Cooking the BEST Chicken Breast

I’m pretty sure you all know how I feel about chicken at this point. It can seem really hard to cook. A lot of people are mainly freaked out about how to cook a chicken breast safely which I completely get. But then, even after you’ve cooked it safely, sometimes it spurns you. The worst thing about chicken is that if you don’t cook it right, it just tastes like BLEH. You know exactly what I mean. Bland chicken is the WORST. So all for you, I scoured the internet to figure out the secret to cooking the best chicken breast. Because I knew that there had to be a way that didn’t just involve seasoning. The good news is if I can figure this out and replicate it, you should feel confident in your ability to do so.

Cooking the Best Chicken Breast

Before You Cook It – Brine It

I don’t know why I didn’t think about it before. Seriously, I’m ninety percent sure that we brined something in our meats class. I’m not entirely sure that my mom brined the turkey on holidays but I bet she did.

Cooking the Perfect Chicken Breast

The first secret to cooking the best chicken breast is you guessed it – to brine it!The great thing about brining is it only takes a few minutes to make the brine so it’s not necessarily labor intensive. Mostly it just involves some planning but the change in taste makes it completely worth it! It doesn’t just taste different, it’s also more moist (RIP chicken so dry it would choke you). I’m not going to give you a long drawn out explanation of why utilizing brine works. But remember discussing osmosis and diffusion in science class? Essentially things move from higher to lower concentration to balance, so the salt, sugar and water migrate into the chicken. I used to marinade and you probably still could, but this is frankly better.

There are different brine recipes, but the one that I utilized for my pound of chicken breasts had only three ingredients. I began with a quart of cold water (you should aim for a quart per pound of chicken breasts), 1/8 cup of table salt and a little bit less than 1/8 cup of sugar. Once it’s all mixed into the water introduce the chicken breast and store it in the fridge for about an hour per pound of chicken. After this rinse it, pat it dry (I just used a paper towel).While I learned about how to brine from different articles this one entitled A Complete Guide to Brining Chicken  was the most helpful.

Take Care While Cooking

I invite you to use butter. We are all on a quest at some level to achieve cooking the best chicken breast! I didn’t understand the huge difference it would make, but do yourself a favor. Once you have melted butter utilize a brush to generously portion it on both sides of the chicken breast. Then take Tony’s Creole Seasoning (or I guess any creole seasoning will do) and some salt. Season BOTH sides adequately.
Make sure to turn it half way through at the eight minute to ten minute mark & re-brush it with butter and re-season it and ensure it cooks as evenly as possible.

Cooking Times

Cook your chicken breasts at 450 for the love of all things holy for about 18-20 minutes. I know that you can cook it at a lower temperature. Which literally seems to take FOREVER.  I’ve done the 400 degree crap and it’s run dinner late so many times.  It can give it a nice crisp crust and then you don’t have to watch your husband or kids struggle to eat it, or my current favorite, ask if it’s done when you set it down on the table.

Cooking to the Proper Internal Temperature

If you’re not sure it’s done just invest in a meat thermometer. Insert it into the middle of the largest part of the chicken breast and make sure that it reads a minimum of 165 degrees Fahrenheit. If you’re trying to figure out the appropriate time to roast your chicken based on a number of factors, read this article. Basically as long as you have a general idea regarding your chicken breast’s weight, you should be set!

Leave Your Chicken Hanging

If you want it to really crisp up, you can leave it for an extra 5 minutes. Whatever you do, just make sure to let your chicken ‘rest’ for 5 to 10 minutes afterwards . This ensures any delicious juices are still intact for you to enjoy and helps ensure you have no trouble cooking the best chicken breast!

You can also be an overachiever and mix a touch of chicken broth with the drippings and pour them over afterwards too.

Are you good at cooking chicken? What are your tips and tricks to make you a pro at cooking the best chicken breast?

Thanks for reading!

 

Lauren

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