how to cook chicken breast

How To Cook Chicken Breast

Chicken breast is a staple in many households all over the world, and for good reason. It’s easy to obtain, healthier than many other parts of chicken, and affordable. Another great thing about chicken breast is the many ways you can cook it. They are such a versatile source of protein that will provide opportunities for innovation in the kitchen.

Do you have chicken breast pieces in your freezer, and are trying to find different ways to make use of them? Or maybe you’re just trying to expand your knowledge for future use? Either way, we’ll walk you through the different ways to cook your chicken breast, and some recipe suggestions you may want to try.

Things To Remember Before Cooking Chicken Breast

  1. To encourage even cooking, make sure your chicken breast pieces are of even thickness. Chicken breast is not very moist, so if your chicken breast pieces take drastically different times to cook, it may dry out some of your chicken breast.
  2. To help lock in moisture in your chicken breast after frying, marinating or brining is a good option. It’ll help not only with keeping moisture in, but also in enhancing the flavor of your chicken.
    • Brining is done by soaking chicken breast pieces in a mixture of water and salt. A good ratio to remember is to add 3-4 tablespoons of salt to 5 cups of water. If you’d like to add sugar, 2-3 tablespoons will be more than sufficient. Keep the chicken breast in the refrigerator for at least an hour to help it absorb more liquid
  3. ​There is a real risk of food poisoning if your chicken breast is undercooked. When handling chicken, a cooking thermometer is a good investment. Experts recommend having internal chicken temperatures at 165-170 degrees Fahrenheit.
    • Don’t have a thermometer? Check your chicken breast’s doneness by slicing it open with a knife. If the meat is white, and juices run clear, you know that the chicken breast is fully cooked and can be safely eaten.

Chicken Breast Cooking Styles

Indoor Grilling

Grilling chicken breast is so simple, as well as healthy. There is a minimal amount of oil involved in the cooking process, plus the chicken can also be prepped ahead of time. Families with children who are interested in cooking can even have them try their hand at grilling, thanks to indoor smokeless grills or even sandwich makers.

You can marinate the chicken breast in the freezer ahead of time, and just take out however many pieces you need every time you’re ready to prepare a meal. If you’re using a sandwich maker, please note that you’ll have to prepare your chicken breast slightly thinner, so that you don’t end up with a raw center.

Preheat your indoor grill or sandwich maker before starting, so that your cooking process goes smoother. Depending on personal preference, you may even use a little oil to grease your griddles. If using a sandwich maker, make sure that you don’t put too many pieces at one time to ensure even cooking. Give your chicken breast about 5-7 minutes, depending on thickness.

There are many marinade recipes available on the internet. If you’re a fan of sweet tastes, try a honey-based marinade; if you prefer marinades with a kick, a mix of salt, black pepper, and cayenne pepper in soy sauce is sure to spice up your meal. The choices are endless.


Another healthier way to prepare your chicken is by baking it. Baking is also one of the easier and faster ways to prepare your chicken, as temperatures in an oven are more or less spread out evenly, allowing your chicken breast to cook thoroughly and at the same time.

When baking chicken, make sure to line your pan with aluminum foil. This will make cleanup much easier, and any juices seeping from your chicken stay in one place. If you’re in a rush, aluminum foil is your best bet, as it helps the chicken cook a bit faster too.

For those looking for a simple recipe, you can try this: preheat your oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit, and rub your chicken breast pieces with a mixture of olive oil, salt, and pepper. Baking will take about 10 -15 minutes; you can always check the chicken’s doneness with any of the methods listed above.

Ready for a little more challenge? Italian food lovers can try baked pesto chicken, or even chicken parmigiana. If you love cream sauces, try chicken divan; always a hit with children, and makes them eat more vegetables at the same time.


If you’re planning to use your chicken breast in dishes such as salads or soups, steaming them will make sure that they are safe to consume, without compromising any moisture or flavor. Simply place your thawed chicken breast in the steamer and wait for twenty to thirty minutes. Your chicken should be ready for easy slicing or flaking afterwards.

In the mood for salad? How about mixing your chicken breast with avocados, corn, black beans, and lime juice. You won’t even notice the missing mayonnaise that often comes with chicken salad. As for soups, you can never go wrong with classic chicken noodle. Definitely something to prepare if you’re feeling a little under the weather.

Air Frying

This fairly new cooking method is all of the taste, and none of the guilt. Air frying uses heat from air, instead of oil; the result is yummy chicken that everyone in the family will love, with none of the cholesterol, fat, and extra calories adults try to avoid!

While air frying can work without the use of oil, a tablespoon can help with the process. Why not try some chicken breast, rubbed with olive oil, salt, pepper, and any other seasonings you prefer? Put the chicken in the basket of your air fryer and watch it work its magic. If you thought you couldn’t have any healthy fried food, the air fryer is here to change your mind!

We hope we’ve inspired you to create your own chicken breast dishes with these methods. Happy cooking!

About the Author Hong Quy

Born in Hanoi, can speak English and Japanese fluently. Become interested in cooking after married, and love to share easy Japanese recipes with anyone has the same interest.

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