More often than not the chicken breasts we cook resemble a hockey puck (vulcanized rubber for you non-Canadians) rather than the juicy pieces of meat we crave.
It’s a commonly beloved cut of meat that we unfortunately overcook on a routine basis, and somehow have the audacity to blame it for not being delicious even though we were the ones that overcooked it!
My goal for this article is to transform every reader’s kitchen from a factory of overcooked chicken breast sadness into one that produces plump, juicy chicken that you will want to serve your friends and family.
I am warning you though, the key to success is a difficult one to master. It’s patience.
- Take a paper towel and pat the chicken breasts dry, removing all visible moisture. This is done so the seasoning (step 2) is better absorbed, and if you decide to keep the skin on, a crispier, and crunchier end product is achieved.
- Season the chicken with salt, pepper and olive oil (about 1 teaspoon). If you’re leaving the skin on, make sure to add a pinch more salt to the skin side so that more moisture is removed.
- Add 2 teaspoons of olive oil to your cast iron skillet and bring it to medium heat.
- Place the chicken breasts on the skillet (skin side down if applicable) and do not touch them for 10 minutes! I can’t express how difficult this step is to successfully complete. This means no touching, no wiggling, don’t even go near the pan to smell it! The reason for this is that the chicken will naturally release itself from the pan around the 10-minute mark and moving it before that will cause some bits to stick to the pan, and more importantly inhibit the browning process (the Maillard reaction as it’s formally known) from occurring.
- Flip the chicken breast, reduce the heat, cover the skillet, and do not touch for another 10 minutes.
- Lastly, once the chicken is done cooking — and this is very important — let it rest for at least 5 minutes! The marvelous meat juices need time to settle, and if we were to cut the chicken breast right away it would simply come gushing out and ruin all of the hard work we put in so far.
- Dig in and contemplate how you ate chicken breasts that were prepared any other way!
I’d love to hear your thoughts on the recipe and how it turned out when you tried it!
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