What are the common mistakes while cooking chicken breasts?

cooking chicken breasts
(Image: © Andy Wang/unsplash)

Cooking chicken breast is not as easy as you think. Chicken, in general, is one of the main cooked dishes on the table, and if you; as housewives think that you have sufficient experience in cooking chicken, you are wrong. There are mistakes that many ignore while cooking chicken recipes, in particular chicken breasts, and it has become common as well; look at it below and discover with us the biggest errors committed while cooking chicken breasts.

We all have tried many chicken breast recipes. If you are not cooking chicken correctly, you will lose its nutritional facts. You should follow some cooking secrets when you prepare and cook chicken (the right internal temperature, seasoning, overcooking or undercooking…) to avoid the common mistakes for cooked chicken breast.
The common mistakes below will help you to know what to avoid when cooking chicken breast;

1. You cook the chicken breast in a whole

Chicken breast is a big and thick piece of meat. A piece of skinless, boneless chicken breast can be thick at one side and then on the other side. The irregular size of the breast will not give a full cook at the same rate; In other words, you’ll have an overcooked breast at one side and undercooked at the other side, or you’ll have a fully cooked outside and a rawness inside.
There is a solution to prevent uneven cooking and to have a tender chicken, which is to cut the breast into lengthwise pieces by cutting the breast into parallel slices; this method is quite easy than to flatten a chicken breast with a meat mallet.

2. Boneless and Skinless

Chicken breasts are often dry; they are not as fatty as the other parts of the chicken; chicken breasts are not like chicken wings or chicken tights. We all opt for skinless, boneless chicken breast, in particular, because they are easy to work with, and we’ve heard that the skin is unhealthy. However, we recommend to keep the skin on while cooking chicken breast, because it helps to moist the chicken and gives meat that melts in your mouth. Besides, the bones will absorb the temperature to well-cooked chicken from the inside, and the skin will prevent the outside or the surface from burning and will give a golden color. But, if you don’t like the skin, you are not obliged to eat it; you can just peel off the skin, serve and eat your chicken breast.

3. You don’t marinate or season correctly

Baked chicken breast, grilled or in a pan. The chicken breasts must be well marinated, even if the basic marinade of salt and black pepper is enough, adding some other flavors will give an extra delicious taste; some cinnamon, cumin, ginger, garlic powder, onion powder, dried herbs (oregano) with a touch of olive oil and lemon juice, in addition to other flavors that you can add, will give extra seasonings extra tasting. Another suggestion is to stab the skinless chicken breast with a fork to help the marinade get inside and soak it for about one hour before cooking to infuse the flavor.

4. Overcooking

Cooking chicken breast is unlike meat; you cannot risk and serve chicken before its complete cook. Raw chicken causes food poisoning and endangers your life. Besides, chicken breasts do not taste good when you overcook them and left for too long on the fire; they lose the juice, getting dry and hard. Thus; you don’t have just to follow the time specified in the chicken recipe, but you have to pay attention to it because it all depends on your oven, the quality and the size of the chicken, either it is a whole chicken or just parts of chicken; breasts, wings, or chicken tights all need to watch.
Moving to how to cook chicken breasts. It’s important to get a fully cooked breast. Still, you don’t need to burn them, you have to follow the correct internal temperature for chicken breasts which is 165 F, and you can use a meat thermometer by inserting it inside the thickest part of the breast, also try not to go beyond this temperature (165 F) otherwise you’ll get dry meat.

5. Serving the chicken just when you take it out of the oven

No matter how hungry your guests are, don’t put the chicken on the table right after you finish cooking. Instead, give it the time to stay at least 5 minutes before serving; this would allow the water to merge again with the meat, making the whole chicken or even just the breasts tender and tastier.

6. Cooking frozen chicken breast

Cooking chicken breast straight after getting it out from the fridge, is the most common mistake that you should avoid. Indeed, a baked chicken breast on a strong fire to meltdown after freezing will give a golden color outside but raw meat inside. Thus, you have to get the chicken out from the fridge about 15 minutes before cooking in order to get the same external and internal temperature.

7. Cooking in a cold and overcrowded pan

Cooking skinless and boneless chicken breast in a cold pan is the same thing as cooking frozen chicken breasts straightly from the fridge, cooking breasts in a cold pan means that they heat up slowly, and the juices start to seep out as the pan heats. Thus, with a cold pan instead of searing the chicken breast, you are actually steaming it, and the chicken breast will come out pale, white, and overcooked rather than with flavored brown color and a crunchy exterior. The easy solution is to preheat the pan before adding the chicken.

On the other hand, you may not know that chicken needs to breathe while cooking. Therefore, we advise you to cook chicken in batches. If you want to cook a large number of chicken breasts, don’t overcrowd the pan because putting a lot of breast slices in a pan will cause steaming rather than searing just as cooking in a cold pan.

8. Cut the chicken breast soon

After the chicken breast is fully cooked, wait about 5 minutes before slicing; otherwise, you’ll lose all the juices inside.
Now that you know about the common mistakes of cooking chicken in general and cooking chicken breasts in particular, and after giving you some tips and tricks, you can succeed in baking a flavorful and juicy chicken ever.

Originally published on Live Positively.