I hear so much discussion about chicken... chicken breasts, chicken thighs, light meat, white meat, dark meat, can eat it, can't eat it, gets stuck, doesn't get stuck... wow! From new post ops to old timers - post ops have trouble with chicken.
Here is a pro tip: It's not the chicken, its how you are cooking it. When you cook a boneless skinless chicken breast until its as dry as wood, put the whole hunk on a plate and serve it naked - is it any wonder you can't eat it!
Chicken doesn't need to be cooked to death. Most home cooks overcook their proteins; turning them into dry hockey pucks on a plate.
How to make juicy chicken breasts
- Remove the chicken from the package and use your KITCHEN SHEARS to cut off the big yellow fat globs and odd looking tissue so that it's a nice neat piece of meat. I also cut off the pointed TIP at the end as it gets so dry. SNIP!
- Arrange the chicken on a Pam sprayed or foil lined metal baking sheet or grill pan - rub the pieces down with a little olive oil and season with a tasty herb blend such as Tony Chatcheres or even just Kosher Salt and Freshly Ground Black Pepper - pop your chicken into a 400 degree preheated HOT oven.
- I cook my chicken breast to 160 degrees. It takes 10 to 12 minutes and I can tell when it hits the right temperature because I have an instant read meat thermometer that I bought at the grocery store for $6.
- Open the oven, take out the pan and set it on top of the stove and close the oven door. Take out your trusty thermometer and stick it into the THICK part of your chicken breast and watch the needle move. When it runs right up to 155 degrees, its done. The temperature will continue to rise a bit after you have taken it from the oven.
- Allow the chicken to rest WITHOUT CUTTING IT for 3 to 5 minutes, so the juices reabsorb into the meat. Now here is the trick that makes the chicken tender. Place a breast on a cutting board and cut it into 1/4 inch slices - across the fiber of the meat. Fan them out on your serving plates, and spoon on some salsa, salad or sauce to moisten your already tender moist chicken slices.
The result will shock you! Tender juicy chicken that is perfect post op protein.