Monday, September 1, 2008

As the Chef: Cooking chicken breasts

Hey Everyone! I hope you all had a great three day weekend! We hung out with my sister and her husband, playing the Wii and eating! lol Good times! So anyway, I am so excited because I haven't done an ask the chef question in a long time. You have been sending them in, and I usually reply via email, but I thought this one was perfect for lots of us, because I know we all have this problem from time to time! :) So enjoy! :)

April from The Fragrant Hand asks:
"I have trouble sautéing skinless boneless chicken breasts, which is kind-of embarrassing because it seems so basic. I can't seem to get them done all the way thru. I have tried pounding the breasts to make them more of a uniform thickness and sometimes that helps, but not always. Recipes always say to cook 5 or 6 minutes on each side, I'm ending up w/ undercooked chicken even at 8 or 9 minutes per side. I also often end up with chicken that is tough when we go to eat it. How can I get the chicken to cook all the way thru and not end up tough?"

Hey April,
Please don't feel embarrassed! I am a trained professional and still have problems with this from time to time!
What I would suggest is first, make sure your pan is pre-heated, then add a tiny bit of oil or cooking spray just before adding in your chicken. This will seal the outside and lock the juices inside to insure a really moist breast. Also, I want to show you how to butterfly a chicken breast! This is the BEST way to make sure you have even cooking, and it's not hard at all to do!

So here is a little tutorial on how to do this!
Step 1:
lay your chicken breast down on your cutting board with the thickest side facing away from you.

Step 2:
place your knife (make sure its very sharp) parallel to the cutting board and start cutting into the breast. Cut ALMOST all the way through, but not quite.

Step 3:
open breast to make sure its even. If one side is a little thicker, you can cover it with plastic wrap and use the smooth side of your mallet to pound it out. Remember, use gentle "down and away" motions for the best pounding.

See, wasn’t that easy? I hope this helps!
Give it a try and remember to come tell me what you think! :)
Thanks so much April!
If you have a Question for the Chef, please email it to and you just might see it featured here!


April said...

Thanks so much for answering my question, I will give this a try!

April said...

This is a great solution. I was inspired to turn thick cut pork chops into pork cutlets and try a new recipe for Crispy Pork Cutlets. Here's the link if you'd like to see what I did:
Thanks Gourmet Momma!