A Guide to Cooking Chicken Breast
Boneless, skinless chicken breast is probably the most often mentioned food item on Calorie Count. This quick cooking cut of chicken is a great source of protein and is very low in fat and calories, ounce for ounce. In fact, 4 ounces of cooked chicken breast is only 117 calories. It provides 27 grams of protein and only 7 grams of fat.
The problem is, boneless, skinless chicken breast is so lean that it dries and becomes tough if overcooked even slightly. In addition, many members tell us they are looking for more variety. It seems everyone wants to know the best way to cook it, how to keep it tender and moist, and how to make it more interesting. We have lots of tips and recipes to help you.
You can use either dry heat or moist heat to cook chicken breast. Examples of dry heat would be grilling, sauteing, baking or pan searing. Moist heat cooking methods include poaching in a sauce or broth, wrapping in parchment paper or foil to retain the moisture, soups, or stews.
When using dry heat methods, cook over high heat, quickly to brown the outside without drying out the inside. Moist heat methods should use low heat and longer cooking to keep the chicken tender. Whatever you do, don't overcook it. An instant, digital meat thermometer is an easy way to tell if your chicken breast is done. The internal temperature should register 160 to 170 degrees Fahrenheit (that's 71 to 76 degrees Celsius). Food safety experts recommend 170 degrees but most chefs feel that 160 is safe.
For the sake of food safety, do carefully clean all cutting surfaces, tools and your hands after handling poultry and before handling other foods, especially those that will be served raw, such as salads.
There are lots more great tips in this About.com article, especially on the topic of safety:
Using the Recipe Browser on Calorie Count, we've found so many creative and delicious recipes that it was hard to choose just a few. We included one recipe for boneless, skinless chicken thighs for those that prefer dark meat or who simply want a change of pace.
- Aloha Chicken - cooked with sweet pineapple and spices, this dish is moist and flavorful
- Grilled Rosemary Chicken Thighs - use fresh or dried rosemary and fresh lemon rind to prepare this aromatic and delicious recipe.
- Parmesan Seared Chicken Breast - Easy to prepare, it's a good alternative to battered and fried chicken fingers.