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What to make with Chicken Breasts

October 19, 2020
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An at-home recipe staple is the chicken breast. It’s a perfect, filling protein that can carry any meal. This versatile meal can be made in a pinch with only a few minutes and a few simple ingredients.

Did you know that there are a hundred ways to prepare a chicken breast that is cooked to impress? Get a truly crisp exterior with an oven bake, become a grill-master with grilled chicken, or pop it on the stove for a holistic marinade experience.

Try out our recipes below for these three fantastic cooking methods. However you choose to cook your chicken, you’re sure to have a fantastic meal.

How to Cook Chicken Breast in the Oven

Cooking baked chicken breast in the oven creates a juicy, flavorful dinner dish. The great thing about baked chicken breasts is that it is so easy to test out different flavor profiles without changing too much of your recipe. This means that anyone out there who is tentative in the kitchen can add not one, but hundreds of new baked chicken breast recipes to their portfolio when they learn how to cook it in the oven.

Seasoning Makes All the Difference

Swap out seasoning mixes for endless combinations of flavor! Here are just a few of the ways that you can season a delectable oven-baked chicken breast.

Mix #1: The Classic

Combine a tablespoon of brown sugar with a few sprinkles of paprika, oregano, garlic powder, and pepper for a juicy bite. This classic combination doesn’t stray too far from what you’d expect from a restaurant-baked chicken breast. The flavor profile works great with sides like mashed potatoes and corn.

Mix #2: Maple Balsamic

This powerful chicken seasoning option requires a few more ingredients than the classic mix. It will need balsamic vinegar, maple syrup, rosemary, thyme, and Dijon mustard. You might already be able to tell from the ingredients, but this recipe yields a strong, uniquely sweet and sour taste.

This seasoning contains both dry and wet ingredients, so it requires different prep than a standard dry seasoning rub. Don’t get intimidated though, it's easy! Whisk the syrups and seasonings all together and pour the mixture over the boneless skinless chicken breasts once they are sitting in the baking tray. You’re ready to go! Try it with home fries that you can dip in the tasty gravy.

Mix #3: Honey Lemon

Lemon and honey aren’t just great tea additions. Imagine biting into silky-sweet honey and lemon seasoned baked chicken breast fresh from the oven! 

All you need to achieve this flavorful taste at home is some lemon juice, honey, soy sauce, garlic, and pepper. Just combine the ingredients and pour over chicken meat in a baking tray. Add additional lemon slices and garlic cloves for extra seasoning.

Your Step-by-Step Oven Guide for Baked Chicken Breasts

The best part of oven-baked chicken breasts is that it is so hands-off. At-home chefs love that they can complete food prep in as little as 5 minutes, then pop the dish in the oven. You don’t have to sit around watching a pan on the stove. 

Get work around the house done while cooking a delicious meal! Follow these instructions to get a great chicken breast fully cooked through and delectable to eat.

For this recipe, you will need boneless skinless chicken breasts, olive oil, whichever seasoning you have chosen from the above selections, and a garnish if desired.

  • Preheat the oven to 425 degrees Fahrenheit
  • Pound the thickest portion of the meat with a meat mallet to achieve an even width, or cut each breast horizontally
  • Use foil to cover the cooking tray before placing the meat down on the foil
  • Rub the meat with olive oil and add seasoning
  • Bake the breasts for approximately 15-18 minutes
  • Check the baked chicken breasts to be sure that they are done, and remove from the oven
  • Place them immediately on plates, as they will continue cooking if left in a hot tray

A great pairing to add to this delicious baked chicken breast is a second oven-cooked item. Some of the best foods to cook in the oven include halved Brussel sprouts, kale chips, and roasted or twice-baked potatoes. These can all help create a full meal with lots of variety.

A Temperature Guide

Temperature plays a crucial role when cooking meats. When undercooked, some meats, particularly chicken, can quickly go from delicious to dangerous. There are a few ways that you can ensure a piece of chicken cooks through to its center.

  • Oven thermometer: 425 degrees Fahrenheit for a cooking time of 18 minutes
  • Stick-in internal meat thermometer: 165 degrees Fahrenheit
  • Cut through the center: No pink or red meat
  • External appearance: Golden brown skin

The Benefits of Baked Chicken Breasts

If you are hoping to increase your iron intake, baked chicken breasts are an incredible start. Iron can help with circulation and tissue development, and you can boost your daily intake by baking your meat.

