The method Thomas Keller uses in this recipe is foolproof, and makes for juicy and super delicious chix breasts: http://www.nytimes.com...
I love to use boneless chicken breasts in dishes such as Chicken Piccata. By quickly pan frying the breast first and finishing it off in a simmering sauce, the chicken retains its moistness without being overdone and dry.
Think Chicken Marsala, Chicken Parmesan (finished off in the oven)...the options are endless.
The key is a hot pan, quick cooking, and then allowing it to pick up the flavors of the sauce. Poaching is another good way to keep it juicy, but lends itself to less variety of dishes.
I usually go the cutlet route...try this:
Butterfly the breast and pound to an even thickness, season with s&p, dip in beaten egg then seasoned panko (panko, s&p, grated parmesan) then pan saute in a bit of olive oil till golden on both sides and cooked through
I like to then serve it with a simple salad ON TOP of the cutlet.
Dressed lightly with a balsamic vinaigrette, toasted pine nuts and tomato.
Perfect and light and NEVER dry.
For juicy and moist, I agree on poaching. Don't let the water come to a boil with the chicken or parts will be tough. Let the water boil first, then slide the breasts in. Turn the heat off and cover until done. It will vary depending if you have bone on or off. I'd Guess 20 minutes for bone off and 30 for bone on. Lift lid and cut in to one to make sure there is no raw pink in thinkest part. Use this for shredded chicken salad, enchiladas, etc. Season the water if you like. Salt, ginger slicks,wine, broth, whatever goes.
I always put one breast into foil and fold over the edges so it's like a pouch and steam can't escape. I drizzle a tiny amount of EVOO and S&P, then sometimes some fresh or dried herbs. Works EVERY time! Careful opening the pouch, lots of steam and juice inside!
I always brine my chicken, pork and shrimp and most definitely my turkey.. I first learned of this method from "Cooks Illustrated". Doesn't take a lot of time for the chicken, pork and less time for shrimp. Can be brining while you pull together the other items you are cooking, have been using the brining method for over 15 years.
I like to marinate & grill chicken breasts. My favorite marinade is: ½ cup fresh-squeezed lemon juice, 1 Tbsp. vegetable oil, 1 Tbsp. fresh rosemary (minced), 1 clove garlic (pressed), ¼ tsp salt, ¼ tsp pepper. Pound the chicken breasts to an even thickness & then toss with the marinade. Refrigerate for about 2 hours. Then grill 4-5 minutes per side over medium heat. However, any way you cook chicken breasts (grill/bake/saute), they can turn out juicy if don't overcook them. They cook fast. That's the key!
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