This may be a no-brainer to the rest of you, but hopefully there's at least one other person out there that could use a tutorial on mastering the art of a fully-cooked-but-still-moist-and-delicious chicken breast. Surely I'm not the only one who suffers with WAY-over-cooked-cause-you're-terrified-of-serving-raw-chicken-to-your-family-so-you-leave-it-in-the-oven-until-it's-dry-and-tough-and-no-one-will-eat-it-anyway chicken breast. For your sake (and the sake of your families), I HOPE I'm the only person with this problem...BUT, I have a feeling, I'm not, so I thought it would be nice of me to share my recently-gained wisdom with you.
I want to preface this by letting you to know that I have tried this a variety of different ways (using a rub, marinade, plain, slicing it into 3 or 4 strips) and my chicken has turned out amazing every single time. You must trust in the process and avoid extending the timing on this at all costs. (I know, if you're accustomed to "giving it just 5 more minutes" this will be difficult - but you CAN do it).
To begin, prepare your chicken by cutting away any visible fat or stringy and gross stuff.
Then, flatten the breasts a little so they cook evenly. They do not have to be super thin (in fact, I wouldn't recommend that) so long as they are evenly thick. I use parchment paper to wrap around the breast and thump it carefully a few times with my husband's sledge hammer. You could use a glass jar or a rolling pin, but definitely wrap or cover it (if you don't have parchment paper, try a plastic baggie or plastic wrap- if you are brave enough to handle that stuff without getting so frustrated that you want to swear) so the juices don't go flying about your kitchen. That's just gross.
While you're doing that, get your pan on the stove and heat it up. Once it's hot, add a drizzle of olive oil and swirl it around in your pan. Then place the chicken in the pan and cook it without moving it around for 1 minute.
Then flip the breasts over, turn the heat to low and cover the pan with a tight-fitting lid. Then walk away for 10 minutes. You can't take the lid off or mess with the chicken at all. This is where the trust that we talked about earlier comes into play. There are no exceptions to this rule.
Once the chicken has been in the pan on the heat for 10 minutes, turn the heat off (take it off the burner if your stove is electric), but DO NOT lift the lid. Let it continue to cook in the pan for another 10 minutes.
And that, my friends, is it. You will have perfect fully-cooked-but-still-moist-and-delicious chicken that you've been longing for all your life. You can use this chicken for ANYTHING. You can eat it as-is with salt and pepper or pour a delicious sauce over it and serve it on rice. You could chop it up and add it to a casserole or a salad. Get creative. It really is so quick and so simple that you won't believe it until you try it.
Please note, this is NOT my genius brain child. I absolutely had to google it and HERE at Kitchn.com is where I discovered this little gem of a process.
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