The Best Way To Cook A Chicken Breast To Avoid Dry, Chewy Meat

It’s all about juiciness with this stovetop method.

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Best way to cook chicken breast: Three chicken breasts covered with peanuts and parsley on baking sheet.

Hoisin-peanut grilled chicken. Photo, Erik Putz.

Boneless, skinless chicken breasts are a go-to protein on busy weeknights. They’re healthy, accessible, relatively affordable and palatable to even the pickiest of eaters. However, while chicken breasts are a cinch to prepare, it’s easy to dry out your bird, leading to a lacklustre meal that requires lots and lots of sauce (ketchup counts). But if you’re just chucking your chicken in the oven, there’s a better way to make dinner tonight. So close your oven door and please, turn your attention to your stovetop.

For this method, you’ll want to grab a non-stick skillet because you’ll be pan-frying your boneless, skinless chicken breasts (or skin-on, bone-in for even more flavour). By pan-frying your chicken, you let it get nice and brown on both sides. And, by using a lid, you create a steamy environment that traps in moisture, leaving you with juicy chicken breasts instead of dried out, stringy meat. Give it a try the next time chicken breasts are on your dinner menu.

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The best way to cook chicken breasts for ultimate juiciness

  • Season up to four chicken breasts with salt and pepper.
  • Heat a large non-stick frying pan over medium-high. Add 1 tbsp olive or canola oil, then add chicken breasts.
  • Cook until bottom of chicken is golden-brown, about 3 min. Reduce heat to medium-low. Flip chicken.
  • Cook, covered with a lid, until the bottom of chicken is golden and cooked through, about 7 min. (If you use a thermometer, stick it into the thickest part of the chicken breast. It should reach 165 F when it’s cooked through.)

The Chatelaine Kitchen team loves this cooking method, so try it with our crowd-pleasing lemon-garlic chicken breasts recipe or pan-fry two chicken breasts before slicing them and tossing them into this flavourful pasta with edamame recipe.

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