to chicken, I almost always use the whole bird or just buy thighs. I have a lot of boneless breasts all of a sudden, and beyond cutlets (and nuggets for my son), I'm at a loss. I find white meat boring. What are your favorite INTERESTING things to do with chicken breasts? I have lots of produce on hand (bell peppers, eggplant, celery, red potatoes and more) though not great stir-fry veggies.

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  1. Pound out very thin!! S&P lightly flour, and saute in a mixture of Olive Oil and butter until just done...Remove from the pan....De-glaze with 1 Cup white wine & 1 Cup chicken broth adding in two or three sprigs of fresh tarragon....Reduce by 1/2...Turn off the heat and stir in 3 or 4 nice pats of butter... very gently stir as it melts....Serve over the chicken. Optional: throw in a few capers before serving...

    Fun & Enjoy!

    1. Hmm, I tend to agree with you. They can be kind of boring.

      Off the top of my head, I recommend the following:
      -a not-quite chicken saltimbocca: cut the breasts into tenders, cut a slit in the side of each one, stuff that with a fresh sage leaf, then wrap the pieces in ham or proscuitto, secure with a toothpick, season with S&P, and pan fry in a little olive oil and butter. Try not to overcook, or they get tough/stringy. Serve with lemon wedges. Parsley sprinkles optional.
      -Pound chicken breasts thin, dredge in seasoned flour, then egg wash, then bread crumbs, panko, cracker crumbs, etc. Pan fry just until golden, set aside. Cook some seasoned mushrooms with garlic and herbs in the same pan and then make a sauce using all the drippings, a little butter, 1 tsp. flour, some chicken broth, and some marsala wine. Serve chicken dressed with the mushroom sauce.
      -Moroccan chicken stew: http://culinspiration.wordpress.com/2...
      -Thai curry (green, red, yellow): Lightly brown boneless chicken breast chunks, then add curry paste, coconut milk, and sauteed veggies of your choice. Let cook a few minutes and serve with jasmine rice.
      -Schnitzel-style with chanterelle mushroom cream sauce: http://culinspiration.wordpress.com/2...
      -grill them, basting with a sauce of hot Indian curry paste, Indian garlic relish, ketchup, brown sugar, and a little honey mustard. Sounds a little odd, but this is totally delicious.

      Also, have you seen this? http://www.nytimes.com/2010/01/13/din...

      1. Almost forgot:

        Caribbean Marinade, for grilled chicken breasts:

        -1/2 c. peanut or olive oil
        -1/3 c. soy sauce
        -1/4 c. balsamic vinegar
        -1 Tbsp. Sriracha chili sauce (I guess to be authentic this should be Scotch Bonnet pepper sauce + fresh garlic...but desperate times...)
        -1 Tbsp. honey
        -1 Tbsp. brown sugar
        -1 Tsp. fresh ground black pepper
        -3 cloves fresh garlic, finely chopped
        -1 tsp. Allspice
        -Juice of half a lime

        1. I find them nearly as boring as you do.

          Three things I will use them for:
          Chicken Teriyaki
          Chicken Katsu (although I prefer Tonkatsu)
          Chicken Tarragon Salad with celery and apples

          1. Chicken Caesar Salad
            Season chicken breast with a good mix of spices (like a homemade dry adobo) and sauté on both sides for just a few minutes. Slice into thin strips and toss with romaine lettuce and your favorite Ceasar dressing. Finish with homemade crouton and shavings of fresh Parmigiano Reggiano.

            1. First of all, I'll stirfry with everything you mentioned. This isn't exciting but I've been doing it for 20 years, a modification of a Frugal Gourmet technique. Put breasts in a saucepan, cover with water and bring to a boil. When it reaches a boil, cover and remove from heat. Generally they're perfectly "poached" after ten minutes. Cut into one and if not to your liking, let it go a few more minutes. Makes the moistest, most tender chicken for sandwiches or salads.

              1. Brine them using the Ad Hoc Fried Chicken Recipe (available on amazon), and then either fry them or grill them in a George Foreman grill.

                1. When I started cooking, I loved 'em. Now? Not so much. But I found this chicken and waterchestnut patty recipe when I first got my Cuisinart, and I really like it. Inexpensive, easy, quick, healthy and just the right amount of heat.


