How to Cook Chicken Breasts and Chicken Breast Recipes
How do you normally cook chicken breasts? Do you casserole them in the oven in some chicken stock with root vegetables? Do you pan fry them in a little flour? Perhaps you chop them up and make a curry or stir fry? The truth is that chicken breasts are so incredibly versatile there are any number of tasty ways in which they can be cooked and enjoyed. This page will look at a few ways of cooking these chicken pieces, both whole and chopped, in an attempt to give you some new and innovative ideas for cooking this delicious foodstuff. Hopefully, you will have a browse and find at least one dish which catches your eye and you would wish to serve to your family or guests.
Chicken Breast Schnitzel with Potato Salad and Sauerkraut
Schnitzel is an Austrian/German dish, most famously prepared with veal in the form of Wienerschnitzel. This recipe essentially just substitutes chicken breast for the veal.
Ingredients per Person
1 skinless chicken breast fillet
2 tbsp fresh breadcrumbs
1 beaten egg
1 large baking potato
2 tbsp mayonnaise
1 tbsp fresh or canned sweet corn
1 tbsp fresh, canned or frozen peas
2 tbsp sauerkraut
Sea salt and white pepper
The potato salad should be prepared first. Peel the potato and chop it in to approximately one inch chunks. Resist the temptation to chop it any smaller at this stage, as small pieces merely become saturated with water as they cook and disintegrate. Add to some cold, slightly salted water and bring the water to a boil before reducing the heat to simmer for twenty to twenty-five minutes until softened but still firm. Drain, return the potatoes to the pot, cover and leave to cool for about an hour.
Dice the cool potatoes to about a quarter inch. Carefully mix with the mayo, corn and peas. Season, cover with clingfilm and refrigerate until required.
The chicken breast has to be pounded and flattened but unlike beef steaks, the meat is very delicate and great care is required. Lay one sheet of clingfilm on a chopping board. Lay the chicken breast on it and season with salt and pepper. Seasoning at this stage is an excellent way of distributing the flavours through the chicken meat. Lay a second sheet of clingfilm on top and gently pound the meat with the smooth side of a meat mallet or the edge of a rolling pin to a uniform thickness of about half an inch.
Beat the egg in a small, flat-bottomed bowl and spread the breadcrumbs on a small plate. Bring a couple of tablespoons of vegetable oil up to a medium heat in a non-stick frying pan. Draw the chicken breast through the egg and pat on both sides in the breadcrumbs. Repeat this process for an extra even and crispy coating. Fry for around five minutes each on a medium heat until the breadcrumbs are crisp and golden and the chicken is cooked.
Lift the chicken schnitzel from the pan with a fish slice or spatula and lay it on a plate. Add the potato salad, sauerkraut and serve immediately while the chicken is still hot.
Chicken Breast Dippers with Thai Sweet Chilli Sauce
Chicken dippers are known by a number of names and bought in many forms, both as fast food and frozen from supermarkets. Often, these creations will be made from what is considerably less than prime chicken meat. The chicken dippers in this instance are made from prime breast meat, deep fried in a basic batter, though egg and breadcrumbs could be used equally well.
Ingredients per Portion
2 chicken breast fillets
3 tbsp plain/all purpose flour
½ tsp salt
3 fresh lettuce leaves
2 thin slices cut from half an onion
3 tbsp Thai sweet chilli dipping sauce
The batter should where possible be made a half hour or so in advance and refrigerated to rest. Spoon the flour in to a plastic dish with a lid. Season with the salt and mix well. Very slowly, begin pouring cold water in to the mixture, whisking with a fork or small hand whisk until you achieve the consistency of thick cream. If you accidentally add too much cold water, simply whisk in a little more flour. Put the lid on the dish and refrigerate.
Slice each chicken breast fillets lengthwise in to three or four strips of around a quarter inch thickness. Although a deep frier can be used to make the chicken dippers, you may find it easier to use a deep frying pan, with vegetable oil to a depth of about an inch and a half. Bring the oil up to a fairly high heat.
Dip the chicken strips in to the batter to fully coat. Hold each one above the dish for a couple of seconds to let the excess drip off before very gently laying them in the hot oil. Fry for about three to four minutes each side until the batter is crisp and golden and the chicken is cooked. Remove the chicken to a plate laid with kitchen paper to drain.
Roughly shred the lettuce leaves and mix with the strands of onion. Season with salt and pepper. Form a lettuce and onion bed for the chicken and serve the dipping sauce in a small ramekin alongside.
