Do Not Do These When Cooking Chicken Breasts
Mar 15, 2016 11:29 PM EDT | By Yves Matthew Amodia
Chicken breasts will always be part of people's menu. But now is the time to take a leap with this heavenly part without dragging something else either. Take note of this tips from Fox News and Bon Appetit and leave your chicken breast mistakes behind.
"Don't go boneless or skinless. You don't have to eat the skin," says Rick Martinez, Bon Appétit's associate food editor (although we recommend you do). Both the bone and the skin help keep the meat moist as it cooks, and with so little fat to begin with, the breast needs all the help it can get. In other words: Go boneless and skinless, and you're basically asking for a dry, stringy piece of meat.
And yes, don't forget the marinade. Sure, they cook up quickly, but that doesn't mean you can't plan ahead. Chicken breasts benefit greatly from being marinated or treated with a dry or wet brine, or rub. Pile on the flavor with aromatics like ginger and chiles, brown sugar (to help the meat caramelize when cooked), vinegar (to help tenderize), and yes, salt. If you've ever been told to skip the salt in a marinade, forget that now: "The theory that a salted marinade pulls out moisture from chicken is wrong," assures Martinez. In fact, if you skip the salt you'll be left with a bird that lacks a powerful punch of flavor.
Finally, you can stop thinking about poaching. Does anyone actually poach chicken anymore? Martinez hopes not. But if you are, definitely cut that out in favor of roasting. Roasting any ingredient intensifies and concentrates the flavor. (Think about how cauliflower tastes much better after being cooked the oven). 375˚ is the name of the game for chicken breasts, according to Martinez. If you really want to earn brownie points, sear it in a skillet, skin-side-down before transferring it to the preheated oven. That will help the skin crisp up and take on an attractive golden-brown color.
In the mood for something faster? This is the only instance in which we give boneless breasts a pass. Pound them out very thinly and fry in a screaming hot skillet with a glug of neutral oil. ("Just about one to two minutes per side ought to do it," says Martinez).