Think chicken breasts are boring? You’re probably cooking them wrong


I have generally been a substantial admirer of chicken breasts, but given that supplying up purple meat (and since I’ve in no way been a fish fanatic), they have rapidly grow to be the centerpiece protein of my food plan. 

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As formerly noted, I am a actual chicken advocate. I have developed drained of seeing it staying maligned throughout food media — from Food stuff Network and myriad cooking shows to a great number of content articles all over the landscape of the web. When I listen to folks extol the virtue of chicken thighs or declare rooster breasts to be monotonous or uninteresting, my love for a effectively-seasoned and very well-cooked breast is only further crystallized. 

Now, I do get it — I’ve purchased considerably as well numerous hen Caesar salads that had been topped with flaccid, arguably not-even-precise-rooster “strips.” Nonetheless, a perfectly cooked piece of hen is insurmountable: practically nothing dry, hard, or bland below. Chilled, sliced and served with awesome, crisp lettuce or vegetables? Seared and thoroughly seasoned and served with a prosperous, viscous pan sauce? Broiled beneath a scorching flame and enrobed in correctly bronzed cheese? I will choose for that any day. 

Of training course, there are a couple steps that need to be taken to be certain the most satisfactory rooster breast experience:

Get a higher-excellent option 

I tend to select natural, non-“manufacturer identify” rooster, but that doesn’t indicate you have to dole out an inordinate volume of revenue for stated chicken. I really like Wegmans, Aldi, Kings, Halt and Shop, and a small well being-centered store in close proximity to me identified as Environmentally friendly Existence each retail store offers a stellar collection of higher-quality hen breasts. 

Obtain the correct type of rooster breast for your dish

Relying on the ultimate dish, I are inclined to aim for skinless, boneless chicken breasts. However, when it will come to sure dishes — barbecued chicken, some fried rooster, an unbelievably tasty get on panzanella from a now-closed Brooklyn restaurant that I make each and every summer season — I have a tendency to go for boneless, skin-on rooster breasts. And of training course, there are some circumstances in which a good ol’ bone-in, skin-on selection is most effective.

When it will come to a nicely-cooked piece of hen for snacking or salads, I favor a typical hen breast, un-pounded. For some dishes, a pounded-out cutlet, butterflied breast or a slender-sliced hen breast could be the way to go. It really is dependent upon the recipe and what you envision for the closing item. 

Locate the seasoning that performs for you

I’m not a large marinade man, but some persons swear by marinades. Up to you! As a substitute, I are likely to sear my rooster (and all proteins) quite aggressively, so I choose for just salt and at times freshly-cracked black pepper. If you happen to be not as intense with your cooking process, seasonings such as paprika, garlic powder and onion powder are all fantastic possibilities. I also have a tendency to choose a neutral oil, these as peanut, grapeseed, canola, or vegetable, but if you are not searing over significant warmth, a superior olive oil is always welcome.

Get your cook right 

Dependent on the thickness of your rooster, you may well have to end the piece in the oven in purchase to guarantee that the interior is absolutely cooked through and the chicken just isn’t burnt “on the outdoors.” For regardless of what reason, I have an affinity for slightly in excess of cooked food items, so I really don’t intellect it (as a subject of point, I delight in it), but I know that most usual human beings like a non-overcooked piece of chicken.

Just like outlined in this piece, cast-iron is a great option in this article, but any major-bottom skillet would be a superior option consider to purpose for oven-risk-free in circumstance you make a decision to finish in the oven.

Get saucy

Clean-up enjoyable reality: if you have lots of browned, crisped bits on the base of your pan after cooking, deglaze with some stock, wine, or even water, toss in some pats of butter, and lower right until somewhat thickened. A cleaned pan and a tasty pan sauce? Win-get!

Stick to these procedures and you happen to be certain to have an outrageously tasty topper for your following salad — or a responsible, ridiculously fantastic, superior-protein snack possibility.


Recipe: No-frills hen breast 



  • 1 lb. higher-high quality, organic and natural rooster breasts 
  • Neutral oil
  • Kosher salt
  • Freshly floor black pepper



  1. In a hefty-bottomed skillet or forged-iron pan, add ample oil to coat the base of the pan and warmth around medium or medium-high warmth until finally rippling.
  2. Let rooster appear to room temperature for about 10 to 15 minutes, time the two sides greatly (I imply really closely — you require more salt than you comprehend, and even a lot more so if you happen to be not seasoning with everything else) on each sides. Also, be certain the chicken is properly-dried prior to incorporating to the pan. This is important for both of those culinary purposes and protection uses. If the rooster is moist at all, the h2o and oil can begin to pop or splatter. After correctly dried and seasoned, cautiously insert chicken to the pan.
  3. Cook, undisturbed, for 7 to 10 minutes. Flip and cook dinner for a further 7 to 10 minutes.
  4. This now gets to be a “select your possess experience” sort recipe. You can either address the pan with a lid and prepare dinner for an additional 5 minutes, transfer the total shebang to a preheated oven to finish for 5 minutes, or merely continue on cooking as is, flipping extra typically. Each individual technique produces a marginally diverse product with differing preferences, textures and dynamics. Check out out each a single to assistance determine your favorite strategy.
  5. Permit hen great for 5 minutes in advance of checking for doneness. If cooked by means of, sense free to slice, chop, or take in with reckless abandon. I am personally a sucker for a chilled rooster breast “chunked” and tossed with a environmentally friendly salad, tons of freshly cracked black pepper and an abrasively acidic dressing or vinaigrette, with nuts, seeds, cheese, and some kind of dried or dehydrated fruit or berry.



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