Balmoral Chicken with Clapshot and Peppercorn Cream Sauce
Balmoral chicken is a dish comprised principally of chicken and haggis. While it is normally served with a whisky cream sauce, made from a fine single malt, this recipe sees it served merely with a black peppercorn cream sauce. This is simply because a great many people are unlikely to have a bottle of quality single malt lying around the house and may not wish to purchase one merely to make a meal accompaniment.
Ingredients per Portion
1 skinless chicken breast fillet
2 to 3oz cooked and cooled haggis
3 rashers/slices of bacon
1 large baking potato
½ very small Swede turnip/rutabaga
Tsp freshly chopped chives
Salt and white pepper
3 fl oz fresh chicken stock
3 fl oz double/heavy cream
8 to 10 whole black peppercorns (lightly crushed)
Start your oven preheating to 400F/200C. Lay the chicken breast fillet on a chopping board and very carefully slice horizontally to almost but not quite cut it in half. Spread the haggis evenly over the bottom, leaving a half inch border all the way around. Fold the top back over to form a parcel.
Lay three rashers of bacon on the chopping board, side by side (see image). Place the chicken breast in the centre and carefully wrap the bacon around it. Place the parcel on a sheet of foil, trying to ensure the bacon ends are on the bottom. This will help prevent separation during cooking and poor presentation. Carefully fold the foil up to form a loose but sealed tent. Put the wrapped chicken on a baking tray or sheet and in to the oven for half an hour. (Note that all the seasoning required should already be in the haggis and the bacon).
Peel the potato and Swede/rutabaga and chop in to one inch chunks. Add to a pot of slightly salted cold water and bring to a boil. Simmer for twenty to twenty-five minutes until softened. Drain well and return to the pot. Add a little butter and season with white pepper. Mash with a hand masher before adding the chives and stirring through with a spoon.
Remove the chicken breast from the oven, very carefully unwrap and pierce with a skewer to ensure the juices run clear and it is fully cooked. Rewrap and leave to rest while the cream and peppercorn sauce is prepared.
Add the chicken stock to a small saucepan and bring to a simmer before slowly stirring in the cream. Crush the peppercorns in a pestle and mortar and add them to the pan. Cook on a moderate simmer for a couple of minutes to reduce and thicken.
Spoon the clapshot on to a heated plate. This should be done fairly haphazardly to create a rustic effect. Slice the chicken breast in half at an angle and plate propped up against the clapshot. Spoon the sauce over the chicken and serve.
Chicken, Leek and Mushroom Pie
½ lb diced chicken breast meat
6 small closed cup mushrooms
1 small leak
1 pint fresh chicken stock
½ lb puff pastry
Beaten egg for glazing
3 medium to large potatoes
Brussels sprouts (quantity as desired)
Tsp freshly chopped mint
Salt and white pepper
Wash the leek and trim off the leaves and any remaining root. Slice in to discs of around a quarter inch in thickness.
Put a little bit of vegetable oil in a large stew pot and gently heat. Add the diced chicken, season and stir with a wooden spoon until the chicken pieces have all turned evenly opaque and are sealed. Add the leek and stir for another minute before pouring in the chicken stock. Bring to a gentle simmer for fifteen minutes.
Turn off the heat. Cut each mushroom in half and add them to the pot. Stir, put the lid on the pot and leave for at least an hour to completely cool. This is absolutely essential, as using a hot filling will spoil the pastry before it can start to cook, rise and crisp.
Preheat your oven to 400F/200C. Use a slotted spoon to transfer the chicken, leek and mushroom to a 9" x 6" pie dish. Pour in enough stock to almost but not quite cover the solids.
Roll out your pastry on a floured surface until just slightly larger than your pie dish. Place it carefully on top of the dish and tuck it over around the edges. Glaze with the beaten egg and cut a steam vent in the centre. Bake for thirty to forty minutes, until the pastry is beautifully risen and golden.
Peel and chop the potatoes. Add to a large pot of salted cold water. Bring to a boil and simmer for around twenty-five minutes until soft. Drain and mash with butter, white pepper and chopped mint.
The Brussels sprouts should be added to boiling, salted water for ten to twelve minutes until tender but not overly softened.
Cut the pie pastry in half. Use a large, slotted spoon to lay half the pie filling on each of two plates with the pastry on top. An ice cream scoop makes attractive presentation for the potatoes, before the sprouts are added last of all.
How Do You Like Chicken Breasts Cooked and Served?
Hopefully, this page has given you a few additional ideas for cooking with chicken breasts. Thanks you for spending some time reading through it. Any feedback or comments you have may be left in the space below.