10 Things to Do With Chicken Breasts
Place the breasts on a sheet of foil or parchment paper. Try one of these two toppings:
- Halved cherry tomatoes, sliced fennel and lemon wedges for Mediterranean flavor
- Shredded mustard greens, zucchini strips, thyme and a splash of apple juice for a Southern take
Use a spice rub.
Grind dried spices in a spice grinder or in a clean coffee grinder. Our favorite combinations are:
- Rosemary, parsley, oregano and lemon zest
- Cumin, paprika, chili powder, oregano and a pinch of cayenne
Pound them flat.
Arrange the breasts between two sheets of plastic wrap, then pound them to 1/4-inch thickness with a heavy saucepan or rolling pin. Spread one of these two mixtures over the breasts:
- Frozen, chopped spinach, dill and Dijon mustard
- Chopped, fresh arugula leaves, diced tomatoes and rosemary
Try a stir-fry.
Cut the breasts into strips. Spray a wok with nonstick cooking spray, then sauté minced garlic, shredded ginger and chopped scallions over high heat. Add the chicken strips, some vermouth and a splash of reduced-sodium soy sauce; stir-fry for 2 minutes. Toss in sliced carrots, broccoli florets or watercress; continue stir-frying until the chicken is cooked through.
Use pre-made sauce.
Chop the breasts into 1-inch cubes, and then mix them in a saucepan with your favorite jarred marinara sauce. Cook the chicken mixture over medium heat for 10 minutes, or until the chicken is cooked through; serve over whole-wheat pasta or brown rice.
Cut the breasts into strips and steam them with your favourite vegetables and an aromatic herb. For an Asian twist, try snow peas, shiitake mushrooms and crushed lemongrass. Discard the lemongrass before serving.
Cut the breasts into small pieces then slide them onto metal skewers, or wooden skewers soaked in water for 20 minutes. Add on your veggies of choice: onion wedges, green pepper slices or yellow squash. Grill or broil the skewers for about 20 minutes, basting occasionally with apple juice.
Chicken Cooking Tips
As you prepare the breasts, follow these three general tips:
Don't poke the breasts with a fork.
Use tongs or a spatula to turn the breasts over the heat. Every hole in the meat allows moisture to escape.
Salt them at the end.
Salt pulls out moisture; only add it to a completed chicken dish, just before serving.
Let the breasts rest.
After the cooking is done, let the breasts sit at room temperature for five minutes before serving so that the natural juices can reincorporate into the meat.
Bruce Weinstein and Mark Scarbrough are the authors of Cooking for Two (Morrow Cookbooks, 2004).