How to Cook Grilled Chicken Breast

Next up is the grilled chicken breast – and there’s an art to perfecting this one.

Grilled chicken appears in so many of our favorite dishes. From a salad topper to a hearty dinner entree, it has immense versatility and variety. Use this flavor and temperature guide (and the fast and delicious recipe at the end) to create a grilled chicken main course that always impresses.

Seasoning Makes All the Difference

Getting a good flavor on your grilled chicken breast isn’t just about choosing the right spices. It’s about marinating the chicken properly to truly absorb the flavor for a full, rich bite.

How do you get the perfect marinade?

If you don’t marinate your chicken for long enough, you could miss out on the perfect tender bite! 30 minutes is a great length of time for when you want a light, tender chicken breast that isn’t chewy or stiff. It gives plenty of time for the juices and flavors to soak through the surface and make an impact on the dish as a whole.

The only real danger with leaving it too long is that the boneless chicken breast could become too soft, making it a little unappetizing. This typically happens over several hours. As long as you keep your marinating process under 3 hours, you shouldn’t experience any problems!

Below are some favorite chicken marinade mix concoctions that can be used for any grilled chicken recipe. For most of these, you will need oil as a base.

Mix #1: The Classic

A great classic flavor that works well for grilled chicken uses Worcestershire, Dijon mustard, Italian seasoning, garlic, sugar, pepper, and salt. Simply combine these ingredients for a delectably crispy grilled chicken meal.

Mix #2: Spicy

Adding a little spice to your grilled breasts can pack a powerful punch. Elevate your next dinner dish by trying out this delicious marinade before grilling.

All you’ll need for this marinade is olive oil, honey, garlic, sriracha, cayenne pepper, and apple cider vinegar. Feel free to substitute maple syrup for honey! Whisk together, add to a container with your chicken, and marinate.

The great thing about spice is that you can always kick it up a notch. If you’re a true spicy chicken connoisseur, maximize the fire by upping the sriracha and pepper. If you’re feeling a little intimidated, you can easily turn down the heat by halving the spicy ingredients. This dish is truly for all!

Mix #3: The Create-Your-Own

The way to create a truly impressive chicken marinade is to start with the basics. You’ll need the following ingredients:

  • A base - like oil
  • An acid - like vinegar, lime juice, or lemon juice
  • A sweetener - like honey

Once you select one of each of these, seasonings of your choice can be added at the end. Try some cumin, rosemary, garlic, and more for a well-rounded flavor profile for your chicken dish. You’ll feel like a professional chef in the kitchen, and look like one too! Family and friends are always impressed when you’re able to whip out an original recipe that tastes unique and flavorful.

Your Step-by-Step Grill Guide for Chicken Breasts

Preparing chicken meat on the grill is a truly unique cooking experience. Grilling can give you the chance to get out of your kitchen and enjoy a breath of fresh air. With a great marinade and a few minutes over the flames, a chicken breast can go from plain to a 5-star meal. Follow this recipe for the perfect grilled dish.

For this recipe, you will need your marinade of choice as well as boneless skinless chicken breasts.

  • Mix up your marinade in a container of your choosing
  • Add the chicken breasts to the marinade and rub the mixture in to ensure that it coats the meat
  • Let the breasts soak in the marinade between 30 minutes and 3 hours depending on how tender you would like your meat
  • Prep and preheat the grill over medium-high heat
  • Place each piece of meat on the grill and set a timer for 7 minutes
  • Once the timer goes off, flip the chicken and grill for an additional 7 minutes
  • Remove from the grill and serve with a garnish

A great side dish that you can cook right on the grill with your chicken is corn on the cob. Season the corn and grill it up for a filling side that fills out the meal. Of course, corn isn’t the only option either. Did you know that you can even grill watermelon?

A Temperature Guide

  • Grill settings: Medium-high heat for a cooking time of 7 minutes on each side
  • Stick-in internal meat thermometer: 165 degrees Fahrenheit
  • Cut through the center: No pink or red meat
  • External appearance: Golden brown surface

The Benefits of Grilled Chicken Breasts

If you are looking to consume less fat, the grill is a great choice. The excess fat drips from the chicken, making it a leaner option. You also use less butter and oil on the grill, and the meat keeps more of its nutrients through the cooking process.

How to Cook Chicken Breast on the Stove

A great stove-top chicken meal can be the perfect dinner for gatherings and celebrations. Try some of these tips, along with a step-by-step recipe to end up with a beautiful meal.

