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, 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 recipes of chicken breasts. If you are not cooking chicken correctly, you will lose its nutritional benefits. 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,

1- You cook the chicken breast in whole

Chicken breast is a big and thick piece of meat. A piece of boneless skinless chicken breast can be thick at one side and thin at 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, 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 boneless, skinless chicken, especially for the breasts, because they are easy to work with, and we’ve heard that the skin is unhealthy. However, it is recommended to keep the skin on while cooking, because it helps to moist the chicken and gives melty meat in the 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; once the chicken is cooked, you can just peel off the skin, serve and eat your chicken breast.

3- You don’t put the marinade or seasoning 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, dried herbs with a touch of olive oil and lemon juice, in addition to other flavors that can be added, will give an 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

Unlike meat, you cannot risk and serve chicken before it is completely cooked. Raw chicken causes food poisoning and endangers your life. Besides, chicken breasts do not taste good when they are overcooked 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 breast 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 tights all need to be watched.
Concerning the chicken breasts; it’s important to get a fully cooked breast, but they don’t need to be burnt, you have to follow the correct internal temperature for chicken breasts which is 165 F, you can use a meat thermometer by inserting it inside the thickest part of the breast, and try not to go beyond this temperature (165 F) otherwise you’ll get a 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 after removing it from the oven, 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 cold breast

Cooking the 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 chicken breast in a cold pan is the same thing as cooking frozen chicken 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 heat up the pan before adding the chicken.
On the other hand, you may not know that chicken needs to breathe while cooking. Therefore, it is advised to cook chicken in batches.
If you want to cook a large amount 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 cutting it into slices; otherwise, you’ll lose all the juices inside.

Now that you know about the common mistakes of cooking chicken in general and chicken breasts in particular, and after giving you some tips and tricks, you can succeed in baking a juicier and more flavorful chicken ever.

Originally published on Live Positively.

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