                  5 Replies
                  1. re: optimal forager

                    These are fantastic. c oliver posted this on the turkey burger thread after seeing it here. Made 'em tonight. Total keepers. I made ours with ground chicken (rather than throwing chicken breasts in the FP) and used 1/2 scallions 1/2 sweet onion--just because that's what I had on hand. They are so perfectly flavored, you don't need anything but a fork to enjoy these. Thank you.

                    1. re: kattyeyes

                      Oh, goody, you're my little test kitchen. LTK vs. ATK. I'm looking forward to making these also.

                      1. re: c oliver

                        Please be sure to make them little like sliders, not like 1/4 pounders. :) I have two more burgers in the fridge (uncooked) that I will make smaller before trying again. Truly, truly, delicious, though, so thank you for posting this recipe on the other thread! You'll love them even more than Mar-a-Lagos, maybe!

                        1. re: kattyeyes

                          Oh, goody. The last Mar-a-Lagos got dropped on the deck where they and the platter broke to pieces. The dog licked the deck for days. We switched to Spam and eggs for dinner :)

                    2. re: optimal forager

                      I love this recipe and think it's great hot and also cold in a little sandwich -- like a slider -- you can use King's Hawaiian rolls.

                      If you can get your hands on fresh water chestnuts (Asian markets) it's even more delicious.
                      (I also add a little finely chopped garlic.)

                    3. Here are a few more from my recipe collection that haven't been mentioned yet.
                      I like this recipe for Tarragon Chicken Breasts by Pierre Franey, but I use boneless skinless breasts and after I brown them I saute carrots, mushrooms and onions before adding the wine and broth and I do not strain. Good served over egg noodles or rice.

                      1. how about shredding it for chicken salad, grilling and use to top a green salad, or making some good ol' chicken fried chicken?

                        1. Not my favorite cut, either. Consider them a blank slate rather than the focus of the dish.

                          Chicken marsala is always a hit at our house, but I really like old-school, high fat recipes. Chicken Cordon Bleu, Chicken Kiev, or one of my first "gourmet" standbys: Julia Child's Supremes a Blanc. Yes, that's a full cup of heavy cream for four servings. http://www.hgtv.com/holidays-entertai...

                          1. Do you have a large oval Crockpot? Fill it with water, turn it to high, put the lid on straddling the crock--spun 90 degrees from where it would normally sit, so at the sides a little water is exposed without lid over it. If you have a Foodsaver vacuum sealer, put this in a bag: a raw chicken breast (seasoned with S+P) with a cold pat of butter on each side and a fresh sprig of thyme on each side, seal it up. If you don't have a Foodsaver, use a Ziplock freezer bag and suck as much air as possible out of it and seal. When the water gets up to 64C (about 148F) put the chicken breasts in for about 80 minutes, then their internal temp should be 64C. Voila! Sous vide!

                            1. Velvet thinly sliced pieces for stir fry, or cut in half to make thin cutlets for flouring and cooking stovetop with pan sauce poured over Apple and shallot with thyme and mustard cream is a favorite pan sauce, or just mustard cream and capers. Panfry cutlets, then add anchovy, tomatoes, chopped olives, raisins, and serve with roasted crispy kale. Also, flour, egg and coat seasoned breasts with panko, panfry with plenty of oil in cast iron then finish in a hot oven on a skillet to make an approximation of tonkatsu without deep frying pork. Serve with a short grain rice like koshihikari and tonkatsu sauce and shredded cabbage or daikon on the side.

                              1. Tinga

                                I will also use breasts for a thai curry if I'm out of thighs, although unlike ChristinaMason, I will add the sliced breasts to the sauce near the end, and basically poach the sliced meat, and then add in any stir fried veggies after the wok is off the flame. I'm not a fan of cooking most veggies in liquid.

                                I can also use them in indian curries. You just gotta watch them closer during cooking, or they turn into dried out garbage.

                                For breasts though, I usually use them for grilling after being marinated. Thighs are vastly superior in flavor imo. Can you pakcage them and put them in the freezer?

