Three Techniques For Serving Juicy Chicken Breasts
Many people overcook their chicken, which can leave it tough and dry. Making juicy chicken breasts boils down to how you prepare them. With a few new techniques in your cooking arsenal, you'll be enjoying delicious, moist chicken breasts in no time.
Take A Hammer To Them
If you're looking for the perfect addition to pasta dishes or salads, look no further than flattened chicken breasts. Flattening a chicken breast keeps the breast from becoming dry and tough. When you flatten a chicken breast with a mallet, the pounding motion breaks up the muscle fibers within the breast. When the muscle fibers are broken, it can make a naturally tough piece of meat more tender.
The flattening process also gives the chicken breast an even thickness throughout. Having an even thickness throughout the breast will keep parts of the breast from becoming overdone before other parts are fully cooked.
When flattening a chicken breast, all you need is a meat mallet, a cutting board and some plastic wrap. Place the chicken breast between two pieces of plastic wrap, and put it on the cutting board. Next, pound the chicken breast with the meat mallet until the breast is an even thickness throughout. If the chicken breast is large, you can cut it in half before using the mallet.
Put A Lid On It
You can keep chicken breasts tender during the cooking process by keeping them covered. Simply sear the breast until it's brown on both sides to keep the juices from escaping. Next you should put a small amount of liquid in the pan and place a lid on top. Adding a lid allows the steam to cook the meat evenly from all sides. The steam also keeps too much moisture from evaporating from the chicken during the cooking process.
Let Them Rest
Chicken breasts need to rest after cooking. During the cooking process, the muscle fibers of meat contract, which allows the juices of the meat to pool in the center of the cut. If you cut into a chicken breast immediately after cooking, the juices just run out and you're left with a dry piece of meat. When meat is allowed to rest, the muscle fibers expand and the juices from the meat retreat from the center and are reabsorbed by the meat.
The larger the cut of meat, the longer the resting time should be. To allow the meat to rest, just remove it from the heat and place it on the dish you plan to serve it on.
The better the chicken you start with, the better your results will be. For tastier, juicier chicken, try starting with organic chicken from a retailer like The Organic Grocer.