While cooking chicken breasts should be a matter of just throwing them in the oven with your other ingredients, this is simply not the case. Anyone who has ever done this will tell you that your chicken breasts will come out dry and overcooked.
We’ll take you through Bobby Parrish‘s three methods that will show you the correct way to cook the juiciest and most flavorful chicken breasts around. The video, 3 Ways To Cook The Juiciest Chicken Breast Ever, has amassed over 7 million views, so you can’t possibly go wrong!
Ready to take your chicken to a whole new level? Let’s get started!
First, you need to pound your chicken breast out. Pounding your chicken breasts flat, while not essential, will allow the chicken to cook more evenly and give you better results.
Lay the chicken breast between two pieces of clingfilm and use a meat mallet or rolling pin to pound it flat.
Method 1: pan-fried
It may feel a bit scary to cook a whole chicken breast in a pan – if the heat’s too low, you’ll be standing there all day, and if the heat’s too high, you’ll burn the outside before the inside is cooked through.
A pro tip is to leave your chicken out of the fridge (so it can reach room temperature) for around 20 minutes.
Bobby recommends using a cast iron or a stainless steel non-stick pan for the best results. Set the stove to medium-high, put the pan on, and wait for it to come up to temperature for around two minutes.
While you’re waiting for your pan to heat up, season the chicken breast on both sides with a generous amount of salt and pepper. When the pan is hot, add two tablespoons of your preferred cooking oil, then add the chicken to the pan.
Cook the breast for four minutes without moving it. Flip the chicken and cook for another three or four minutes.
Method 2: Oven-Baked
While not as effective as pan-frying, chicken cooked in the oven is the easiest way to get mouthwateringly tender chicken breasts. Once again, let the chicken come up to room temperature before cooking it.
Add any seasoning or marinade you want now, then preheat the oven to 450 degrees F.
Line a baking sheet with foil, place the breast on top, and bake for 15 to 18 minutes.
It’s unbelievably easy to overcook chicken in an oven, but Bobby recommends buying an oven-safe meat thermometer to take all the guesswork out of the equation.
After the chicken has been in the oven for 10 minutes, simply stick the probe into the thickest part of your chicken breast.
When the internal temperature of the chicken reaches 155 degrees F, pull it out of the oven.
The carryover heat from the oven means that the temperature will continue to rise to the desired temperature of 160 degrees F.
Method 3: Poached
If you’ve never poached chicken in water before, now is the time to try it! It may seem a bit odd, but it works wonders for chicken.
Chicken breasts are very lean cuts of meat and don’t have much fat, so poaching is a good way to really enhance their flavor.
Now, of course, you won’t be poaching your chicken in just plain water.
Add a few lemon slices, a teaspoon of whole peppercorns, whole crushed garlic cloves, a bay leaf, some sprigs of fresh thyme and rosemary, and some sliced onions.
Turn the stove to medium-high heat, wait for the water to come to a gentle boil, then turn it down to a simmer.
Add your chicken and cook for 10 minutes. Then, use the thermometer to test if the chicken has reached 155 degrees F, and remove it from the water.
Easy! Now you know three easy ways to cook a perfect chicken breast every single time.
To follow along with Bobby, watch the video below to see every step in detail.
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