So cook the chicken to a safe internal temperature and your food will always be safe. Before we begin, do you know why does chicken have to be thoroughly cooked, while steaks can be served rare or medium rare? The answer lies in the physiology of the chicken. The meat is less dense than beef, which allows bacteria to travel throughout the muscle. And the way chicken is processed spreads bacteria.
Finally, a chicken’s skin is deeply crenellated, and removing the feathers forces bacteria into the crevices and into the meat. So buy yourself a reliable meat thermometer and get ready to always make moist, tender, and juicy boneless, skinless chicken breasts.
Any of these methods will result in juicy, moist, and tender chicken breasts. Follow the instructions carefully with a meat thermometer in your hand and you will always have success.
You can season the chicken with lots of ingredients in these cooking methods.
Brining pulls water into the chicken flesh and helps flavor it too.
To brine boneless, skinless chicken breasts, use a large bowl and mix 4 cups of water with 3 Tbsp. of salt and 2 Tbsp. of sugar, if desired, and stir until the salt and sugar dissolves. Add the thawed chicken breasts to this mixture, cover, and refrigerate for one hour. When ready to cook, remove the chicken from the brine, rinse under cold running water, and cook according to one of the following methods.
You can brine frozen breasts as well. Mix up the brine solution and add the frozen boneless skinless breasts. Place in the refrigerator, covered, and let stand overnight until the chicken thaws. Rinse well under cold running water, pat dry, and cook.
To poach boneless, skinless chicken breasts, place them in a large skillet and add 1-2 cups of water or chicken broth. Bring to a boil, reduce heat, cover, and cook for 9-14 minutes until chicken reaches 160 degrees F. about 15 minutes. You can also poach in the oven. Place chicken in a single layer in a roasting pan. You can add lemon slices, peppercorns, or any other spices or herbs. Bring 4 cups of water to a boil and immediately pour over chicken. Cover and bake at 400 degrees F for 20-35 minutes, checking for an internal temperature of 160 degrees F.
It can be risky cooking chicken in the microwave oven because the oven cooks unevenly. The same piece of chicken can be several different temperatures at the same time! If you have healthy people over the age of 5 in your household, this is an easy method for microwaving chicken. Place boneless, skinless chicken breasts in a glass dish with the thin side of the breasts in the center. Pour 3/4 cup buttermilk over the chicken, sprinkle with herbs and spices of your choice, cover plate with plastic wrap, and cook on high for 3 minutes. Check the chicken, and then cook for 2 minutes longer. Rearrange the chicken using tongs, cover again, and microwave for 3-5 minutes longer until internal temp is 160 degrees F. Discard buttermilk mixture.
The crock-pot is a wonderful way to cook chicken as long as it is not overcooked. For fresh chicken breasts, stack the chicken in the crock-pot, add 1/2 cup water or chicken broth, cover, and cook on low for 5-6 hours, rearranging once during cooking time. For frozen chicken breasts, arrange in crock-pot, add 1/2 cup chicken broth or water, cover, and cook on low for 8-9 hours, rearranging once during cooking time.
This dry heat method is quick and easy. If you pound the breasts thin, they will cook for about 2-3 minutes a side over high heat. Unpounded breasts take a bit longer to cook; about 4-5 minutes per side. Coat a skillet with olive oil, heat over high heat, add breasts, cook for 4 minutes without moving them, then turn and finish cooking.
This is a moist heat method of cooking. Add thawed chicken breasts to the cooker add sliced onions and lemons for flavor along with 1/2 cup water, cover and lock the cooker, and bring the pressure up to high. Cook for 12 minutes, release pressure, and check internal temperature. You can cover, bring pressure back up, and cook for 2-3 minutes longer if necessary.
With these methods of cooking chicken, you should be able to dish out a variety of mouth-watering chicken dishes from now on.
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