How Not To Overcook Boneless Chicken Breasts

Circle B Kitchen

It’s so easy to overcook chicken breasts and create dry, chewy chunks of tasteless protein. So let’s stop doing that, OK? Let’s make moist, flavorful, tender bites of chicken that actually make you want to eat them. It’s not hard, really. Here are my 3 steps to perfectly cooked chicken breasts that you can use for any recipe calling for previously cooked chicken breast meat.

1. Brine. Yes, you must brine, and it’s so easy. Just get a large bowl and pour in 6 cups of water (for 3 or 4 breasts). Add 3 tablespoons of kosher salt and 3 tablespoons of sugar. Whisk until the salt and sugar are dissolved and then add the chicken breasts. Cover and refrigerate for an hour. Then remove the chicken and pat dry. Now they're ready to cook.

2. Add a drizzle of olive oil to a 10” skillet (or 12" depending on how many you are cooking) and heat to medium high. Sprinkle the chicken with salt and pepper and lay them salted side down in the pan. Drizzle a little more olive over the top of the breasts and sprinkle them with salt and pepper.

3. Cook over medium high heat on the first side for about 4 or 5 minutes and then turn them. Cook another 2 or 3 minutes and then cover the pan, remove from the heat and just let them sit covered for 15 minutes. The residual heat will continue to cook them oh so gently and you will have a moist, tender chicken breast. Serve warm or proceed with your particular recipe. Note: If your chicken breasts are one of those ginormous 1/2 pounders, you will most likely need to cook them another couple of minutes on each side.

That’s it. Once cooled, you can chop, dice or slice. Perfect every time.