A whole post about cooking a chicken breast? Yep.
I’m still figuring out the basics and when I have a piece of food in front of me, with no attached instructions of any kind, I still feel quite lost. What to do? Where to start?
I would love to know what you do with a random piece of chicken? What the fastest way you know to prepare it? (Without a bbq I should ask, since I don’t have one.)
The other night, I arrived home fairly late from work so I wasn’t really in the mood to cook a huge, involved dinner. What I *did* have on hand was a can of green beans and a skinless, boneless chicken breast. Sounds simple enough but as I was tired, not inspired, I stood staring at this piece of chicken without a clue what I should do with it.
I hopped online and googled something along the lines of ‘chicken breast boneless skinless recipe’. It brought up some awesome preparation suggestions but all were still much too involved for me. I didn’t want to have to bread it or stuff it or do much to it beyond slap it on a grill and watch it cook.
I called one of my cooking friends. Yep, I have a mental list of Cooking Friends. These are the people I can call when I have random questions. The friends who are cool with receiving frantic phone calls such as:
“Hmmm…what did you do now? And why do you sound so far away?”
“My dough is waaaay too sticky! It’s so sticky I’m calling you with my feet!” *sob*
***This is simply a hypothetical situation and in no way represents an actual phone call that has taken place!***
I have many friends who I can contact when I have questions. Cooking Friends vs Baking Friends…which is then broken down further to Sauce Friends, Beet Friends, Bread Friends, Granola Friends, and so on. Of course, many friends fit into more than one category. 🙂
This particular day I reviewed my Meat/Marinade friends list and made the call. His suggestion? Salt and pepper and a hot frying pan.
That’s it. So simple! And the key? To keep in the moisture. He warned me to not lift the lid over and over.
Once I had the basic idea in mind, I of course had to dress it up. A contradiction, I know. Was I not tired? I think what happened was that he gave me a base to start with and build on…so I did.
I mixed up salt, pepper, a slight amount of garlic powder and a wee bit of an all-purpose spice mix that I had on hand and used it as a rub. Heated my pan and once it was hot, began frying the chicken.
First things first, I had the pan too hot. Luckily, I didn’t burn the chicken. Came close…but saved it just in time. Due to the high heat, I was worried about drying it out so I began adding water, just a bit each time I removed the lid and flipped the chicken or checked the temperature.
One day, I hope to be able to tell when my meat is done by feel. I have friends who can tell by sticking the meat with a fork and feeling the resistance. I’m not there yet. Instead, I stick my meat over and over again with my trusty digital meat thermometer. Handy and accurate, but in this case, not conducive at keeping in the moisture. So, more water each time…just enough to almost cover the bottom of the pan and create a bit of steam.
I don’t remember how long it cooked…probably upwards of 15 minutes on med heat…it was a thick piece of chicken to start with but in the end, success! It was moist, it was yummy, it was easy!
And the side dish? ‘Nuked green beans. You can’t get much simpler than that!