trying to make the perfect chicken breast - any advice/recipes?
In order to have chicken breast tender, I always brine it in salt water for 1 to 2 hours and then rinse off the brine before cooking. For example for 2 whole breasts, take about 1/4 cup of kosher salt and water and cover breasts.
I do the same as SKK; I also might add a couple tablespoons of sugar, some garlic and whatever herbs I might be using in the dish. Works dynamite on pork chops, too.
Brine, brine away! And then don't overcook it. Brown very nicely on each side in some olive oil and anything else you want to add (garlic, herbs), then finish in a 225 degree oven until done. Remove from oven, cover, and let rest for 5 minutes or so before serving. Bon appetit!
Leave the bone in and the skin on.
Buy fresh, preferably organic, smallish breasts and then don't over cook. There is a perfect point where the cooking is trapping moisture in the meat. If you continue cooking beyond that point, moisture begins to be squeezed out and the meat toughens. Take the breasts off the heat when the muscle is opaque, but still slightly pink in the fat end--check by cutting with a small knife. They will continue cooking and be done by the time you have deglazed the pan. You can also pound the breasts to make palliards which cook through very quickly. I like brining, but not for chicken breasts.
Rub bone-in, skin-on breasts with canola oil (or any oil with a high smoke point - grapeseed will work), season with salt and red zaatar. Sear the non-skin side in an oven-safe frying pan for a few minutes, than transfer to a low or regular broiler, skin-side up. The breasts will be very tender and the whole process is fast and easy. You can then remove the skin and slice the breasts for other uses, or serve as-is.
I was just teaching a line cook how to cook a chicken breast. He thought they were supposed to be dry and chewy. I showed him that they can be moist and tender if you just sear presentation side down in a hot pan, flip, then turn down the heat and let it go nice and slow. Of course you have to know when they are done so that you don't over cook and dry out. With a insta read thermometer you can pull @ 160 and let sit and the carry over cooking will take it to 165F. After we let sit for a few minutes we cut into it and no red or pink and juice was flowing out. And was nice and tender. No tricks, no brine. Just correct technique.
if you're using boneless chicken breasts (i tend to eat a lot of the chicken tenders from Trader Joe's!), i've had great success marinating them overnight in a combo of soy sauce, mirin, and garlic or lemon juice, garlic, salt, and oregano. i think this achieves a similar effect to brining. i then quickly grill them on a hot grill (4 minutes per side, with the cover on). good luck!
I agree with all the advice above. Brining is a great trick. We eat a lot of bone in thighs in our house but when I have boneless skinless breasts, this recipe is a winner - http://www.foodandwine...