How to Cook Chicken Breast: A One Minute Cooking Class

Just about everyone I know eats chicken breasts…a lot.  They are easy to find, relatively cheap, and they go so well with all kinds of other ingredients, making them the suitable for all kinds of cuisines.   Unfortunately, a lot of people don’t know how to cook them well….and they turn out dry and tasteless.  That’s going to change, because in this one minute cooking class, I’m going to show you the simple techniques you need to cook a moist, flavorful chicken breast all the time.  And once you get these techniques down, it’s easy to apply them to every chicken breast recipe you make.

Cooking Class: How to Cook Chicken Breasts

  • First, you need to understand that chicken breasts, are very lean – not a lot of fat
  • Because fat generally adds flavor and moisture, the leaner the meat, shorter the cooking window between just cooked through, and dry and flavorless
  • Until you get a lot of practice, use a meat thermometer, to bring the chicken to 160 degrees…after cooking a few you’ll be able cook by feel
  • Allow the chicken breasts to come up to room temperature
  • As an optional step, you may want to pound out the thicker side of the chicken breast to make it uniformly thick – that will help ensure the chicken cooks evenly and make it easier for some dishes like chicken parmesan
  • Season both sides of the chicken with salt and pepper; other spices are totally cool, but make sure you use salt and pepper…always!
  • To get a good, flavorful, golden brown crust on the outside of the chicken, heat a pan on the stove top over high heat for a few minutes
  • Lay the chicken in the pan; you should hear a lot of sizzling. 
  • Allow the chicken to sear on that side for 3 – 4 minutes at least without, moving or touching it.  Then take a peek – if browned, turn over.  If not, allow it to continue to cook
  • After flipping allow the chicken to cook for about the same time, searing the second side for the same amount of time
  • Not the “art of cooking” comes into play.  The chicken may be cooked through right now, depending on thickness.  Use a thermometer and if it’s at 155 or more, pull the chicken out of the pan onto a holding plate.
  • If the thermometer reads less, move the chicken into a 400 degree oven to continue cooking.
  • Test the temp every 2 – 3 minutes, until it cooked through, and the pull out
  • Once cooked, allow the chicken to rest for 2 – 3 minutes before cutting into it