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Friday, February 17, 2012

Pan-Seared Chicken Breast



Preparing chicken breast this way eliminates two problems:  One - the thickness of the breast varies, making one end dry and the other underdone.  Two - boneless, skinless chicken breast is almost impossible to be as moist and tender as your standard bone-in, skin-on breast... till now.

The past few years, I’ve become a fan of America’s Test Kitchen - a PBS cooking show that features bow-tie clad Christopher Kimball (he could be a brother to Mr. Rogers) - and his staff of ingenious cooks who approach cooking problems like detectives.  Once I got over Mr. Kimball’s very goofy demeanor, it started to grow on me.  I DVR every episode and watch them when I grow tired of cooking - which rejuvenates me.

One recent episode featured a different method of cooking the new American standard - boneless, skinless, chicken breast.  Without skin or bone - this tender meat can easily be sacrificed if you aren’t careful.


Three steps help this recipe work.  One - salting the meat so it retains moisture.  Two - “parcooking” the breast briefly in the oven, then finishing it off on the stovetop.  Three - “velveting” to create a protective layer that browns it beautifully without toughening it.

For this to work well, you can’t be distracted (good luck with that!) - or the meat will overcook in just minutes.  It’s not a fix-and-forget meal, but when done properly - yields a very moist, tender chicken breast with a crisp and brown outer crust.

For complete instructions, amounts, and photos - go to:




2 comments:

  1. I saw this episode and have been planning on trying chicken breasts cooked this way. Thanks for the heads up about not getting distracted.

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  2. The chicken looks amazing! It looks juicy and so tender. Perfect!!!

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