Seasoning Makes All the Difference

Stovetop chicken breasts can be prepared hundreds of different ways. Don’t just sit around eating the same old seasoned meals! Mix it up and give yourself a whole new tasting experience with these 3 chicken seasoning mixes you’re sure to love.

Mix #1: Taco Chicken Breasts

This flavorful taco chicken recipe is a great way to flavor your dinner. The key to a taco favor is in the taco seasoning. We recommend a combination of garlic, chili powder, red pepper, oregano, paprika, cumin, and salt.

When you use this flavor, top your chicken with diced tomatoes and shredded cheese to round out the dish! Sour cream on the side also makes a great addition. Taco chicken breasts can even be pulled apart or diced during cooking to fill fajitas. These are great for kid’s lunches or for get-togethers like church small group, book clubs or meetings that require finger food.

Mix #2: Tikka Masala

Tikka Masala is known for its vibrant colors and flavors. It is delicious served over rice or other grains. Did you know that you don’t need to go to a fancy restaurant to get great chicken tikka masala? You can get the full flavor profile at home with a few simple ingredients.

Achieve a full Tikka Masala flavor by combining ingredients like garlic cloves, ginger, garam masala, turmeric, cumin, chili powder, salt, onions, and cilantro. This goes great with a stovetop chicken meal because the meat can truly marinate in the heated ingredients. It provides a deeper, fuller flavor. You can even add veggies like squash or potatoes to the pan. They will also lock in the seasoning as they cook. Serve over rice for the perfect date-night dinner!

Mix #3: Ginger Soy

The key to this strong and garlicky flavor is the variety of seasoning. We have garlic, soy sauce, ginger, red pepper flakes, and green onions all working together to create a symphony in your tastebuds. Ginger soy can be a great way to mix up classic chicken breast recipes. You don’t have to settle for plain, flavorless meals. If you are getting sick of the same stovetop chicken every week, use this recipe to add a new taste to your pallet and spice up your at-home menu!

Your Step-by-Step Guide for Stovetop Chicken Breasts

The best part of these chicken breasts is that you always get a nice even cooking job. For this recipe, you will need oil, seasoning, chicken breasts, and a skillet for cooking.

  • Coat the meat with oil and season on both sides
  • Heat cooking oil in a skillet on the stove
  • Once the oil is hot, portion one or two breasts at a time into the medium-sized skillet so as not to overcrowd and ensure an even cook
  • Cook the meat for approximately 7 minutes without flipping or stirring
  • Once 7 minutes have passed, flip the meat and cook for another uninterrupted 7 minutes (you may want to add additional butter or oil when you flip)

A great pairing to finish off this meal is delicious mushrooms, onion, and other vegetables that are suited to a sauté. Red and green peppers can add a great texture to this chicken dish.

A Temperature Guide

It can be very easy to undercook stove-top chicken meat. For this reason, it is essential to use the following metrics to ensure it is cooked to completion:

  • Stove settings: medium-high heat for a cooking time of 7 minutes on each side
  • Stick-in internal meat thermometer: 165 degrees Fahrenheit
  • Cut through the center: No pink or red meat
  • External appearance: Golden brown skin

The Benefits of Stove-top Chicken

The health benefits of cooking on the stove are irrefutable. Health-nuts will love the poaching method, which involves no fatty oils or butter. All you need is water and you’ve got a fully cooked juicy chicken breast! You can even poach it in soups or with spices or veggies to retain extra flavor.

If poaching isn’t your choice, stove-cooked chicken breast can still yield many benefits. Sautéing your meal can provide a delicious final product with a crispy, flaky exterior that just melts in the mouth.

Conclusion

Grill, marinate, bake, and more with these fast and simple tips to help you improve your cuisine instantly. Did you know that you don’t need fancy ingredients or a professional kitchen to achieve mouth-watering results? Create healthy, tasty, and budget-friendly meals easily with these three chicken breast recipes.

A well-seasoned, smartly prepared chicken breast looks crispy and golden brown and tastes juicy and tender. Learning the right way to prepare a quality breast can be a great way to impress guests and treat yourself to better meals. You’ll feel like a professional chef right in your own kitchen! Use some of these easy to make chicken breast recipes to experiment with your culinary creativity and dine on some delectable dishes. Bon appetit!

Catherine Hitzfield

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