Saturday, January 24, 2015

Perfect Breasts

Skinless, Boneless Chicken Breasts, that is...

Hubby announced that we might be having company for dinner tonight.  I panicked!  There was no time to go to the grocery and I only had skinless, boneless chicken breasts in the freezer.  Aside from that, all I had were salad greens and 3 kinds of fresh mushrooms.

I usually cook chicken breasts with vegetables, quickly sauteing so that the chicken does not dry out.  But this time, I decided to try something different. 

Last Christmas, a friend gave me the e-book copy of The Kitchn Cookbook.  It was there that I discovered the best way to cook chicken breasts on the stove.  An e-friend also referred a page on the site of The Kitchn, pertaining to the same topic.  The same e-friend then told me about the adaptations she made.  I decided to follow her directions ...

4 skinless, boneless chicken breasts, split into 2 (avoid the overly big ones)
2 cups water
1/8 cup sea salt
1/2 tablespoon crushed black peppercorns
1/2 tablespoon chopped garlic
3 pieces (small) bay leaves, crumbled

Dissolve the sea salt in the water; set aside for a while.  Place the chicken breasts in a bowl.  Put in the crushed peppercorns, garlic and bay leaves.  Pour in the salted water; make sure the chicken is fully submerged.  Let stand 15 to 30 minutes; then drain and pat dry.  Pound the chicken breasts (gently) about 1/2-inch thick.

Meanwhile, heat olive oil in a large, shallow frying pan (big enough to fit all the chicken breasts in a single layer).

Pat the chicken dry (again) and place in heated oil (heat on medium-high).  Set the timer for 1 minute, then flip the breasts.  Cover the pan, lower the heat to low then set the timer for 10 minutes.  Let the chicken breasts cook, undisturbed.  (Do not uncover!)

After 10 minutes, shut off the heat/flame.  Let the chicken rest, in the pan still covered, another 10 minutes.  After the 2nd 10 minutes, check the chicken for doneness.

Hubby topped his salad with the chicken (as well as some sauteed mushrooms), and he declared the chicken a winner!     

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