If you’re tired of chicken breast, it’s probably less about flavor, and more about texture and for lack of a better term “juicy-ness.”
If you’re like most people, you about ready to give up on making chicken breast at home.
You go to restaurants and chicken breast is juicy and succulent. And, then you go home and you say, “I think I can make it like that!”
But, sadly, you cook the heck out of the chicken and it tasted like rubber when you eat it. And you feel sad you have to eat white meat to stay healthy, instead of the juicy dark meat.
Well, it doesn’t have to be this way my friend. I, too, had the same downfall.
After all, chefs young and old admit that chicken is one of the hardest meats to perfect, particularly the breast. It’s low fat content makes it really easy to cook it till dry, and juicy-less. The fat isn’t there to keep in the moisture.
Once I understood this simple step that can make it juicy every time, I don’t cook it any other way.
And it really requires almost no effort. For the tasty returns, it’s totally worth it.
So, what’s the secret?
BRINE your chicken.
Yes, this word used to scare me too because I said, “I’m not going to do more work! I just want to put the chicken in the pan and cook it.” – I thought it wasn’t worth the extra effort…….but it is!!!
What is Brining?
Brining is more simple than you think. You dissolve some sugar and salt in water and then pour more water over the chicken. It takes less than a minute really.
The trick is to let the chicken sit in this salty-sweet bath for two hours, or overnight. I did it overnight and it was perfect. So, yes a little planning is required. But, try it first.
When, I cooked the chicken, it not only cooked faster and more evenly, but it was restaurant-style JUICY. exactly what I was after.
And, I barely had to season it, because the salt flavored and tenderized the chicken breast.
This is the only way I want to make chicken for my family now. If you’re short on time, at least brine for an hour. I really can’t believe I’ve been missing out on juicy chicken.
Here’s the simple recipe I always use for cooking chicken breast now.
The brine for Juicy chicken
- 2 lbs. skinless, boneless chicken breast
- ¼ cup sugar
- 2 Tablespoons kosher salt
- ½ cup boiling water
- 1 quart (4 cups) cold water
Preparing the brine: In a small microwave safe cup or bowl, microwave ¼ cup water until boiling, about 1 minute. Then, stir in the sugar and salt until dissolved.
Place in a large bowl (where chicken can fit). Pour the 4 cups cold water in and then place the chicken breasts in their cool bath. Please make sure its not warm, but cool before placing chicken. You can make the liquid mixture ahead of time and cool it if you are super scared about bacteria.
Then, cover with plastic wrap or lid and place in the fridge (raw chicken goes on lower shelf to not contaminate other food by dripping). Let sit for 2 hours or overnight.
Cooking the chicken: When you’re ready to cook the chicken, pat it dry. Then, I like to pound chicken to ¼”. This is optional.