Chicken breasts are one of the most healthiest and easiest to cook proteins with plenty of different ways to prepare them. Although a favorite in our home, every now and again I find myself getting stuck on the same tried-and-true recipes so I’m always looking for fresh, new ideas to keep things interesting.
I’ve put together quite a collection (added below), but first up…here are a couple tips…
One of the regular things I do with chicken breasts is to pre-cook a batch then freeze them individually or halved. This provides a steady stock on hand for easy, last-minute dishes such as tacos, fresh salad rolls, fried rice, adding to pastas, soups, salads, etc.
This is a terrific time-saver (especially for busy weeknights) and there’s essentially no flavor loss compared to cooking them from fresh.
I keep seasoning to a minimum (just salt) so that they’re adaptable for any recipe. Here’s how I do it (I recently discovered this method from bonappetit.com).
Batch Poaching Method (Stovetop)
12 cups cold water
1/4 cup Kosher salt
6 large chicken breasts (boneless/skinless)
- Fill a large sauce pan with the poultry pieces, cover with the cold water and salt.
- Turn the heat on (medium) and once the water starts to boil, flip the breasts over, remove from heat and cover with a lid.
- Allow to sit tight for about 10 minutes, test temperature then remove from water when they’ve reach 162°F. (website says 150°F).
- Give them a minimum of 5 minutes to rest before slicing.
Safe Temperature for Cooked Chicken: It’s 165°F according to the USDA. Keep in mind that when you remove meat/poultry from the heat source and allow it to rest for a few minutes, it will continue to cook and the inner temperature will rise.
Do You Feel Uninspired Serving Them? A big part of the problem is likely underseasoning and/or overcooking. When handled properly, there’s no reason to feel blah! about this protein. Salt generously and don’t keep them on the heat any longer than necessary. Yes indeed, they can be juicy and flavorful!
Quick Thawing Tip: If you planned on cooking (raw) chicken tonight but forgot to take a package out of the freezer, here’s how to quickly defrost from frozen:
- Cover packaged frozen pieces with cold water and leave submerged until thawed (may take up to an hour or so).
- If the package floats, set a small plate on top to keep it under water.
- If it’s a big pack, try to separate them once you can force them apart so they thaw quicker. Keep the packaging sealed & waterproof while soaking (you’ll have to re-wrap/seal if you open the package…I just toss them in a large ziploc bag, push out the air and seal tightly before putting them back in the cold water to continue thawing process).
Now on to the goodies…a nice mix of flavor combos and features: saucy, spicy, healthy, creamy…yum! I skipped the pastas in this round.
- Grilled Sweet Chili Lime: Delicious and easy with a sweet chili lime glaze. The flavor is amazing and will be one of the best things you grill this summer! Recipe Critic.
- Balsamic: (Boneless/skinless) Rubbed with garlic and herbs, dripping with a tomato balsamic sauce and melted mozzarella cheese! They stay juicy baked in balsamic vinegar, getting so much flavor from grape tomatoes, red onion slices and a touch of garlic. Cafe Delites.
- Cheesy Spinach Stuffed: Low carb (Keto) friendly with roasted red peppers, spinach, and fontina cheese. This colorful eye-catching main dish is sure to turn heads. A Spicy Perspective.
- “No Work”: I like that sound of that, lol! Baked in the oven, the name of this dish says it all! In about 10 minutes you can prepare a simple Baked Chicken recipe that is moist, tender, and seasoned with fresh herbs and a delicious maple-Dijon pan sauce! It’s a simple and healthy dinner for your busiest evenings. The Seasoned Mom.
- Mushroom Cream Sauce: Oh, I like the looks of this one ;). Inspired by Julia Child’s recipe. “An excellent go to if you are entertaining or want to prepare a meal for a special occasion. While the cream and cognac are a bit indulgent, this is not as fancy as it seems.” Promises to be super easy and made in about 30 minutes. What’s not to love? She Wears Many Hats.
- Garlic Brown Sugar: Promising…looks like it might make it to my “go-to” list for delicious weeknight meals. CakesCottage.
- Perfect Oven Baked: Have trouble with dry, boring chicken breasts? Here’s something to check out. They promise to be perfectly seasoned and juicy on the inside. Gal On A Mission.
- Peri Peri: A tasty, quick and easy dinner that only leaves you with ONE pan to wash! Simple to make, easier to eat! It’s amazing sometimes how you can turn a few simple ingredients into a delicious and totally fabulous dish. Mommy’s Home Cooking.
- Cheesy Mexican Stuffed: Filled with black beans, tomatoes and cheese, topped with taco seasoning and more cheese for an easy, fun and delicious family dinner! Family Food On The Table.
- One Pan Skillet: Creamy Parmesan Basil: Full of flavor and tastes like it was served from a restaurant. Fox and Briar.
- Grilled Tenderloins: Made with zesty Italian dressing, lime juice and honey. Marinated for at least an hour. Found at Southern Plate.
- Low Carb Lemon: Ingredients include cornstarch, vegetable oil, dry sherry, a slightly beaten egg white, salt, hoisin, sugar, lemon juice and zest. Found at Stephen Cooks.
- Ultimate Creamy Marsala: This easy to make dish goes so well with crispy Shoestring French Fries for soaking up all the creamy sauce! One crucial step is browning the mushrooms really well this adds so much flavor you don’t want to skip it. Mantitlement.
- Buffalo Sandwiches: Super easy and no deep fat frying involved! Found at Recipe A Day.
- Honey-Grilled: Made with orange juice, honey, lemon juice, reduced-sodium soy sauce, minced fresh gingerroot, minced garlic cloves. Taste Of Home.
- Marinated Kebabs with Lemon Pepper Yogurt Sauce: Ingredients include plain yogurt, sour cream, red wine vinegar, juice and zest of lemon, minced garlic and chopped fresh mint. Epicurious.
- Grilled With Fennel Salad: Made with lemon juice, extra virgin olive oil, Italian seasoning, fennel, navel orange, fennel frawns, Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper. My Kitchen Addiction.
- Stuffed in Puff Pastry: Uses a box of puff pastry, finely chopped mushrooms, flat leaf parsley, olive oil, minced garlic. Mennonite Girls Can Cook.
- Healthy Fingers: Dreading the treadmill time you’ll have to clock to burn off these babies? No worries. These taste just like the real thing — but with about a tenth of the fat. Pair ’em with one of the diet-friendly dipping sauces! Fitness Magazine.
- Lemon: Made with good olive oil, minced garlic, dry white wine, grated lemon zest and freshly squeezed juice, dried oregano, fresh thyme leaves, black pepper. The Sequined Lobster.
- World’s Best: Serves 4, made with Dijon mustard, maple syrup, red wine vinegar and rosemary. Rachel Schultz.