                                1. We like to use them as a twist to the old chicken fettuccine alfredo recipes. Spice the chicken breasts up by giving a slight cross cut with the knife, then add a little Worcestershire, garlic granules and use Cajun seasoning to spice it up. Then broil or BBQ - and slice or dice and serve over the pasta. Gives a great kick. I also use some additional white pepper for more spice.

                                  2 Replies
                                  1. re: boyzoma

                                    Have you got any tikka spice around?

                                    My friend and I were just discussing chicken tikka. She says prick the chicken and coat it with tikka and a little oil, let it sit for at least an hour (or refrigerate for however long you want). She says the resting helps the tikka soak in, so you don't get acrid, spicy smoke when you pan fry the chicken. Sautee garlic, onions, and ginger, pan fry the chicken, then mix it all together and add tomato product. I think a sauce that spicy could handle breast meat-- I like white meat with a very spicy or heavy sauce.

                                    1. re: jvanderh

                                      I've never used tikka spice. Sounds good though - I'll have to get some and try it. I'm always up for something new. Thanks!

                                  2. I actually like boneless, skinless breasts-I like thighs, too, but hate having to trim off all the fatty bits-we don't eat alot of meat & chicken breasts are something that 3 out of 4 of us will eat (my daughter's a vegetarian). My favorite prep is cut into 1" cubes, marinated w/ mostly Pearl River Bridge dark mushroom soy & Mae ploy sweet chili sauce, opt. ingredients-garlic, ginger,green onion, sesame oil, fish sauce (not all at once, of course). to compound my heresy, I cook on a browning pan in a KA Ultima convection microwave-served w/ rice from the rice cooker & steamed broccoli, we have it at least 1x/week

                                    1. Make a pocket in the chicken breast, fill it with, cream cheese mixed with sauteed garlic and fresh spinach and onion. Use a pick or two, and then flour and dip in egg, then roll in panko.

                                      Make chicken tenders with a mix of rice flour, cornstarch seasonings and sesame seeds, and panko. Bake and the dip in plum sauce - sooo crunchy and easy.

                                      and of course my all time favorite is Chicken Picatta, *recipe upon request.
                                      These are just a few, chicken breast is just about my favorite food to fix and we cook it a zillion different ways, and always trying something new too.

                                      1 Reply
                                      1. re: chef chicklet

                                        Could you give me some proportions on the chicken tenders. They sound great. I also am trying to take things to my elderly MIL. If I cooked these, could she reheat in a regular oven? Thanks, cc.

                                      2. These burgers are really special:
                                        And recently I tried
                                        That one is for a cut-up chicken, but no reason the boneless shouldn't benefit from the great maple/black pepper sauce.

                                        1. http://www.sunset.com/food-wine/20-gr...

                                          Not sure if that connection is going to work, but Sunset mag's come out with some great chicken recipes.

                                          1. Oh, totally forgot about this one -- I use boneless skinless chicken breasts in Cook's Illustrated's chicken tikka masala. It's a no-fail, restaurant style tikka masala, REALLY flavorful. It's better when the chicken bits are grilled but it works fine under the broiler as well. If you have back issues of CI, it's from September 2007, or it's on their website if you have a membership. If not, you can use any c.t.m. recipe, but with their recipe -- they do a salt-garam masala rub on the chicken FIRST, then coat with a mix of yogurt and oil, and make the sauce separately.

                                            1 Reply
                                            1. re: LauraGrace

                                              I second CI's chicken tikka masala! A great recipe which really makes the most out of those bland chicken breasts.

                                              I also find that pounding, then marinating, even for a half hour or so, in whatever olive oil/garlic/citrus/herb combo we have around - then flour, buttermilk/milk or egg, and finally bread crumbs or panko, and into the saute pan produces something lovely from b/s breasts as well.

                                            2. If they are thin pieces, you could make these pesto stuffed chicken rolls. I made them recently and they were pretty good. If they are on the thicker side, you could make a pocket, as chef chicklet suggests, and stuff them that way.


                                              1. I use boneless skinless breasts to make chicken tacos. I coat them in my fave fajita seasoning blend, bake, then shred them and serve with grilled bell peppers and onions, a squeeze of lime and a little corn salsa on fresh tortillas.

