Thursday, September 3, 2009

Basic Cooking Skills: How to Cook Plain Chicken Breasts

Every other Thursday we will post about different basic cooking skills. Knowing how to prepare meals from scratch is a very important step in becoming self-reliant, which in turn is a crucial component of being prepared. Being able to cook meals for your family will give you confidence, more family togetherness time, and lower your food budget=more money for food storage! If you have a basic cooking skill you'd like to learn, email us! These meals contain perishable food items as this is a different series than our food storage recipes.

Ah, raw meat. The bane of my existence. At least that's what I thought when I was first learning to cook. Icky. But, I've learned a few ways to make it an easy and mess free experience.

This method works with either fresh or frozen chicken breasts. I almost always buy frozen because I can usually find a better deal.

Find a pot or frying pan with a lid and fill it with one cup of water for every two chicken breasts. I'm cooking 4, so I put in 2 cups of water. Bring to a boil, and while its heating up, fill up your chicken container with cold water, if its frozen. Cold water defrosts chicken safely.

When the water boils, add a bit of salt (a teaspoon or so) like you were salting pasta water. This is the way you season the chicken.

Drain your defrosting water into the sink and plop the chicken into the boiling water and cover. My chicken was still mostly frozen and that's okay. Turn the heat down to low, I usually put it to 4.5 on my electric stovetop.

Set the timer for five minutes. This is what my chicken looked like after five minutes. Turn off the heat, flip the chicken over if you'd like, and put the lid back on--leaving the pot on the hot burner and set the timer for another five minutes so the chicken can steam.

When the timer rings the second time you have perfectly white cooked chicken.

Remove to a plate or bowl, and using two forks, shred the chicken by pulling it gently apart.

Then you have perfectly cooked chicken ready to put into your favorite recipe! Keep in mind that you don't have to shred the chicken, you can dice it, slice it or leave it plain--whatever your recipe calls for.

Just an easy no fuss way to cook up some chicken for dinner.

Remember when you cook with any raw meat to wash and sanitize any dishes or surfaces you use. Especially your sinks!


Anonymous said...

Thanks very much for the information--sometimes it helps to know exactly how someone else does things (pictures are a bonus)especially when it's this easy.

Anonymous said...

Why not throw the frozen chicken in the over for about 50 minutes at 375 degrees, instead? A lot less work and fewer dishes to clean. If you want to keep the chicken juicy, put aluminum foil over the top of your pan before you put it in the oven.

Frank, Heidi and Family said...

Both are excellent ways to do it- baked or boiled. I find I usually don't have time to do the bake method if I'm using the chicken for dinner. I almost never have dinners that take more than an hour to prepare. But if I do plan ahead the bake method is great to put in and forget about it.
I must always boil my chicken too long, because I never would have guessed to do it for 5 min. on each side. I'll have to try- that would take a lot less time. Thanks.

Sondra said...

Isn't that interesting. I've never cooked it that way. I always defrost chicken like that... but haven't thought about cooking it in water. Thanks!

Sarbear said...

I recently broiled my chicken after coating it will a no-fat plain yogurt mix (yogurt, oil and seasonings) and wow it turned out really juicy inside and crispy outside. I had never done that and my husband actually liked it. He usually hates chicken.

JM said...

I use my trusty slow cooker to make shredded chicken for a week or more. Pile in all the frozen chicken breasts, add 1/2 cup of water and turn it on low all day long, The chicken just flakes apart and I can bag and freeze into portions I need. Easy to do and easy clean up.