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A Better Way to Cook a Chicken Breast

Updated on September 27, 2010

Here’s a dead easy method for cooking chicken breasts that requires no special skills and that will get you a golden brown exterior and a moist and tender interior every time.

The recipe as follows is for a very basic chicken breast, one seasoned only with salt and pepper – just to show the technique. You can, of course, use different herbs and spices, use finishing glazes and serve with an infinite variety of sauces on the plate. The difference here will be that you’re not using a sauce to cover up a sad overcooked piece of chicken; you’ll be using a sauce to accentuate a perfectly cooked piece of chicken breast!

How to Cook a Perfect Chicken Breast

Not a recipe, just a technique

  1. Preheat the oven to high-ish, about 425 to 450
  2. Season your chicken breasts with a generous sprinkle of salt and freshly cracked pepper, on both sides
  3. Heat a heavy frying pan on high, and once very hot add in a Tbls or 2 of vegetable oil
  4. Carefully lower the chicken into the pan – lean it down facing away from you to make sure you don’t get an oil splatter and then let it cook, without disturbing it, for 3 or 4 minutes. If you are cooking chicken breasts with the skin on (which is better!) then you should cook these skin side down.
  5. After 3 or 4 minutes, use tongs to peek on the underside of the chicken, and assuming it’s a nice golden brown (which it should be) then transfer it to a baking safe pan and whack it into the oven to finish cooking for another 10 to 15 minutes.
  6. After about 10 minutes, use your trusty instant read thermometer to check the internal temperature of the chicken, shooting for about 160 degrees, and continuing to cook for a few more minutes if necessary. (if you don’t have an instant read thermometer, just use a knife to take a quick peek inside – as long as it’s not pink, you’re good to go.
  7. Serve this chicken breast with whatever sauces and sides you enjoy.

Easy and perfectly cooked chicken!

Note* This method, first searing to brown the surface and then finishing over more moderate heat in an oven is great for any thicker steak or chop of meat – in fact, try a cast iron skillet steak that’s finished in the oven and you may never light your BBQ again!


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    • John D Lee profile image

      John D Lee 7 years ago

      Lita, I hope you like it...please report back with your results if you get around to trying it out!

    • Lita C. Malicdem profile image

      Lita C. Malicdem 7 years ago from Philippines

      The only meat I'm supposed to take now is chicken breast, without the skin. And I'm beginning to dislike chicken. Well, with that sauce and greens, looks great to try this technique for a change. Thank you.

    • G L Strout profile image

      G L Strout 7 years ago from Ohio, USA

      Sounds like a great and easy method. Thanks for sharing.