Nina’s Tips & Techniques: Chicken Breast

Whenever I cook chicken breast it comes out dry. What am I doing wrong?

The number one reason chicken gets dry is because it is over-cooked. Make sure to cook your chicken to 165 degrees F and no longer. I also recommend that chicken breast gets roasted at a lower temperature as high heat tends to dry it out faster. Because it is so lean and usually sold without skin I often choose chicken breast as the best option to cut into small pieces for cooking in broth or liquid based sauces (like thai curry, light cream sauce, etc). Just make sure to simmer your chicken and not boil it – boiling will leave it dry as well.

I really like breaded chicken, but when I try to make it at home the breading always falls off, burns, or the chicken is raw inside – help!

Breaded chicken is of course delicious and, while seeming simple, it actually requires technique that is rather complex because you are dealing with a lot of ingredients that cook differently and all have to come together as one. As usual, instead of telling you all the things that might go wrong I will just tell you my own simple and effective tips for breading chicken. Make sure to use a three part dredge – flour, beaten egg, then bread crumbs – I like panko bread crumbs because they are so light and crunchy. I like to slice my chicken breasts into thin strips before dredging them. If you bread the whole chicken breast the bread crumbs will burn before the chicken cooks through. I like to pan fry my breaded chicken in about ¼ inch of high heat vegetable oil – about 5-7 minutes on each side. Then I drain the crisp strips on a cooling rack set over a sheet tray to collect any extra oil – placing them on paper towels will leave them soggy on the bottom. I also like to season them with salt and pepper when they come out of the oil – the salt will stick to the crispy breadcrumbs and make them super tasty.

 

Featured Recipe:
Chicken Breast with Shallots and Herb-Cream Gravy