One of the things I despise the most about cooking is handling meat. It actually really freaks me out, and it will take a lot of motivation for me to tackle a turkey for Thanksgiving Dinner down the road. Kudos to all of you who do!
I have only successfully cooked chicken breasts a dozen or so times, and it’s not because I haven’t tried. I’m notorious for undercooking, overcooking, and royally messing up any chicken I bring into the household. It is what it is.
For this reason, I usually pass the meat duties right onto Scott. We used to grill a few times every week, but we still haven’t purchased a new one since we moved to Michigan just short of three years ago. (Ridiculous… I know.)
There is a list of recipes I have created that require cooking chicken, but it almost always involves a casserole, soup, or slow cooker. You can find those here and here!
For the first time ever, I feel confident handling the chicken for recipes and dinners and it’s all because of this video tutorial by The Kitchn Scott found a few months ago.
Even the most skeptical cooks can handle this one, promise!
1 to 4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts (of similar size)
salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 Tbsp. olive oil
What You Need
heavy jar or wide drinking glass
large sauté pan with a tight fitting lid
tongs to handle chicken
cutting board and sharp knife
1. Trim the fat from chicken (if desired) and pound the chicken flat with a meat pounder, rolling pin, or jar to even the thickness.
2. Put 1 Tbsp. oil in a large cooking pan. Heat on med-high.
3. Season the chicken with salt and pepper on both sides.
4. Turn the heat down to medium and cook the chicken in the pan for 1 minute.
5. Flip the chicken and cover it with a tight fitting lid for 10 minutes. Don’t touch it.
6. Remove chicken from heat for 10 minutes. No peeking. (Seriously, leave it!) Make sure the chicken is cooked all the way through and without pink in the middle. If you want to be extra safe, use an instant-read thermometer to check (the chicken should be at least 165ºF.)
7. Serve as is or slice it to put on top of dishes like salads, pastas, or in sandwiches.
8. Store any leftovers in a covered container in the refrigerator.
Notes From The Kitchen
You want to make sure the breasts are flattened out as much as possible. This will ensure an even cook, all around.
If the chicken is too big, cut the breasts in half.
You’re going to want to peek at the chicken to check on it throughout the process. Don’t. The flip after the first minute of cooking them is the last time you will see them, uncovered, until they are done.
Since we bought colossal sized chicken breasts, it took a little bit of extra time to cook this batch. If this happens to you, put them back on the burner (covered) on low-medium until done. The biggest indicator to tell if your chicken is cooked is to cut the middle. If all of the pink is gone, you should be good!
You can also use a meat thermometer to gage the temperature. A fully cooked chicken should be at least 165ºF.
The most important thing to remember when using this strategy is to trust it and DON’T lift the lid to peek at the chicken while it’s cooking on (or off of the) stovetop. Doing so will affect the “poaching” process as described in the video. The first time you should take the lid off of the pan to check on it is after the 10 minutes of cooking off of the stovetop.
You can top the chicken in a sauce of choice or keep it plain and enjoy on top of a bowl of rice, salad, or even sautéed with other ingredients later on. We have plans for chicken fajitas tonight, and I’m really looking forward to them!
Questions of the Morning
• What is your favorite (or go-to) way to cook chicken?
• Do you have any fail stories while cooking chicken?
I will never forget the first time I ever cooked chicken for Scott and I after we got married. I put cream of mushroom soup over the breasts and stuck them in the oven to bake. They looked done, but when sat down to enjoy it over rice, the insides were completely pink. It took a long time for me to even want to eat chicken after that! Ha!
Alexandra @ My Urban Family
I never enjoy handling raw meat – it grosses me out because I’m a baby haha But when I do make chicken breast I either put them in the oven, or I cut them up raw into cubes and cook them on the stove top. The smaller pieces cook faster and it’s almost impossible for me to under-cook.
Alexandra @ My Urban Family recently posted…Announcing the First Chicago Museum Week!
I’ve done the cubes technique before too. It’s the only way I used to trust myself! 😉
Heather @Fit n Cookies
Hilarious I was just thinking to myself how I didn’t want to grill myself a piece of chicken tonight (but I defrosted it) and wondered if it’d be good on the stove (since that’s easy). I’m going to have to try this one out!
Heather @Fit n Cookies recently posted…Lower Body Burn Workout
Woo hoo, let me know how it turns out!
One of my favorite ways lately to cook chicken is Gimme Some Oven’s Skinny Orange Chicken. Look it up! It’s incredible! And super easy to make.
This is eazzy peezy. I butterfly the breasts rub olive oil, salt, pepper, and garlic powder. Let them marinate for a little while. Throw them on the grill for about 3 minutes per side. Perfect every time. Since they have olive oil on them they don’t stick to the grill and they are super moist. If it makes you fell any better I cannot grill hotdogs without them burning. Each and every time I burn them. Have a great day
Heather recently posted…Device free Monday (AKA Mommy Monday)
I am going to try this tonight 🙂 I have the same problem!
Brie @ Lean, Clean, & Brie
This is so helpful! I hate cooking meat too and usually go for cooking ground turkey since it is super easy to tell when it is done. Chicken can be tough, but this looks like a great way to cook it properly!
Brie @ Lean, Clean, & Brie recently posted…Pumpkin Spice Protein Balls
Rebecca - Strength and Sunshine
On the stove is the one way I’m scared to cook chicken! I’m either, oven, grill, or slow cooker! I know I need to suck it up and try it though!
Rebecca – Strength and Sunshine recently posted…The GFAF Expo: The Gluten-Free Event Of The Year
Erin @ Her Heartland Soul
I hate handling raw meat too! That’s why I usually buy precooked chicken! haha
Erin @ Her Heartland Soul recently posted…The Bacchanalian Society of Omaha 2015 Fall Gathering (Giveaway!)
I know what you mean, I have to use tongs to handle raw meat. I can’t touch the stuff. I usually just bake my chicken in the oven at 425 degrees for 30 minutes. I too, had a raw chicken moment when my husband and I were still dating. It took us a long time before we would attempt to eat blackend chicken. I discovered baking it in the oven and comes out perfect everytime. It works well on pork chops as well.
Jen @ Chase the Red Grape
I quite enjoy handling meat! Give me a turkey, liver, steak – anything to prepare and I am all set.
I also like my meat quite rare and the thought of over cooked meat sends a shiver down my spine! I haven’t used this method for chicken but I have used it for cooking pork chops and it works perfectly!
Jen @ Chase the Red Grape recently posted…Starting afresh!
I used to cook chicken on the stovetop all the time, but where I’m living right now it’s actually cheaper and easier to buy whole chicken from the farmer’s market! I was pretty freaked out at first at how to cook a whole chicken, but now I just boil it in water with salt and pepper and then shred it. It’s great for salads, wraps, sandwiches… anything!
Somer @PupsOnTheBrain recently posted…Four Goals For Fourth
I almost always take my chicken breasts, lay them on a large piece of foil and season them, then fold over the foil so they’re in a big packet. Put on a rimmed baking sheet (in case of leaks and to make it easier to pull them in/out of the oven) then bake for 45-60 minutes at 350 degrees. You don’t even need to add any oil!
They’re always done, juicy, and it’s so so easy. I like to reserve the juices (there are a lot) for when I shred the chicken so it’s not super dry.