Chicken may be the ubiquitous of meats, and the boneless, skinless breasts the most ubiquitous of chicken cuts. They are pretty cheap, very versatile, and just about everyone likes them…if they are cooked well. In this video, I’m going to show my favorite way to cook boneless chicken breasts. I like to sear them off on top of the stove, to get a nice, tasty crust on the outside, and then depending on the thickness, I’ll finish them in a hot oven until just cooked through. Obviously there are other ways to cook chicken breasts, and they can all be great, but this is the most common I use, hope you’ll find it useful, and pick up a few helpful cooking techniques.
How to Cook a Boneless Chicken Breast
- Like most meats, bring the chicken up to room temperature before cooking
- Sometimes, I’ll pound the chicken flat, so that it’s a uniform thickness; this will give you more surface area, and more seared crust and flavor.
- You certainly don’t need to flatten it out, just note that the thicker the chicken breast, the longer it will take to cook. And if you have a thicker and a thin side, the thin side will cook more (aka potentially dry out0 by the time the thick side is done
- Season both sides of the chicken breast with salt & pepper. Then add any other seasoning you’d like. You can also marinate the chicken breast beforehand, but if you do, shake the excess off, and then season the chicken
- Bring a sauté pan large enough for the chicken breasts to lay in a single layer, up to temperature under high heat, until the pan just slightly smokes
- It's time to sear the chicken breasts, so coat the pan with olive oil, and lay down the chicken breasts
- Allow the chicken to sear on that side for 3 – 4 minutes without flipping or touching it, as that will damage the sear
- Turn the chicken breast over, and sear the other side for 2 – 3 minutes
- If you pounded out the chicken (to about ½ inch), this may be enough to cook it through; if not move the whole pan to a 400 degree oven for 4 – 6 minutes, until it is cooked through
- The two best ways to tell if the chicken is done are to either use an thermometer an see the internal temp reaches 160, or to look at the juices that run out of the chicken while it rests…the juice shouldn’t have any pink or blood in it
- BTW after a few times, you’ll be able to tell just by touching the chicken breast and your own judgment but it’s important to get it right the first few times
This is my goto cooking technique for chicken breasts most of the time. But the reality is, there are a lot of differenct ways to cook chicken breasts.
If you have left over bones, or a whole chicken carcass, make a Homemade Chicken Soup.