                                                1. What about something Vietnamese? There's a killer Spicy Cabbage & Chicken Salad recipe in Into the Vietnamese Kitchen (Nguyen).

                                                  1 Reply
                                                  1. re: THewat

                                                    Would you please paraphrase the recipe?

                                                  2. In addition to some of the great suggestions already posted:

                                                    Chicken kebabs...cut them into cubes and marinate them in a greek dressing or be creative with your own favorite marinade.

                                                    Chicken picatta or my favorite is chicken francaise.

                                                      1. Try chicken souvlaki with homemade tazatziki for a Greek treat. Just marinate chunks in olive oil, lemon juice, some organo, salt and pepper. Thread onto skewers (with some of those bell peppers you've got) and grill. Dip them in tzatziki made from fat free Greek yogurt mixed with a minced garlic clove, a little lemon juice and olive oil, salt, some grated cucumber and chopped fresh dill or mint if you've got it.

                                                        Make a pocket in them and stuff them with a mixutre of goat cheese and fresh basil, then dip in flour, egg, and breadcrumbs and bake til cooked through. Serve with sauteed mushrooms.

                                                        For a really quick dinner, make fajitas!


                                                        1. Add one more idea...Chicken Pot Pie.


                                                          1. I have a couple different ideas for you.

                                                            First of all, if you can smoke them they're great sliced for sandwiches or chopped on a Cesar Salad.

                                                            Secondly, ATK has a recipe for chicken enchiladas that would be great for these as well.
                                                            I don't think I can publish it but there are other recipes out there.


                                                            1. Stir fry. If you like Chinese food, a lot of stir fry diced chicken dishes use chicken breast - Kung Pao chicken, for example. Since you cut the meat to very small pieces, it doesn't take a long time to cook in high heat. since you cook it very quickly, it doesn't get dried out. Marinating process is also important. Something I saw many people doing wrong is that they do not massage their meat. You can't just soak the chicken in the meat. When the chicken go into the wok, it has to have no water on the surface. This is achieved by massaging the sauce into the chicken.

                                                              3 Replies
                                                              1. re: tt1688

                                                                I never thought of this, how exactly do you massage the marinade? Like kneading bread?

                                                                1. re: coll

                                                                  I am not a baker so I can't say for sure, but don't over analyze it. It's just squeezing and robbing the meat, until your hand feels the meat sticky and dry (instead of watery).

                                                                  1. re: tt1688

                                                                    I'm going to try this, thanks.

                                                              2. White chicken chili or chicken tortilla soup.

                                                                I second CI's Chicken Tikka Masala and Enchiladas Verdes. If I remember correctly, the CTM recipe calls for 2lbs of chicken.

                                                                1 Reply
                                                                1. I can't remember if I saw this on another thread or if I just happened upon it, but we had this chicken with gorgonzola and spinach for dinner last night and it was really good.


                                                                  1. I poach a few chicken breasts when someone has them on sale & then use them all week. I love them in a fatoush salad, chinese chicken salad or caesar. I also like them dipped in peanut sauce (home made or bottled) or thai sweet chili sauce.

                                                                    1. Did anyone say Chicken Parmigiana, or is it too obvious. My husband would eat this every day of the rest of his life if he had too, and he hates chicken cutlets. Oh wait, he also loves francaise.

                                                                      1. Chicken marsala, probably my favorite chicken dish.

                                                                        1. this is a low class recipe but oh so good.....wrap the chicken in bacon and bake add mushrooms, sourcream and cream of mushroom and continue to bake...serve over butter noodles.It is really good.

                                                                          sometimes we add coconut to our chicken fingers

                                                                          1. Scroll down in this forum for a Vietnamese style caramleized chicken with fresh herbs, jasmine rice and cucumber peanut salad. http://www.forums.cuisineathome.com/u... I use three crabs brand fish sauce for this one.

                                                                            1. It's funny. BS chicken breasts seem to be the Rodney Dangerfield of the poultry genre and yet there are SO many great things that they're the basis for. Important to remember that they're probably going to need flavor added in some way and also that they cook bloody fast and, to me, overcooked white meat chicken IS the worst.