The Best Chicken Breast Recipes on the Web
We’re equal opportunity omnivores - we are just as comfortable basing a meal around chicken thighs, drumsticks, or even chicken livers! But for many consumers, chicken breasts are and always will be the most popular cut of chicken.
This popularity is well deserved - chicken breasts are high in protein, and lower in fat than some darker cuts of chicken. They’re also fairly easy to prepare and are able to be used in a versatile amount of recipes. As much as we love other cuts of chicken, there’s no substitute for say, a chicken salad made with chicken breasts - the taste and texture are just superior for certain dishes when compared to other cuts of meat.
Before we share with you some of the best chicken breast recipes on the web, here are a few tips and tricks to ensure that your chicken breasts are tender, juicy, and delicious when you cook them:
- Marinate! - since chicken breasts are a thick cut of meat, marinating helps to tenderize them prior to cooking, so they stay juicy and moist and don’t dry out during the cooking process. You can use a wet or dry marinade (dry rub), but we find that particularly with chicken breasts, using a liquid marinade helps to not only tenderize the meat but also infuse it with flavor. Simply put, the liquid marinade soaks into the meat while the dry rub mostly flavors the outside. Marinade doesn’t have to be complicated - one of our favorites is a combination of olive oil, salt, pepper, lemon juice, and fresh herbs. Place your chicken breasts in a freezer bag or spill proof container and allow them to marinate in the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes, or up to a couple of hours if you have that kind of time!
- Don’t Overcook - As delicious as a properly cooked chicken breast is, an overcooked chicken breast is reminiscent of a flavorful chunk of rubber - and because of their low fat content, chicken breasts are prone to overcooking. The best way to ensure that your chicken breasts are perfectly cooked is to invest in a meat thermometer. They’re inexpensive, and will ensure that your chicken breasts are cooked to a safe internal temperature while avoiding overcooking.
- Thaw Completely Before Cooking - If you’re using a pressure cooker you may be able to get away with cooking frozen chicken breasts, but for any other method of cooking, you’ll want to ensure that your chicken is completely defrosted prior to cooking, to avoid uneven cooking. Especially if your chicken breasts are thick, attempting to cook an improperly thawed breast can result in the thinner ends being overcooked while the middle is still partially frozen! With a little advance planning (i.e. moving your chicken breasts from the freezer to the fridge about 24 hours prior to cooking), you can make sure your chicken breasts are properly thawed and much easier to cook.
And now, without further ado, here are a few of, in our humble opinion, the best chicken breast recipes on the web!
Smothered Chicken with Gravy and Herbs
Believe it or not, it is possible to have decadent, gravy smothered chicken while following a paleo diet! This recipe from Paleo Running Momma combines delicious fresh herbs, chicken breasts (we use pasture raised, of course), and a few other kitchen staples to create a savory, healthy, comfort food one-pan meal - and we are loving it.
1.5 pounds boneless skinless chicken breasts pounded to 1/2” thickness
Sea salt and black pepper
3 Tbsp blanched almond flour
2 Tbsp tapioca flour or arrowroot
4 Tbsp ghee or butter, divided
1 medium onion, thinly sliced
8 oz mushrooms, sliced
4 cloves garlic, minced
2 tsp fresh rosemary, minced
2 tsp fresh thyme, minced
2 tsp sage leaves, minced
2 tsp fresh parsley, minced
2 tsp tapioca flour or arrowroot
3/4 cup chicken broth or bone broth
3/4 cup dairy free milk or creamer - original, unsweetened
1 tsp dijon mustard
2 tsp lemon juice
sea salt and black pepper to taste
(Note - you can substitute dried herbs (use half as much as the recipe calls for), but if you have access to fresh, they really add a lot to the dish!)
Pound your chicken breast to 1/2” thickness, then cut into cutlets. Season with sea salt and pepper on both sides.
Heat a large skillet over medium/medium-high heat. Mix together the almond flour and tapioca in a shallow bowl for dredging.
Heat 2 Tbsp of butter or ghee in your skillet. While the ghee melts, lightly dredge one chicken cutlet at a time in the flour mixture, and place in the skillet. Cook about 3-4 minutes on each side to cook through (remember to use your meat thermometer!)
Remove the chicken from heat and set aside. Lower your skillet heat to medium low and add the remaining ghee. Add the mushrooms and onions and cook for 4-6 minutes or until soft and beginning to brown.
Add the garlic and herbs and cook another 2-3 minutes. Sprinkle the remaining tapioca over this veggie mixture and stir to coat. This will help to thicken your gravy. Once the flour and veggies are combined, pour in the broth and non-dairy milk and stir well, then add the mustard and lemon juice. Make sure all ingredients are well combined, and bring to a boil to thicken the gravy. Lower to a simmer and season with salt and black pepper to taste. Add the cooked chicken back to the skillet and remove from heat. Make sure the gravy is “smothering” the chicken, season with salt, pepper and garnish with fresh herbs, and enjoy warm! We love this on top of cauliflower rice or mashed potatoes.
Firecracker Baked Chicken Breasts Recipe
When you’re in the mood for something with a little kick, try this Firecracker Baked Chicken Breasts recipe from PaleoLeap. This recipe calls for a homemade buffalo sauce, and if you’re looking to obtain the pure spicy flavor of the dish, we recommend giving it a try. If you’re short on time or gumption though, you can try a paleo-friendly store-bought buffalo sauce such as those from Primal Kitchen. If you decide to give the homemade buffalo sauce a try, you can find a link to the recipe in the original recipe on paleoleap.com (linked above.)
4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
2 garlic cloves, minced
¼ cup raw honey
¼ cup homemade buffalo sauce
1 tbsp. apple cider vinegar
¼ tsp. red pepper flakes
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
Preheat oven to 400 F, and while the oven is preheating, season the chicken breasts on both sides with sea salt and freshly ground black pepper.
Melt some cooking fat in a skillet over medium-high heat; brown the chicken for 2 to 3 minutes per side and place on a baking sheet (you don’t need to fully cook them in this step.)
Place the chicken in the oven and bake for 10 to 12 minutes.
While the chicken cooks, combine the garlic, honey, buffalo sauce, apple cider vinegar, and red pepper flakes in a saucepan over medium heat. Bring to a boil, lower the heat, and simmer for 4 to 5 minutes.
Baste the chicken with the sauce and place back in the oven for another 10 to 12 minutes, basting every five minutes on both sides.
Serve the chicken with the remaining sauce.
What are your favorite chicken breast recipes? And what did you think of these ones??
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