Chicken Breast - A Busy Cook's Best Friend
New Media PublishingRecipe developer Kemp Minifie shares 10 recipes for one of the most popular cuts of chicken. Read on for her chicken breast recipes and tips on making the meat juicy and flavorful.
When you cruise the supermarket aisle and take note of how much space is devoted to chicken and in how many forms you can buy it -- whole or cut up, on the bone or off, with skin or without, white meat or dark meat -- it's obvious it's the default dinner choice for most Americans. When I was dating the man who is now my husband, the first dish he cooked for me was sautéed chicken breasts. When our children were young and I was obsessed with everything they ate, chicken was the first animal protein I introduced into their diet. Even today, when they are well into their teens, nothing guarantees a smile quite like chicken as the answer to the nightly question, "What's for dinner, Mom?"
Our family is split down the middle between white and dark meat, my husband and older daughter preferring the breast when given the choice, while my younger daughter and I always reach for the thighs. The white-meat members of the family have been a little more rigid in their preferences, so I've cooked far more breasts in my life than thighs.
For years, one of my favorite ways to cook chicken breasts was something I learned at cooking school in Paris with the exotic sounding name "paillard." You pound a breast between sheets of wax paper until it's as flat as a plate. It cooks in just a couple of minutes since it's only about a 1/4 inch thick and so much more of the meat is in contact with the pan. It also produces plenty of flavorful nubbins -- a.k.a. brown bits -- on the bottom of the skillet, just waiting for a liquid to transform them into into a quick pan sauce.
These days I don't have time to pound chicken breasts and, quite frankly, I don't want chicken juices flying around my kitchen anyway. I've become a huge convert to thin sliced chicken breasts, which eliminate that messy step. They cook in about 2 to 3 minutes and it's easy to tell when they're done; just do a quick cut and peek. For years I dutifully patted the slices dry with the understanding that the chicken would brown better in the pan, but I've given up that step, too, without any noticeable difference.
Because chicken breast meat is mild, it often gets a bad rap for being boring, but that's where the quick pan sauce comes in to save the day. Thanks to America's multicultural demographic, supermarket shelves and the produce section are full of spices, condiments, and fresh herbs and the following 10 recipes take advantage of that bounty. Chances are, though, you've likely got a lot of the ingredients in your cupboard already.
Chicken Breast Recipes• Balsamic Soy Chicken Cutlet recipe
• Walnut Caper Brown Butter Chicken Cutlet recipe
• Ancho Orange Chicken Cutlet recipe
• Bacon, Onion, and Red Wine Chicken Cutlet recipe
• Creamy Mushroom Chicken Cutlet recipe
• Lemon Cilantro Chicken Cutlet recipe
• Fennel Dill Chicken Cutlet recipe
• Golden Garlic Chicken Cutlet recipe
• Mustard Tarragon Chicken Cutlet recipe
• Sherried Chicken Cutlet recipe
More Chicken Recipes and Tips from KitchenDaily
- Watch a Kitchen Basics video on how sauté a chicken breast and deglaze a pan to make a pan sauce.
- Read advice on buying chicken, including decoding labels such as "organic" and "natural."
- Get 10 grilled chicken recipes.
- Learn how to debone a chicken.
- Browse all chicken recipes.